Guadalupe Peak Trail (Part 2)

Trip Start Jul 24, 2010
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Trip End Oct 19, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, September 26, 2010

Started day 5 with a good 45 minute hike up to our where we left the mountain early yesterday, felt in a good mood to work today working with the "Jazz Man", working closely with Carly and Jon with the song of the day being Tenacious D - Tribute, yesterday Aerosmith - Don't wanna miss a thing. Moved up quickly and got to the camp ground (bout 1 mile from the top) by lunch, pushed on after and made it to the top of the highest peak of Texas at 8500ft. Great views of the surrounding area and noticed how flat and dry Texas was. Wrote in the book at the top and had group photos, really good achievement everyone in very good spirits and have now finished working on the Guadalupe trail. A long 1 and half hour hike down with all tools and a few wooden water-bars we took out. All deserved our meal of cheese burgers that night, Jarco then showed us his slingshot he had built in the back garden of the ship, put frozen water balloons in it and aimed at some bins about 100 yards away, really flew far but no one managed to hit the small targets and it started to get dark. We were then distracted by one of the researches who had got stuck in the bathroom on the second floor, she had to eventually climb out of a small gap at the top of a window, luckily she was pretty small and me, Carly and Jordy gave her a hand as she went head first through the window. Forgot to then switch off the light so had to push a stick through the window and turn it off. After an eventful day went to bed for a good rest.

As we had done the trail pretty quickly we were hoping for a day off, but instead had to work on the horse-trail that connected to the Guadalupe trail and used by the mules. This only took us up until lunch time as there was not too much to do, worked with Jordy today for a change. At lunch Jarco took us to another pictograph site, also passed through devils staircase and hallway that was pretty cool, got to climb up a bit on a break. Chilled out during lunch had a bit of a sleep as did many others, on way back messing about jumping from rock to rock too much energy for this time of day, clearly not working hard enough. Got back to the trail head at about 3pm and spent about an hour on the El Capitan trail but didn't find too much to do. Went straight from work to Carlsbad Caverns as it was Sylvana's birthday and we were to see the bats come out at night. Had Chili, beans and rice for dinner in the car park before going to the amphitheater where hey were giving a talk about the bat cave while we waited for the bats. The women struggling for things to say apart from answer stupid questions, like "Have you ever seen Batman?". When they finally came out after 30 minutes of waiting though it was a pretty awesome spectacle as they just circle around your heads for a bit before flying off; we watch amazed for 30 minutes wondering when it was going to end but were told it took up to 2 hours for them all to come out which was a surprise as it felt like we had seen almost all of the 1 million bats already.

Full day on the Tejas trail today which went up the right side of the mountain, opposite to where we were working before. No one really bothered to work hard and it was very hot so took regular breaks, had lunch on pretty cool rock (see pics) and didn't do much after that. Headed down at about 12.30pm. Back at the bottom all chilled out with shirts off sunbathing while we waited for the other crew to meet up with us. They had gone on a hike of devils hallway that we did yesterday. It took them a little longer than expected and we finally got back together at 2. Back at camp cleaned out the van before going to what we thought was a swimming pool, only to find out it was a big water tank, so just stuck our feet in and had a chat with Jon, Mari, Barnaby and Jordy. Burrito meal again and Carly hurt her foot on a dead tree sticking out of the ground, had to get it bandaged up but was ok to come up and try out some more fire juggling with Jarco, was the last time we would see him which was sad as he had been a great guide during our time here. Carly's leg had got worse so had to give her a piggyback back down to the camp, will need to check on it tomorrow.

Our last day with ACE started at 4am had to head off in the 'boat' with Mari, Jon, Jordy and the newly acquired James. Had packed most of things last night so only had to put down the tent quickly and we were off very early. Few stop offs at gas stations to get food as we didn't have much food left at camp. Got a Monster to wake me up and had a good drive back listening to radio and playing car games. Carly still had a limp when we got to Subway about half way back, just hope she doesn't have to go to hospital as the bill is usually expensive over in the USA. On drive back talked about climbing Mount Humphreys as we approached Flagstaff, hoping to do it asap although its a long way to get to the bottom, would need a taxi. Once back in Flagstaff cleaned the 'boat' saw other people who we hadn't seen for around 1 month including Won Beom, handed in my tent with Jon and got an ACE hoodie, useful for climbing the mountain and on my Trek America. Later that evening all went to Ni Marco's pizza place before going to the Green Room for a few cheap drinks then a few other bars for a change. Great last night with most of the people on the crew, good end to the project.

Summary:

Location - 8/10 (almost as good as last week especially when we hiked to peak)
Volunteers - 10/10 (Couldn't ask for a better group)
Living Facilities - 9/10 (Everything but a shower)
Food - 6/10 (OK but some repeated meals and no fruit)
Overall - 9/10 (Last few days very lazy but still awesome project)
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