Big Bend Chat

Random Bits from the Outside World => Non-BIBE Trip Reports => Topic started by: tjavery on October 04, 2009, 10:10:15 PM

Title: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: tjavery on October 04, 2009, 10:10:15 PM
Let's get a quick warning out of the way first. If you're easily offended by talk of poo, rank bodily odor, and applying hand sanitizer gel in places you shouldn't, then stop here.

Otherwise...


A Quick Preface

My wife had been wanting to hike up to Gualadupe Peak for quite some time. Several months ago a good friend of ours, James, mentioned that he wanted to take a quick weekend trip and do the hike as well. (summit junkies, the both of them) So we hatched a plan to all go together and targeted mid-September. It would be the first visit to GUMO for all of us. James' wife opted out because hiking and camping just isn't her thing.


The Plan

Fri. (Sept. 18th) - fly to El Paso, rent a car, & drive to park
Sat. - the big hike
Sun. - drive to El Paso, fly back to Houston

Since it would be a quick trip, we decided to camp in the park to maximize our time there. We packed our camping gear in suitcases and planned to buy food and supplies in El Paso.

Our main target was the hike to Guad. Peak, but we also planned to do a few short hikes and some wandering around.


Day 1

We dropped our kiddos off at their grandparents early and then headed to Terminal B at Intergalactic (Bush).

The place was a zoo. I waded through the mass of humanity towards the restrooms and smelled them long before entering them.

While washing my hands I saw a comment box, and just because I was on vacation and had the time, I looked inside for a slip on which to voice my opinion about the clogged toilets and pools of urine on the floor. The box was empty save for two used band-aids and a dried up turd.

After washing my hands a second time, I rejoined my wife in the cattle corral known as Gate B62. James met us right at boarding time. Shortly after, we were hurtling through the air in a small aluminum tube destined for wide open spaces and cleaner air.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3530.jpg)

Getting out of the El Paso airport was amazingly smooth and fast. The walk was relatively short, our bags were ready, and I picked up our keys to the rental car in a record 30 seconds (gotta love the gold card). Our car was about 20 yards from the exit door next to baggage.

The 15 minute gate-to-car episode amazed me just about as much as the scenery we'd see later in the day. There's nothing I hate more than sludging my way through a cumbersome and expansive airport system. I think I'll fly to El Paso next time regardless of my final destination and then just drive the rest of the way from there.

We then hit a super Walmart to pick up food and supplies. Afterwards, James spied a restaurant / brewery (Jaxon's). He and I are both beer fanatics, so we went for it. The food was pretty good but the brewery was down and draft beer was not available. This would not be the first disappointment of the trip.

We made one last stop at Lowes to buy three poor-man's hiking poles ($2.50 four-foot long wood dowels) and then were finally on our way. Our drive from El Paso to the park was pleasant. We stopped only at the border patrol check station and then the salt flats for a stretch and a few pics.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3550.jpg)

We got to the Pine Springs campground about 3pm. The only drive-up sites available were #13 and one of the handicapped-accessible sites. Two or three of the walk-in sites were vacant too. We liked the partly isolated look of 13 and staked our claim. I rushed off to stuff our money in the fee box.

The campground crowd seemed diverse. I spotted plates from Ohio, North Carolina, Oregon, two from California, and the rest from Texas.

We established camp (James opted to not bring a tent and planned to sleep in the car) and prepared to drive up to McKittrick Canyon for a hike. However, James declared that he was feeling pretty bad (he was just coming down with a cold or something nasty) and also we had a bit of a personal situation that required a trip to a convenience store.

We debated for a bit and decided to call off the hike. James spread out on the picnic table for a rest and Tanya and I took off for Whites City.

Whites City was a bust. Either the "grocery store" in the hotel was already closed for the day, or it was just plain closed... I didn't get the full story, but apparently it was the only game in town at that moment in time. We filled up at the little self-serve Shell station, lamented the situation we were in, and then reluctantly pushed on to Carlsbad.

