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South Texas
South Texas has a way different feel to it, than the panhandle, and western sections through which I had passed before. There is desolation, and anger here. The city of El Paso was downright frightening, and I did not stay there long. There was lots of Border Patrol activity here, and I saw several stops, spot checks, and Border Patrol vehicles.  This could all be stopped by simply closing the border, as we have done in the past. There is a culture clash going on here which almost amounts to a war. The people up north, who think that the answer is opening the borders even more, should come down here and see what it is doing to this part of the country.

The sun is sinking really low, and I am still barely in Texas. I have a loop through Texas to travel, before re entering New Mexico to stop at Carlsbad.

Nearing El Paso. I passed a number of feed lots, many of which seemed to go on for miles, with a characteristic odor. I spent only enough time here to gas up and leave. Adding to my concern was the fact that this city is right on the border. One wrong turn, or incorrect exit would put me in Mexico. For a person with a pair of handguns in the back, this would not have been a good thing.

Guadeloupe Mountains National Park headquarters. It is late at night and I am out the middle of the country. I will not even attempt to get the rest of the way to Carlsbad Cavern. There is camping here, and the place seems very pleasant and peaceful.

My van sits in the headquarters parking lot, while I look at the park map, and try to determine how to get to the campground.

Guadeloupe rears up against the night sky.

The mountain, as seen entering the campground.

A deer feeds on the grass of the median strip, in the middle of the night.

The campground sits at the base of the mountain. Trails lead up, through, and all around these mountains.

A look at the other end of the campground. Coming in at night, I had to stop at the self service drop box, and deposit an envelope with payment, and my license number, as well as the number of the campsite that I used. Rangers do check the drop box, and the campsite, and failure to register and pay could be cause for a rude awakening.

No time or energy for a picnic, despite the benches, trees, and public areas of the campgrounds. A few minutes on the computer, looking over my photos, and then I will wrap myself up, and go to sleep.

My van sits at the foot of the mountain. This was one of the most quiet and peaceful places I have ever stayed. Rarely have I slept so soundly, or so long.

Twelve hours latter, I am awake. A great and uninterrupted night's sleep has deposited me into a bright and promising morning. In contrast to the dark tense feelings of the previous day, things are now light, cheerful, and shaping themselves into a pleasant and interesting day.

My van is visible towards the lower left of the photo. There is much to be said for waking up near a mountain.

Rest rooms, phones, vending machines, and other comforts of the road and campground.

I am just about ready to leave, having taken some photos, washed up a bit, and taken care of all of the usual morning rituals. Carlsbad Cavern is an hour or so away.

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