My family loves to hike! We always have. We normally do our hiking in the winter because… Texas. This time was no exception. With some cousins, we headed to El Capitan to try to conquer this trail!
As usual, our hike was on Saturday. We got up bright and early… Actually, it was just early. There is nothing bright about five o’clock in the morning. We loaded up at our house then stopped by our cousins’ house to pick them up. Then we started the three hour drive to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
All of us had hiked up the Guadalupe Peak before, most of us multiple times. (The Peak is one of our favorite trails to hike. There will definitely be a blog post about that one of these days!) The Peak is rated as strenuous, while El Capitan is rated as intermediate, so we were positive that it wouldn’t be a that difficult of a hike. But there were some unforeseeable challenges that made it much more difficult!
Challenges on the El Capitan Trail
The first challenge was that we couldn’t start as early as we like. We arrived on time, but there was a fire and because the rangers weren’t sure which way the wind was going to go, we weren’t able to start when we wanted to.
The second challenge was an upset stomach. One of the boys was not feeling very well. He had felt fine in the morning, and was determined to make it!
Once we got the go-ahead from the ranger, we headed out on the trail. We were taken off guard by the fact that the trail was harder than we had anticipated. The whole family enjoys a challenge, so we tackled it wholeheartedly.
We ate lunch on the trail. The trail just kept going. Normally, we try to eat lunch at around the halfway point, but at this point we had no idea how long it was until the end. The group kept going, but with a stomach-ached boy and no point of reference of how far it was until the end, we weren’t sure if we’d be able to get back before it was time for the gates to close.
Finally, we decided that it was time to turn around. It was a disappointing decision because we’ve never not finished a trail before. Especially after being sure it would be a fairly easy trail, it was discouraging to not finish.
Despite the disappointing finish or lack thereof, we had a great time! We enjoyed good visiting, got a good exercise, saw some beautiful scenery, and ate some good food!
In that case, I would say that the El Capitan hike was a success!
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