We scored the necessary Tylenol and tampons at the Cheveron on the outskirts of town. The place was hoppin'. They had a special on Bud Light, and just about every person walking out of the joint was carrying a case. Not to judge a book by its cover, from the looks of them I suspected that not much beer would make it home still in the can. I wanted to get the hell out of dodge before the drunks hit the roads.

We promptly headed back to the park. We were blessed with a spectacular sunburst over the mountains as we neared the campground, and I stopped twice for photos.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3594.jpg)

With the 100-mile round trip behind us, we settled into camp and made dinner. First course was chips, salsa, and cold beer. The main course was three-cheese tortellini, maranara sauce, and chicken. Dessert was peanut butter cookies with Reeces pieces baked in. A small skunk wandered up to us, sniffed around, and took off when I dragged my feet on the gravel.

We sat at our metal picnic table while we ate and enjoyed the cool temps and air that did not smell like Houston. After spending a long summer in the hot humid hell of the Texas coastal plains, we greatly enjoyed being outside and not having to continuously wipe sweat from our foreheads. We put on our jackets and then took pictures of each other to irritate the folks back home.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3600.jpg)

A late evening rain shower hit just after we wrapped up dinner. Tanya and I hopped in the tent and James in the car.

Things cleared up after dark and I ventured out for a little night photography. Tanya slept a most glorious sleep not having the baby around requiring "boob time" every few hours.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3610.jpg)
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: tjavery on October 04, 2009, 10:16:50 PM
Day 2

We got off to a slow start. Tanya and I had decided ahead of time to make the best of our temporary no-kid situation and get as much sleep as possible. This was the first time that we had both been together and without kids since Michael (our youngest) was born last October. Nevertheless, I still got up for the sunrise.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3619.jpg)

James woke up feeling a bit worse, but we revived him with coffee and hot oatmeal. We decided to all go for the peak. We figured it would be a safe bet because he could turn back early if he got to feeling bad, or we could cache him in some bushes along the trail and fetch him on our return.

We milled around camp and watched all the other campers gear up and head off for a day of hiking. We made more coffee, visited, and enjoyed breathing the cool clean air. Fortunately, it was not too windy.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3625.jpg)

About 9am, hopped up on coffee and fresh mountain air, we geared up ourselves and walked to the trailhead.

Up and up and up we went... slowly. Tanya led and I followed at the rear, thus keeping the sicko, James, in a pocket of motivation. We stopped frequently and I kept reminding the crew that we had all day and were in no hurry.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3629.jpg)

James warmed up and felt better with some blood pumping through his veins. He and I fell into a compatible pace with Tanya stretching ahead at times.

Up and up and up... the trail was relentless. It offered a rare flat stretch now and then and even fewer downhill grades. On the steeper sections we slowed to a crawl and stopped at just about every turn to catch our breaths.

Mighty views opened up as we gained altitude. The sight of the shrinking campground marked our progress updwards.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3641.jpg)

We had all come to the park wanting to make the summit, but we also wanted exactly what we were experiencing: vast open spaces and lack of man-made crap disturbing our views. We all needed a break from the big, angry city with its claustrophobic feel and constant visual and audible assaults on our senses. It was tough hiking, but our minds and senses were pleasantly engaged with the surroundings and we were enjoying every second of it.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3656.jpg)

We met up with other groups of hikers. We all leapfrogged each other as we took breaks at different times. Everyone was friendly and we chatted back and forth.

About 1.5 miles in, we stopped for an early lunch. We were invited by a young couple from Midland to share a great little flat spot with an awesome view they'd staked out. They were the only ones we saw that day with heavy packs for an overnighter.

As we sat enjoying our food and the company, two younger guys hiked past that were engaged in a Bear Grylls vs. Les Stroud discussion. They both concluded that Bear was THE MAN and that they'd follow that dude anywhere. I said, "you gonna drink your own pee too?", but they had just passed out of earshot. We later observed that pair of knuckleheads running down the trail after their visit to the summit.

