A 4.2-mile trail with 3000 feet of elevation gain, leads to the summit of 8,751 foot high Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas. After we struggled our way to the ‘Top of Texas’ I had expected to see something a bit more rewarding than this odd-looking monument built in 1979 by American Airlines. I don’t mean to disparage the airline because it was actually the weather that interfered with what should have been an inspiring vista.
We had planned two days of hikes in Guadalupe National Park and knew before we left Albuquerque that there was wet weather in the forecast. But that usually doesn’t turn out to be much rain here in the desert so we took our chances. After all, the Guadalupe Mountains are on the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, which I would have expected to be warmer and drier than the high desert of northern New Mexico. But I was sure wrong about that. The weather reminded me of a rainy, foggy day in the Appalachian Mountains or on the Oregon coast.
There was only one brief downpour the first morning so we waited that out before setting out on the hike up Guadalupe Peak. The cool weather was good for hiking, but because the fog and clouds never lifted, we couldn’t see much more than the immediate surroundings.
That evening the rain arrived in earnest. For the most part, we stayed dry in our tent and hoped that by morning the storm would be over. No sun the next morning either, but, instead, a steady drizzle that showed no signs of lifting. We packed up our wet tent and drove to another area of the park, hoping to still do some hiking. But after getting our shoes and pant legs thoroughly soaked walking a short nature trail, we decided to cut short our visit to Guadalupe National Park.