Thanks for your comments and positive words on my previous (and 100th) post. I drew three random numbers today and matched them to the comments. The bookmarks will soon be in the mail to:
2. Celeste Maia
3. Raph G. Neckmann
Thanks for participating!
Every summer we try to do a little hiking trip to one of the great National Parks in the US. This year we tried and tried to make plans, but they kept falling through. Finally we decided to just take a few days and drive down to West Texas, to Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Compared to many other national parks in the US, this one is pretty remote. The only accommodation within the park is in the form of a few campsites, which you cannot reserve in advance. The campgrounds have toilets and potable water, but there are no camp stores where you can buy food or batteries or anything you might have forgotten to bring. No showers, and nothing except the wide skies and open desert with sparsely marked hiking trails.
Rough, stark natural beauty everywhere, and as much solitude as you want.
What I found most fascinating was that this park is an ancient, marine fossilized reef! Apparently, this dry desert was under a vast tropical ocean about 250 million years ago. The tall mountains that jut out into the sky today were part of a reef that stretched over 400 miles of the shoreline! The ocean eventually receded, and slowly the reef emerged, and with erosion over many, many years, the peaks were formed.
Guadalupe Peak within the park is the highest point in Texas, and we hiked to its top one day.
We arrived in the park in the middle of a harsh thunder and lightning storm. We found an open campsite, but sat in our car wondering if the showers would stop at all. The clouds were dark and low, and the lightning was incessant.
After an hour or so, the rain stopped and we could see the clouds slowly moving on. We quickly got out and pitched our tent, so that if it did rain through the night, we'd have a place to stretch out!
So this was home for the next couple days, where we sat every night under the trees, watching the incredibly clear night sky, with billions of stars shimmering like shards of crystal. Guadalupe Mountains National Park is so very far away from any city that it has some of the clearest night skies possible.
Later that evening as we were getting settled in, the rain had almost completely stopped, though bulbous dark clouds still hung from the sky. What made us feel completely welcome though, was this pair of cheerful rainbows that were painted across the sky!
Have a great weekend.