What is it that they say? Youth (and good knees) are wasted on the young...

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3684.jpg)

Up and up and up... Somewhere in the 7000's, I started feeling the altitude in a bad way. I sludged on. Somewhere around 8-grand, my lungs must have collapsed or something because I didn't seem to be extracting any oxygen from the air. Dammit if I didn't go and forget my Sherpa with O2 bottles again.

My heart thumped in my ears as I sucked and gulped the thin air. My legs attained that wooden feeling. James and I made more frequent stops, much to my wife's annoyance.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3685.jpg)

Shortly past the wood bridge, we encountered a ranger hiking back from the summit who warned us about threatenting clouds to our north. He advised that we continue on but make our summit visit quick and then get back down the trail.

We marched on. Did I mention that we were going UP? Yes, up and up and up...

Roughly 300 feet (elevation-wise) from the summit, James gave out. He stopped, sighed, and claimed he could go no further.

Tanya and I made him sit down and rest. We knew he felt bad, and if he'd done this a mile back, we would have respected his wishes. But he had made it too far to quit. We vowed to carry his sick butt the rest of the way if we had to.

After a long break, we made one last push for the summit. James continued and staggered to a finish next to the summit marker. He promptly laid down and didn't get up for the next 45 minutes.

We felt sorry for him, but we knew that in a month's time he would forget the pain and struggle and be thankful that he made the summit. (or maybe he hates us now for the forced death march :icon_lol:)

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3694.jpg)

We had made the trip up (trailhead to summit) in about four hours. I thought that was pretty good considering that I'm 50 pounds overweight (plus carrying too much food, water, and camera gear) and James was sick.

We spent a good hour up there. We rested, talked, took photos, and snacked. We signed the summit register and read some of the previous entries. Some were funny, some were serious. Some seem to indicate that the writer had discovered a higher power on their exhaustive journey up and were tripping on a natural high.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3692.jpg)

It got quite crowded at one point with about a dozen folks hanging around the summit. Normally I hate crowds while out in the wilds, but everyone we met had been very friendly and polite and I didn't mind that at all.

We observed the quiet toil and sacrifice others had made. Many of the people up there were red-faced and breathing heavily as they stood in awe of the view and their physical accomplishment. A group of 4 that we had passed earlier on the trail made it to the top about 30 minutes after we did. They had been carrying each others bags to ease the pain and struggle of the weaker ones in their group.

Everyone was in good spirits. We laughed and smiled. We traded cameras and helped take group photos of each other.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3701.jpg)

The ominous clouds off to our north fizzled out and the impending threat of storms abated somewhat. But we were pooped and ready for a hot meal and cold beer back at camp, so we headed back down. We pushed off just after 2pm.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3703.jpg)

I enjoyed the scenery much more coming back down. The trail was frequently in shade, and clouds often blocked the sun. We sailed down the first 2.5 miles quickly. I appreciated much more our lofty position as we descended. As I saw the trail wind downwards ahead of us (and quite steeply in parts), it was all the more impressive that we had made it up to the summit.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3737.jpg)

My wife discovered that she had been getting sunburned. Her skin usually has somewhat of a delayed reaction after being overexposed. She was rapidly turning a deep shade of cooked lobster. All of us took a break and applied sunscreen.

Shortly after, my knees starting acting up. The IT band on my left knee began to hurt with every downhill step. Fortunately we brought an IT support strap as part of our first aid kit. I strapped it on and it helped a little, but my pace was slowed considerably because of the pain, and the last 1.7 miles of the trail was very tough for me.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3775.jpg)

We arrived back at camp just before 5pm. Our journey had taken nearly 8 hours total.

James was spent. He mustered just enough energy to shovel some food in his mouth and down a few beers. Tanya and I were pretty exhausted too. It took about an hour for my legs to stop shaking.

Again, our first course was chips, salsa, and cold beer. We sat at our picnic table and visited for a while. We watched the other campers return from a day of exhaustive hiking. Their tired looks and red faces said it all.

