April 21 - by Madison
Today we went to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Since all you can really do in this park is hike, we went on a hike. We went on an 8.4 mile hike, and the elevation gain was 8,736 feet. This hike is called Guadalupe Peak it is the highest point in Texas.
The rangers all said that we should leave early because it takes the average person 6-8 hours to hike this hike, and because we were kids we should leave about an extra hour.
When we started this hike I was so tiered, and we were only 5 minutes into the hike. Before we left I drank 2 cups of water and I also ate a yogurt so I wasn't sure why I was so tired. Part of the reason could have been we were practically going straight up the mountain.
We passed a couple people who said that it took them 3 ½ hours to get to the top. I was assuming that it would take us longer because they looked like people who have done this trail multiple times and it was our first time doing this trail. As we were hiking I was getting less and less tired, and I assumed that this would be good because if I was getting less tiered that would mean that I would get to the top without having my dad carry me or have the rescue rangers come and get me.
We were hiking and we saw cactuses, trees, bugs, beetles and people. This is what we saw the whole way up. On the way up we kept asking people how much longer or how many minutes it would take to get to the top of the peak. On the way we saw a ranger who told us that all you need to remember on a hike is food, water and pace. You need to consider the amount of time it will take you to get to the top, this means planning out how much food and water you should take.
You also need to keep a good pace and make sure that you will get back before sunset or before it starts to get dark. When we were done taking to the ranger we hiked for about 1 hour and then we saw some people who said that they have been walking down for about 45 minutes. We were at exactly 2 hours into the hike and we were going to try to get up in 2 ½ hours. We made it up in 2 hours and 25 minutes! Lots of people were surprised that we made it up in this amount of time because they said that it took them 5 hours to get up. I thought that this was surprising because all the people that told us this looked in good shape, so I don’t know why it took them so long to get up.
I liked it at the top because the view was amazing and we were overlooking El Capitan, which is the most famous view point here. We stayed at the top for about 40 minutes and then we decided to head back down. My Dad said that I was like a leaf blower because it takes me a while to get started, but once I am started I can go at that pace for a while. We were also comparing this hike to what we did yesterday - we hiked down into a cave yesterday and we hiked up a mountain today. I thought that was neat because we went underground and then over the ground all in 48 hours. We also talked about if there were any possible ways that Ryan, our cousin, could come out and visit us.
We decided that if there is an airport near a place we are going in Utah he could fly out and then fly back in Colorado, where my mom comes to see us. When we got to the point where we were hiking for 1 hour on the way up, we decided that we wanted to get back in less than 5 hours total. We met our goal! We got back in 4 hours and 45 minutes! I thought that this was pretty funny because it took a lot of people who do this over 5 hours just to go one way, and the Rangers said that the average time is 6-8 hours. When we got back into the RV we drove the visitor center we went to a ranger program. I had a really fun day.