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Dayton -> Seattle Road Trip, Day 8

By kwesthaus

Tagged: adventure roadtrip

Day 8: BLM Land near Carlsbad, NM -> Motel 6 in El Paso, TX

Miles driven: 128.7 (total: 1835.3)

§ Summary

This morning I used the rechargeable fan for the first time and was able to sleep an extra hour before it became too hot. I could see Guadalupe Mountains National Park, my target for the day, from the campsite. After packing up I headed back to Texas and entered the park at McKittrick Canyon to hike the Permian Reef Geology Trail on a recommendation from a ranger.

The trail climbs 2,000 feet up to a 260 million year old fossil reef. I enjoyed seeing the plants of the Chihuahuan desert and many different fossils, but the hiking was slow going due to the rocky terrain, oppressive heat, and sharp cactus spines. I ended up making it back to the parking lot just before the ranger closed the gate.

Feeling exhausted and covered in salt from sweat, I booked a room in a Motel 6 in El Paso for a shower and bed to recover. Along the way there I passed through some salt flats.

§ Pictures

Clear swirl-shaped fossil hole in a rock in the Guadalupe Mountains

Hiking trail on a steep cliff 2,000 feet above the floor of McKittrick Canyon

Thorns from cactus in Kyle's leg

Kyle with arms spread standing on Salt Flats west of the Guadalupe Mountains