Heavy, dark clouds started to fill up the NE sky, so we got on with dinner. I heated up some hot dogs and a can of chili. We tydied up camp in anticipation of rain.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3603.jpg)

We had excellent timing and were just finishing up our chili cheese dogs when the rain started. Tanya and I got into the tent and James into the car.

Unlike the previous evening, this rain was much heavier and lasted longer. Unfortunately, this meant that Tanya and I were trapped inside a small space with stinky feet and armpits. Our tent filled with a funk that was hard to endure. Then the chili started to kick in.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3811.jpg)

But at least we had a bit of ventilation, even with the rain fly on. I can't imagine what James was inhaling while sealed inside the car. Of course he was probably knocked out by that point from all the cold medicine and beer.

About 30 minutes after sunset, the rain stopped and the skies cleared. The first stars of the evening sparkled brightly in the dim sky.

Tanya was pooped and got ready for bed. James was already tucked in for the night and was veiled by fogged-up car windows. I was restless and tired of the bad air in our tent so I set off for a stroll.

It felt good to walk slowly and stretch my legs as I wandered about the campgrounds. All campsites appeared to be taken (except for the group site), even the handicapped-accessible sites were occupied. It was very quiet. Everyone must have turned in early because of the rain.

I walked down through the group campsite in the cool, damp air and towards the visitor center. Then I walked up to the RV section. I saw some movement and spied a large non-tarantula spider on the sidewalk. It paused for my inspection. Its jet black eyes sparkled in the light of my LED headlamp. It was one of those quiet moments where I suddenly felt like a kid again, fascinated with any and every detail in front of me.

A new storm was headed our way. Ominous clouds in the NE sky flashed purple with lightening. Distant rumbles shook the still air.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3817.jpg)

About an hour and a half after sunset, the storm was getting closer, but the sky immediately over us and to our south was somewhat clear. I walked back to our tent and confirmed that the foot/armpit/ass funk was still present. I decided to stay out a little longer and take more night sky photos.

I turned in shortly before the second wave of rain. My chili-cheese dogs revisited us just before midnight. Fortunately, my wife was asleep when that storm hit.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3827.jpg)
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: tjavery on October 04, 2009, 10:21:44 PM
Day 3

I tossed and turned that night and just couldn't get comfortable. The wind picked up and the temps dropped a bit more than the night before. The wind was great because it dried out everything. I wasn't looking forward to packing up soggy camping gear the next morning.

I woke up for good shortly after 5am. Tanya was restless too, but she managed to sleep to nearly 7am.

I bailed out around 6am, camera in hand, and set off for sunrise photos. The clear skies looked as if some of the nasty haze had blown off.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3866.jpg)

On the way back, I made a pit stop at the composting toilets. I couldn't figure out what smelled worse- the toilets or me. My body funk after two days with no shower was building up exponentially, despite my frequent baby-wipe baths.

In a moment of bad judgement and desperation, I decided to get creative with the hand sanitizer. If anyone heard a little man-screaming coming from the composting toilets on the morning of Sunday, September 20th in the Pine Springs campground, that was the result of 65% alcohol content gel hitting my nether-regions.

After the stinging subsided a bit, I recomposed myself and walked back to campsite 13. I have to admit, despite the brief agony, I did smell a whole lot better.

Tanya was up and getting herself together. We woke up James and then made coffee and hot oatmeal. Some bastards near us were cooking bacon. In our sleep and calorie deprived state, we were ready to pillage their campsite for a better smelling breakfast.

We took things slow and enjoyed our morning. It was windy and chilly, but the sun was out and warmed us up nicely.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3876.jpg)

After packing up and dumping the trash, we left our walking sticks at the trailhead, hit the visitor center to buy a few gifts, and then made our way to McKittrick Canyon.

I was thankful that I was NOT driving too fast on the narrow park road to the canyon. I had just enough time to stop the car before running over two javelinas that were hanging out in the middle of the road as we came around a curve. James nearly came out of the backseat, headed face-first towards the dashboard, but managed to wake himself up and stop his forward lurch.

