Guadalupe on my mind

At work the other day we were doing some kind of icebreaker—the usual kind of introduce yourself to people, the unusual aspect of it being people you've never met, although I suppose that's also usual more—and I mentioned I'd like to go back to the Guadalupe Mountains. Now the thought is rattling around in my head.

That's the place I wanted to be for my fortieth birthday. Guadalupe Peak is one of my... I don't know... call it a power center, although that sounds like essential oils and crystals. But in December 2020, Texas was full of COVID so I didn't even honestly consider going.

Now, with a second vaccine shot in my arm today, it's close enough to touch, it's close enough to see—in my mind, at least, but even it was far away quite recently. But there it is now. Like that lonely highway TX-54 north out of Van Horn where the Guadalupe Mountains begin to coalesce as a rock lump in the distance, growing slowly as you merge into US-62 to roll around the east side of the old reef, El Capitán resolving into its own dominating forward-thrusting feature, the road gaining small altitude until you can ditch that infernal machine at Pine Springs, take a few steps up the trail, then a few steps more, and let the mountain hold you in its dry limestone arms.

It doesn't sound like much—and it isn't—but the thought is enough. For now.

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