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Road Trip – Day 8

Day 8 (Monday, December 08, 2003)

Ryan and I got up and ate some breakfast, bacon and egg, which Susie had kindly prepared for us. We packed up and headed out. On the way out, we stopped in Fort Worth to see the Water Gardens. The park allowed you to walk down to the bottom of the water display, something Ryan and I decided would never be allowed in Seattle due to public safety concerns.

After seeing the Water Gardens, we headed west on I-20. We are trying to figure out how toward Carlsbad Caverns, where we will camp the night.

1:41 pm — 8 miles: Ryan forgot to reset the trip odometer this morning, so about 150 miles into the trip at Abilene Scott resets the odometer and we continue on.

3:28 pm — 31.2 miles: After stopping for lunch at a Texas Grill where we had somewhat overcooked but still very good peppered ribeye steaks served by a brand new but pretty waitress (Ryan gives her a “9”) for $28.18 plus a $4.26 (14.7% – she was hot, but the steaks were overcooked), we hit the road again.

4:25 pm — 99.9 miles: I call my dad for information on camping place because ehe has internet access. He calls back with some good information: Carlsbad Caverns NP discourages camping, Guadalupe encourages it. We will be staying at Pine Springs camp ground at the Guadalupe Mountains national park.

8:30 pm — 348.1 miles: We arrive at the campground. We don’t know where to pay the $8, so we decide we’ll figure it out later and proceed to set up camp for the night. The wind is strong and gusty, giving us trouble while setting up the tent. We place a few rocks inside the tent and on the tarp to try to keep things in place, and then we start working on dinner. While we are waiting for the water to boil, a big gust of wind picks up the tent and, along with the rocks and sleeping bags in it, moves it about ten feet from the tarp, until it snags on some brush. The wind proceeds to get the tarp out from under three of the four rocks we placed on top. Finally, the water is boiling and we add the pasta and sauce, only to have the camp stove die on us. We refill the camp stove fuel bottle from the extra fuel bottle we have with us, and finish cooking the pasta. It is alright, it pales in comparison to the mac and cheese and the chicken and rice we cooked before, and it can’t compare to the steaks of earlier in the day. By 10:30, we get into bed for some needed rest.

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