Day 8: BLM Land near Carlsbad, NM -> Motel 6 in El Paso, TX
Miles driven: 128.7 (total: 1835.3)
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.