Friday, August 28, 2009

Desert Sunrise & the Roof of Texas

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.

21 comments:

Raph G. Neckmann said...

What beautiful views, Bindu! The sunrise photos are breathtaking, and it's great to share in your walk!

ArtSparker said...

I love the small lives in these natural places.

ArtPropelled said...

The sunset is breathtaking but my favourite photo is of the steps going up the hill.

Mridula said...

And there are two long weekends ahead in India, just right for more travel. :D

The pictures are beautiful.

Shalini said...

Wow, what a great trek! And so glad you set your alarm too early, so you got to see the amazing sky!

Nancy Medina said...

Bindu, I had no idea we had another time zone in Texas! Guadalupe park is beautiful. Thank you so much for the amazing tour.
warm hugs...

Blu said...

Lovely pictures Bindu, I find the tree?cactus? very interesting indeed.

LadyFi said...

Lovely views and what a stunning sunrise! What's that pyramid in the last photo? Does it mark the summit?

Vamsee Modugula said...

Beautiful sunrise pictures. I bet Texas summers are super hot.

Sujata said...

Beautiful post...amazing views..thanks for sharing.

Celeste Maia said...

The hike must have been fantastic, but waking up to that fiery sky, what a beautiful way to wake up. You always have interesting experiences in the wildness, I am so glad you share them.
I also particularly liked the photograph of the steps going up the hill. Beautiful, Bindu!

Indrani said...

The little creatures there!
Beautiful post!

Tammy said...

Wow, your sunset photos are amazing! Just gorgeous!

Rajesh said...

The shots of sun rise are fabulous. It is an amazing experience to be among the nature away from the towns.

The Wandering Hermit said...

beautiful sunrise colors..

T and S said...

Bewitchingly beautiful sunrise images are my favorites in this post.

Leopard - The master of camouflage

shuma.rani said...

What a lovely post - you have taken some lovely shots.

Karine said...

Hi Bindu!

I felt like I was right there with you. Thanks for the hike. (and I am not even out of breath! lol)

Celeste Maia said...

Hello Bindu of the incandescent skies! I am back in Madrid and back to reality and ready to start working. Just wanted to send greetings from Spain.

Chris said...

Breath taking photos again Bindu. What a gift to start the day with!

~vagabond~ said...

my favorite part about camping is the waking up to greet dawn. :)