guadalupe mountains // an overnighter

Another quick stop I made on the road trip was Guadalupe Mountains National Park, on the border of Texas and New Mexico.

Yet another first for me.  I mean, I’ve passed this park on the long drive from Dallas to El Paso a few times, but never stopped long enough to photograph.

So, on my way from ABQ airport, where I dropped Elle off, to Big Bend National Park, I stopped to stay the night at Pine Springs Campground the Guadalupe Mountains.

I arrived after dark… so the darkened outline of mountains against a big sky full of stars were all I could see…

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The Milky Way shone bright and colorful.

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I got a few hours of sleep, then woke before the sun to find a spot to photograph what is called “the signature peak” of West Texas, El Capitan.

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This exercise reminded me how insanely difficult it is to show up, in the dark, at a brand new location, and expect to find “the perfect” location for a sunrise shot.

I did my very best, but never really felt I came away with the image  wanted.  Oh well… a good excuse to go back and explore this beautiful park!

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I tried several locations, and then decided it was time to move on and high tail it to Big Bend!

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On the way, the ranches of the Chihuahuan Desert beckoned me to stop frequently to shoot…

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I was excited and anxious to get to Big Bend.  Like I’ve said before, I’ve been going to Big Bend every year for the last 10+, with the exception of 2012.

It was high time to get in a good visit to this desert/ mountain/ river paradise.

all images + content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013