Guadalupe Canyon, Mexico with Ash, James, and Dana.
Getting there was half the fun. I couldn't believe it when we turned off the highway and saw a dry lake bed that had a few tire tracks on it and went as far as the eye could see. James headed out, avoiding the burnt-out abandoned cars, stacks of old tires, and bushes that came out of nowhere for 30 miles. (There are no paved roads and just a few random signs telling you how to get to the campsite. But all roads eventually do lead there.) Then, he managed to make it the last seven miles over boulders and sand without damaging the car or getting stuck.
Once at Guadalupe Canyon Hot Springs, we ate really good meat cooked over hot coals, we drank a lot, and we laughed. A lot. We sat and soaked in the mineral-water-filled hot tub in our campsite under more stars than I've ever seen.
Saturday, we hiked in the gorgeous sunshine and dipped our toes (some in our party dipped their entire bodies) in the ice-cold mountain springs and waterfalls. We braved the elements and helped James (outdoorsman extraordinaire and my camping hero for many reasons) repair the tent (twice) when poles snapped because of the winds in the middle of the night.
It's funny how invigorating it is to spend a weekend getting dirty and tired and how sleeping less and working more for basic things (like a hot meal) are actually energizing. The seven-hour drive home was well worth it, in spite of the border wait.
Ash, James, Dana, and Leo — thanks for a great weekend.