When we got to the parking lot, James, feeling no better, decided to nap in the car while Tanya and I hiked. We got going sometime after 9am. The skies had cleared to a deep, beautiful blue and the wind was blowing steadily.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3916.jpg)

The trail was relatively flat and open for the first mile or so, and we passed two dry stream crossings. Then we reached a more wooded area and encountered a stream filled with clear running water. It was amazingly beautiful.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3892.jpg)

We hiked on and reached another crossing of the same stream. We ventured a bit past that crossing (roughly 1.75 miles from the trailhead) and then decided to turn back. We really, really did not want to leave. The canyon was amazing and we wanted to see more.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3914.jpg)

Back at the parking lot, we woke up James and got ready to leave. I squatted down to sort out some gear on the ground and experienced an explosive ripping sensation in the back of my shorts. No, it was not the remnants of the chili dogs, but rather my fat butt trying to force its way through the fabric attempting to contain it. Fortunately I had one last pair of clean shorts packed in my suitcase (and most fortunately, this all happened in a deserted parking lot and not later on at the airport).

After a light moment of laughing at my butt-blow-out, I quickly changed shorts and then we hauled it back to El Paso. We hoped that James could catch an earlier flight because he was pretty miserable and needed to get home. We had offered at an earlier point (even the night before) to cut the trip short and take him to a clinic or emergency room, but he refused.

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3921.jpg)

We checked in just after 1:30pm, and James discovered that the 2:30 flight was booked up. He could go on standby for a meager fee of $50. Not wanting to be financially raped by the airlines by yet another fee, he passed and opted to have lunch with us at the airport and then take our scheduled flight at 4pm.

The flight went very well. Terminal B was even more crowded on our return. The restroom stench was still there. I didn't venture in, so I'm not sure if the "comments" had been accepted or not.

We parted ways with James in baggage and wished him a speedy recovery. He shuffled off in his zombie-like, head-packed-full-of-snot state. We picked up our little knee-biters from their grandparents and returned to the hot, humid, hell we call home.


Epilogue

James made it to a doctor and was tested for swine flu. It was negative, but he had one hell of an ear and sinus infection and was put on two types of antibiotics.

My calves were sore and screamed at me for about 5 days. My butt is still fat. Somehow I managed to gain 5 pounds on the trip. WTF?

Continental ExpressJet provided us great service with no problems. I've heard a lot of bad things about them, but our trip went very well.

Our gear plan worked great. Things were just right with two large suitcases/roller bags (they were about the max. dimensions allowed), and we even managed to squeeze in foam pads AND Thermarest air mattresses for extra-comfy sleeping. We bought just a little bit too much food at Walmart but not by much. The only hitch was needing some supplies AFTER getting to the park, but that was an unexpected event (don't ask... it involves the post-pregnancy, end-stages-of-breast-feeding female inner workings).

I understand the intrigue and attraction to personally visiting the high points of our lands, but I cannot say that Guadalupe Peak was any better than some of the views and places in Big Bend. I think that cresting the South Rim from Boot Canyon is probably my all-time favorite outdoor experience involving some altitude.
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: Al on October 04, 2009, 10:51:04 PM
WOW on the photos and the trip report!  Has to be on the short list of best report, especially with the incredible photos, for this year.

Al

Got to love that shot of the Guads flying in.
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: SA Bill on October 04, 2009, 11:14:38 PM
Wonderful report TJ! I loved all of the B&W pics. Very Ansel like. Great prose to go along with the pics.

I'm planning a visit to GUMO in the spring...including a summit attempt...last time I was up on top was about 20 years ago! I'm also going to hike out the El Capitan trail as a day hike. Should be great views back up at El Capitan.

