If we don't have the trailer then it will be a tent because there is no accommodation for miles. .
My concerns that the trailer parking would be filled were unfounded. We were the only ones there! Probably a good thing because it was the most basic of overnight parking; white stripes and a number on the tarmac indicate each spot, and they were tight. It would be very crowded if there were huge trailers in each of the spots. There were no hookups although there were flush toilets. That is a bonus I can tell you. There was a tenting area close by but I saw only 3 tents. It was a bargain for $4 for the night (one of those bonuses of aging, and there are few) All around us Apache plume, Fallugia paradoxa, was doing its thing.
A few months ago we watched a program on TV about the geology of the park. It was formed over 260 million years ago when a tropical ocean covered most of what today is Texas and New Mexico. The build up of calcium from dead sea life and precipitation of calcium in salt water created a reef which, after the sea dried up, was buried for millions of years only to rise to the surface during mountain building times.
|Entrance to visitor center|
We visited the visitor center with wildlife and geological exhibits, bookstore and theater where we watched a movie about the park. Then we took off onto one of the trails which runs from the campground parking lot. We had to make the most of our late afternoon as the following day we were planning a visit to Carlsbad Caverns. Then home.
We began to see lots of familiar plants; sotols and prickly pear cactus.
I had no expectation to see flowers in bloom this late in the year so was pleasantly surprised by these yellow blooming unknown members of the aster family.
My favorite Plains zinnia, Zinnia grandiflora.
Blackfoot daisy, Melampodium leucanthum.
|Blue gramma, Bouteloua gracilis|
I know a few gardeners in Austin who would give anything to have one of these in their garden but this is a very finicky tree to transplant as well as hard to find.
I would love to have spent more time there but evening was drawing on. It was to be a really noisy one with the calls of the wild out there. At one time I thought the crying coyotes were encircling our trailer! I do hope I get to go back to do some of the other hikes. This is a National Park that is a must to visit if you like to hike, camp, love Texas native plants and scenery and the bonus is you can visit Carlsbad Cavern National Park at the same time. I'll leave you with this shot of the natural entrance to the caves; the ones out of which the Mexican Freetail bats leave at dusk.
There is an easier way in. The elevator will take you down over 800' into the cave or you can hike in the smelly way!