14 April 2008
Last Chance Canyon and on to Texas
The camp and trailhead to Last Chance canyon was high for these parts - near 7000 ft. There were icicles hanging off the Junipers and Pinyons as we set up camp. It cleared in the night when the wind came. The wind was constant after that but it did warm up nicely. Especially down in the canyon. Tendonitis forced me into belay duty. Climbing was good though. We'll be back.
After a couple days at Last Chance canyon, we moved on to the North Entrance of Guadalupe Mountain National Park. There were three other campers. The next morning, the others left leaving us. Imagine being alone in a National Park! Well there was one ranger .. Beautiful place. I'd like to do some backpacking here in the future.
After a hike, we drove through El Paso Gap to Dell City. As can be seen from this picture of the local school, it is a remote & dry region. We ended up at Hueco Tanks State Park (official site, climbing site), a mecca for bouldering. Even w/ my arm, I had to get on the rock a bit. FUN! This place is like a candy store. Here's a shot of Mia. Julia liked the bouldering too. We stayed at the park campground for a beautifully warm night w/ nice views across the valley. We drove by the private climber's camp on our way out. If you're really into the spray & beta scene it might be worth staying there but it's basically a dirt pile.
After bouldering, we headed into El Paso for the cultural experience. Quite a difference to look across the Rio Grande into Mexico. We had reached the apex of our journey South. From here, it was North for us.