It turns out Guadalupe Mountains National Park in West Texas is in the Mountain Time Zone. Just two hours east of there, we get back to Central Time. We didn't know this on our first night there, and set our little watch alarm for 6:30am, hoping to hit the trail early.
When the alarm went off (5:30am locally), it was still pitch dark. So we lay partially awake in the tent and waited. It was very pleasant after the rains of the previous night, and so I wasn't in any hurry to get up.
Soon however, it started getting light and I opened the tent flap and peeped out to see this -
I quickly pulled out my camera and scrambled out of the tent. No one else was up in the campsite, and I watched the fiery red sunrise as light slowly spread through the sky.
After taking these pictures, I quickly went in to wash up. In the short time I was in there, the strong desert sun had come out and all the red was gone from the sky. We could feel the heat rapidly taking over. So after a hurried breakfast, we started on an 8.5 mile RT hike to the roof of Texas - Guadalupe Peak.
There was literally no shade on the trail. It was dry and hot, but at 8:30am there still was a soft breeze that made the walk pleasant.
The trail led steadily uphill via switchbacks, and we quickly got higher up in elevation.
The view got better and better with each turn.
Little lizards darted under rocks as we approached, and desert insects kept up a steady chirping as the sun climbed higher into the sky. Bright red flowers peeped out cheerfully at intervals from the rocky landscape, relieving the monotony.
It took us about two hours to get to the top. Guadalupe Peak, at 8751 feet, is the highest point in Texas. The view from the top was lovely, and it was quiet and serene. We were the first people up there on this day, though we saw a dozen more people heading up as we made our way down.
We didn't stay long though, because it was too hot to sit out there under the sun.
The weekend is here again. Aren't the days just flying by?! Have a good one.