Where did you stop for the Salt Flats pic? I've never expored that part of GUMO.
  Bill
 
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: homerboy2u on October 04, 2009, 11:19:11 PM
Al beat me to it...by a couple of minutes. I was reading.  :eusa_snooty:

  Spectacular trip report, as a matter of fact, it is the first time i have seen a Guad-Peak trip report with detailed pictures of it. I can live with the 3 day human odor-wife pregnancy recovery- Bellied up best friend issues. We all have one just like that back home  :icon_lol:. What i could not live myself with, would be ascending to the summit and at 300 ft. to the top , give out. Thank God he had you two fellas with him to push him up.

 Should you want to post more pictures, i would have no problems in enjoying them.

 Muchas Gracias for your trip report.

Homero
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: dkerr24 on October 04, 2009, 11:26:07 PM
Great trip report!  

If you really want peace and solitude, you should check out the Dog Canyon side of the park.  When I visited GUMO in May '08, the Dog Canyon side was only occupied by me, two folks in another campsite, and the ranger and a couple of volunteers.  No noisy highway nearby, and really not much wind as the mountains protect it from all but winters' north wind.  I stayed in both Dog Canyon and Pine Springs and found Dog Canyon more to my liking.

The only way to access Dog Canyon is to drive through Carlsbad, then head north on Hwy 285 until you hit Hwy 137 (Queens Hwy).  It's a nice paved road all the way back to the TX/NM border, followed by 1/4 mile of gravel road into Dog Canyon.
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: badknees on October 04, 2009, 11:34:20 PM
Thanks TJ, very entertaining. Nice pics.
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: Al on October 04, 2009, 11:43:48 PM
I'll be surprised if Richard doesn't have to split this thread out a few times for: body odor; gas, etc. and there are no related comments . . .

Al
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: fartymarty on October 04, 2009, 11:59:54 PM
Quote from: tjavery
Unfortunately, this meant that Tanya and I were trapped inside a small space with stinky feet and armpits. Our tent filled with a funk that was hard to endure. Then the chili started to kick in.
tj,never let it be said that you don't know how to show the little lady a good time! :icon_lol:

Great pictures as usual thanks for the report. :eusa_clap:


Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: Al on October 05, 2009, 12:17:14 AM
Sounds to me like the "little lady" kicked his ass. I'd try eating more raw onions and beans!

Al
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: trtlrock on October 05, 2009, 01:19:56 AM
A very funny report.

I do believe TJ could be placed into a featureless room with no furniture -- nothing but identically painted off-white floor, walls, & ceiling, and still come up with remarkable & compelling shots.  :eusa_clap:
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: mule ears on October 05, 2009, 08:28:07 AM
Great report and photos, as usual. Glad you got away without the kids and got the peak bagged. Haven't you been warned about the chili before?  :eusa_hand:
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: chisos_muse on October 05, 2009, 09:08:11 AM
WOW great report! And Michael is weaned!  :eusa_clap: I remember those days....seems like it was so long ago because.....it was!  :icon_redface:

Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: tjavery on October 05, 2009, 10:16:38 AM
Thanks all of you for your comments. I appreciate them. Sorry the write-up was long, I guess I was bored.

Where did you stop for the Salt Flats pic? I've never expored that part of GUMO.

The salt flats pic was taken along the highway about 15 miles (highway miles) from the visitor center. There's a small pull-off along the road (on the north side of the road). You'll notice this easily because the fenceline suddenly leaves the side of the road and runs off into the distance. You can stop and freely walk out onto the flats. I have no idea whether it's public or private, but it's wide open.

Should you want to post more pictures, i would have no problems in enjoying them.

I posted most of my photos above, but I did leave out a few. To see all of them, please visit my website:
http://www.texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/tr.html (http://www.texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/tr.html)

tj,never let it be said that you don't know how to show the little lady a good time! :icon_lol:

Sounds to me like the "little lady" kicked his ass. I'd try eating more raw onions and beans!

