Day 5 (Click
on photo to look at photos)
The omen of changing weather didn't
appear to have been fulfilled, as it was a nice bright morning, and I
set out to visit Hot Springs and walk the trail over to Rio Grande
Village and back.
The Hot Springs were occupied by a young couple, clearly enjoying
themselves, so with a greeting to them, I headed off down the trail.
What great views and what a profusion of desert plants were laying in
store for me. The walk was good, somewhat meandering, up and down the
ridges, with the high mountains on the Mexican side looking clearer by
I took it quite slowly on the walk out to Rio Grande Village, as the
plants were so spectacular, and I kept making detours to investigate
yet another interesting clump of plants. Eventually I arrived down the
long slope at the Rio Grande village campground, where the trees were
blowing quite strongly in the wind. I watched a group of people
launching some inflatables which they were going to take down river for
a couple of days or so, and then had my lunch. By this time, I had
developed a routine of making sure I ate a good breakfast - not
difficult in the US - and took only a snack for lunch, usually high
sugar content as well for energy, and of course plenty of water to
drink. Although the temperatures weren't excessive (up to mid 70's in
the sun), a morning's good walking certainly needed to be replenished.
On the way back, the wind became more obvious, and it also had quite a
chill to it. This must be the cold front that the weather forecasters
had been talking about. I stopped at the Park HQ to phone home - it was
10pm in UK by then - and talking on the phone which of course is
outside got me pretty well chilled. Wrapping up well, I parked at
Dugout Wells and walked round the Chihuiahuan Desert Trail which was
interesting, and being that side of the Park drove up towards Marathon.
By the time I got there it was raining, and well before I reached
Alpine this had turned to snow! It really looked pretty in the dark
with street lights twinkling off the snow. Time for a good meal before
turning in, and to listen to the weather reports and of course the
progress of the election. Little did I know the long running saga that
that would become!