“On the High Edge of Texas”

You are looking at the Guadalupe Mountains of west Texas. The title for this post comes from Edward Abbey, who described his experiences in these mountains in the book Beyond the Wall: Essays from the Outside. In October of 2015, I logged my fifth visit to the area, and my first visit to the summit of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8,751′. The 4.2 mile trail to the summit ascends 3,000′ above the desert floor.

The photo above was taken at sunrise on the day before my hike, during a morning joyride on my favorite highway, which, I’m happy to say, I drove from one end to the other five full times during the week.

The following morning, I arrived at the trailhead by dawn, hoping to conquer as much of the trail as possible before the sun reached the broiling point.

About twenty minutes into the hike, the sun joined the party…

One of the “exposed” sections of the trail; probably a little more harrowing when the rock is wet, or when gale-force winds batter the mountain, which they often do…

Looking north toward Hunter Peak…

The sun climbs higher…

Dead sea creatures: The Guadalupe Mountains are the exposed portion of the Capitan Reef which “loomed over the floor of the Delaware Sea 260 to 265 million years ago…”

The American Airlines monument at the summit, erected in 1958…

Looking down on El Capitan
(Follow this link to a 43-second video showing a panoramic view of the desert from this spot.)

Greetings from Texas…

At the summit: The highest caterpillar in Texas…

Ladybug convention…

Trail buddy…

Have you been living under a rock?

Assorted flora found on the trail…

The Guadalupe Mountains are a hiker’s paradise. Be sure to pay them a visit if you have the chance.

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