Haven't you been warned about the chili before?  :eusa_hand:

Never, never, never, never, never eat chili (canned or home-made) while camping. (you'd think I'd've learned this by now; this past experience wasn't the first time)

The little lady can endure things most normal humans cannot. After 14 years with me plus having two boys (my offspring), she's used to a whole lot :icon_lol:

WOW great report! And Michael is weaned!  :eusa_clap: I remember those days....seems like it was so long ago because.....it was!  :icon_redface:

Well, he's not quite weaned yet, but he's close. If we could just get him to sleep 8 hours straight.... :willynilly:
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: chris on October 05, 2009, 12:42:05 PM

We then hit a super Walmart to pick up food and supplies. Afterwards, James spied a restaurant / brewery (Jaxon's). He and I are both beer fanatics, so we went for it. The food was pretty good but the brewery was down and draft beer was not available. This would not be the first disappointment of the trip.


I went to elementary school in El Paso and can vouch for Jaxon's.  Actually I had their beer for the first time this past February when I was out there.  Both the food and the beer there are great, although as a few of my friends out there will say "it's a place for white people to eat!"   :icon_lol:
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: chris on October 05, 2009, 12:43:36 PM
Oh yes, and more importantly those are some amazing shots, particularly of the nighttime sky!  It makes me want to venture out there, seeing as I haven't been out there since I was, oh nine or ten.
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: westtex on October 05, 2009, 12:55:26 PM

We then hit a super Walmart to pick up food and supplies. Afterwards, James spied a restaurant / brewery (Jaxon's). He and I are both beer fanatics, so we went for it. The food was pretty good but the brewery was down and draft beer was not available. This would not be the first disappointment of the trip.


I went to elementary school in El Paso and can vouch for Jaxon's.  Actually I had their beer for the first time this past February when I was out there.  Both the food and the beer there are great, although as a few of my friends out there will say "it's a place for white people to eat!"   :icon_lol:

I've been living in El Paso for a few months now and would recommend not going to any of the Jaxson's locations.  The beer was sub-par and food was about the same.  We tried two different locations because we too are beer fanatics, but we were let down both times by poor food and beer.  Very much a white person place to eat.  

However, if any beer fanatics make it up to Las Curces, a stop at the High Desert Brewing Co. is essential.

Thanks for the nice photos, sorry about hijacking the thread.  
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: homerboy2u on October 05, 2009, 03:14:38 PM
Both the food and the beer there are great, although as a few of my friends out there will say "it's a place for white people to eat!"   :icon_lol:

 I dont get it... :eusa_doh:

  Very much a white person place to eat.

 I still dont get it..... :eusa_eh:
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: westtex on October 05, 2009, 03:38:26 PM
Homerboy2u:

I think we both are saying that it is a place where very little culture can be observed, they serve very normal American food but attempt to be something other than what they are: a chain restaurant.  Much like the state of Colorado.  
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: tjavery on October 05, 2009, 03:39:56 PM
Thanks guys... no problem with a discussion about beer :icon_lol: :kaos-cactus06:

Both the food and the beer there are great, although as a few of my friends out there will say "it's a place for white people to eat!"   :icon_lol:

 I dont get it... :eusa_doh:

  Very much a white person place to eat.

 I still dont get it..... :eusa_eh:

I think what they're getting at is it's Americanized/Tex-Mex "Mexican" food. It was more like a Chili's than a local "hole-in-the-wall" joint (where you usually find the best food).

I will say that my wife got a hamburger there and it was amazing. I teased her for ordering that in a "Mexican" food restaurant, but it was pretty damn good.
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: TexasAggieHiker on October 05, 2009, 04:50:13 PM
Awesome and hilarious report!  I LOVE the pic from the plane. 
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: chris on October 05, 2009, 06:08:51 PM
Thanks guys... no problem with a discussion about beer :icon_lol: :kaos-cactus06:

Both the food and the beer there are great, although as a few of my friends out there will say "it's a place for white people to eat!"   :icon_lol:

 I dont get it... :eusa_doh:

  Very much a white person place to eat.

