South Llano River State Park
My husband got a week off of work so we made plans to do some hiking in West Texas. We broke up a ten-hour drive to the Guadalupe Mountains by spending a night at South Llano River State Park. We didn’t get to do any hiking because we got there so late, but we went down by the river to check things out. The South Llano isn’t as clear as the Frio River, but when it comes to beating the heat most Texans aren’t picky. I’d love to come back when I have more time to spend a lazy day floating around in a tube. We woke up exhausted the next day from a terrible night’s sleep. That’s possibly the sweatiest I’ve ever been in my entire life. It didn’t cool down until 4 or 5 in the morning, just to start heating back up as soon as the sun came up. We packed up and headed for our next destination.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
We could see a few spots of rain in the distance on our way there, so we decided to set up at the Pine Springs Campground at the bottom, and just take day packs up to Guadalupe Peak and back down. The idea was that it would be faster since we didn’t get there until late in the afternoon. We didn’t take into account the heat on the way up and my husband’s knees on the way down. We made it to the top before the sun set and it was totally worth it. It’s the tallest peak in Texas at an elevation of 8749′. It’s the highest I’ve hiked so far and it was really exciting. We saw some beautiful cactus blooms and a swarming ladybug party. The sun left us maybe halfway down, and it was a slow descent in the dark, but we’d come prepared for that. We were prepared for the dark but not for him to get heat exhaustion. It was a long couple miles but after splashing some water on his face at the trailhead he seemed to start feeling better. Thankfully this night was cooler than the last and I woke up to a spectacular sunrise from my tent door.
We planned three nights in Guadalupe Mountains National Park but ended up only staying for one. It was just too hot and my husband’s knees aren’t what they used to be. My life is basically one giant vacation and it didn’t seem fair for me to ask him to spend his one week of vacation doing something that wasn’t making him happy. I thought I would be disappointed but I wasn’t. There is soooo much to do in this park but it’ll still be there when I come back some other time. We gladly took a vacation from our vacation, roadtripping around Texas in an air conditioned car, sleeping in an air conditioned hotel, and eating ice cream at the gloriously air conditioned Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham. We saw the Prada Marfa art installation, ten dust devils!, the loblolly pines that we planted in Bastrop State Park earlier this year, and had a nice visit with my in-laws. We came home two days early from our vacation but I didn’t hear any complaints from us or the cat.