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 the minute.

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!