As we drove deeper into west Texas, life started to move in slow motion.
To breakup the drive to Guadalupe Mountains National Park, we spent a night in Marfa, Tx.
En route, and through spotty cellphone service, we Googled potential campgrounds. El Cosmico promised “a second home to intrepid travelers and wanders from all corners of the planet.”
Once we stepped onto the property, a sense of calm washed over us. A ukulele rendition of the Beatles’ “Blackbird” wafted through the air.
We setup our tent in the field, but El Cosmico also offers vintage trailers, yurts, tepees, or a parking lot for your VW camper van.
Even though the site is nestled between a road and train tracks, the outside world slipped away. The owners have created a special space where one could easily rationalize spending all day in the hammock grove.
If El Cosmico was a retreat, Guadalupe Mountains National Park was a piece of heaven on earth.
As we approached the park, we ascended into an isolated mountain range oasis seemingly dropped into the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert. It was as if someone pointed to a random spot of land and said, “let’s put a mountain range here!”
For $8 a night, we had a private view of the mountains. Trees and tall bushes veiled us from neighboring campsites.
We hiked to the “Top of Texas” using the Guadalupe Peak Trail. The strain of 3,000 feet elevation gain in 4.2 miles was quickly forgotten as we approached the 360° view from 8,749 feet.
As my eyes filled with hills, valleys, and desert flats my mind drifted into a meditative state.
For me, being outside and on the trail is a form of therapy. It quiets the buzz of routine and amplifies my inner dialogue. With this heightened sense of self-awareness, floating thoughts take shape.
Suppressed thoughts percolate to the surface and I have wrestle with them.
We greeted the next day with a sunrise hike. Perched on a rock, we had an unobstructed view of the sun as it gradually crawled over the horizon.
Some 260 million years ago, the Guadalupe Mountains were part of the Capitan Reef. Now the range is one of the best preserved fossil reefs in the world.
If reef can become mountain, it is clear our world offers no promises or guarantees. It is best to stand back in appreciation, rather than expectation.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park brought me peace and left a mark on my soul.
Is there a place that brings you a sense of calm? I’d love to hear about it.