 I still dont get it..... :eusa_eh:

I think what they're getting at is it's Americanized/Tex-Mex "Mexican" food. It was more like a Chili's than a local "hole-in-the-wall" joint (where you usually find the best food).

I will say that my wife got a hamburger there and it was amazing. I teased her for ordering that in a "Mexican" food restaurant, but it was pretty damn good.

Bingo!  If you're in El Paso again, it may be worth stopping at a Chico's Tacos; the one on Alameda is especially good for authentic local fare.  Much, much different than Jaxon's/Jaxson's though.  That being said, I am pretty sure I am one of the few people who's left El Paso that sincerely misses it...
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: Roy on October 05, 2009, 06:58:39 PM
Much like the state of Colorado.  

Yeah.  Once, in a restaurant in Estes Park,  we tried to get salsa verde for our morning eggs.  They had no idea what we were talking about.  So we tried for picante, then Tobasco;  nada, no way, a total whiff.  All they had was salt and pepper.  That's about as "white" as it gets.


Helluva a trip,  TJ;  but I llike the pics, especially the sunrise throught the tree limbs.  I'll remember to stay upwind from you at all times.
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: homerboy2u on October 05, 2009, 07:50:04 PM
Homerboy2u:

I think we both are saying that it is a place where very little culture can be observed, they serve very normal American food but attempt to be something other than what they are: a chain restaurant.  Much like the state of Colorado.  

 Honestly, i did not get it back then. I do understand now.....Colorado!! , Bingo. Now Thomas, please veer this TR back to it{s course. Some pictures from your website would help. :eusa_drool:
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: tjavery on October 05, 2009, 11:40:22 PM
Awesome and hilarious report!  I LOVE the pic from the plane.

Thanks! I had to jack up the contrast on that photo because it was really hazy the day we flew in. We had better air quality on the flight home, but I was sitting on the wrong side of the plane to get a pic.

Helluva a trip,  TJ;  but I like the pics, especially the sunrise throught the tree limbs.  I'll remember to stay upwind from you at all times.

Thanks, Roy. Just keep me away from an open flame or other ignition source.

Some pictures from your website would help. :eusa_drool:

As I mentioned previously, there are more pics that I didn't originally post. You can find all of them here:
http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/tr.html (http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/tr.html)


But if that's still not enough for you, then... well, here you go- 12 more extra, just for you, Homero:

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3543.jpg)

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3623.jpg)

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3667.jpg)

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3707.jpg)

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3713.jpg)

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3716.jpg)

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3757.jpg)

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3766.jpg)

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3789.jpg)

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3810.jpg)

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3816.jpg)

(http://texbrick.com/photo/gumo09/3841.jpg)


Don't fuss at me if your wife is beating you on the head because it's stuck to your monitor too long into the night. Mine's already getting irritated at me :pissed:
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: homerboy2u on October 06, 2009, 09:33:46 AM
I know you had posted the link to your website, i even went there to check them out. But somehow, it is nicer to see them here with the rest of the friends to comment them.

Saludos
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: randell on October 06, 2009, 02:40:15 PM
Great report.  McKittrick Canyon is so beautiful.  I can't believe it was not until my 4th trip to the park until I visited it.  Those star shots are the best.
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: tjavery on October 06, 2009, 03:18:19 PM
Great report.  McKittrick Canyon is so beautiful.  I can't believe it was not until my 4th trip to the park until I visited it.  Those star shots are the best.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: lparent on October 10, 2009, 10:07:53 PM
Great photos!  Last time I was on Guadalupe Peak was in January.  I was trying to get sunset photos from the top.  As I neared the summit, a cold front blew in.  It was loaded with dust, so the photos weren't very good, it was cold as hell, and the wind about blew us off the mountain as we hiked down in the dark.
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: Terlingua50337 on October 10, 2009, 10:16:28 PM
The B/W Yucca is nice
Title: Re: Report: First Trip to GUMO
Post by: tjavery on October 12, 2009, 08:12:24 AM
Thanks, guys! I appreciate your comments.