Saturday, September 20, 2008

Guadalupe Mountains-Labor Day 08

I spent a long week over Labor Day in the Guadalupe Mountains of far west Texas. Normally people might say that camping in Texas during August was insane. It is easy to see why, but those people do not know the Guadalupes.

So, I took an extra day to make it a four day weekend and headed west. After driving across the Permian Basin and the heat of the desert, you climb up toward the 5700' elevation of the camp. I get there to find the temps in the 50's. Ahhh, Texas in August!

By the next morning clouds had rolled in and it started raining. Little was I to know but that would be the norm for the entire four days. We seemed to alternate between, drizzle, fog, and rain. On occasion we got a few minutes when the sun would pop out. The first image is one of those few moments. I had been standing in rain and fog when suddenly, this light just happened. Wow, what luck!

Mostly the mountain seemed to look like this:


I felt lucky to get the light when I did.

The Guadalupes have a habit of "catching" the weather and literally holding it around it's eastern valleys. Often time you can watch the clouds spill over the mountains like water. It is often also very different weather just a few miles west as one drops into the salt basin to the west. There have been times I have seen it 45 and misty in camp and 75 and sunny 5 miles away.

This was not quite like that. The seasonal late summer rains socked the camp in, but rain and clouds would cover much of all west Texas this weekend, but there were a few times when the sun would shine.

As a side note-one thing the rain did was make me realize it was time for a new tent. My current tent has been a rock for 11 year but it is small at 26 sqft and after 4 days in the rain, I decided I needed a tent I did not touch at both ends. So I have a newer longer model to try on my next trip.

The rain also made me alter my plans. Instead of hikes into the high country, I spent most of my days west of the mountains seeing the salt basin. I made it out to the Salt Basin Sand Dunes one afternoon to catch some wonderful afternoon light on the dunes. I was afraid the rain would make the road to them impassable (it does not take much to turn it to slop), but it was dry enough to make the drive in. Then after a hike in I got some great light on the sand.


See more images from the trip in my Galleries on the main website:

http://www.wildernessphotographer.net/Texas

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