Day 2, August 1:

I am happy to report my marriage is still intact and we haven’t thrown any children out the window yet. There were a few hairy moments that test your ability to gracefully parent your kids.

A was a little nervous about staying at a local Inn over a recognizable chain, but I’m so glad we stayed at The Stone Village Tourist Camp. Fort Davis, Texas is a small town that has huge history. You can visit the old ruins from the original fort and join a Star Party at the local observatory. Ryan walked a stones throw away and bought us delicious coffee. The store has their own signature blend that made the cool morning cozy on our front porch. We stopped in at St. Joseph’s to give thanks for an already amazing trip and safe travels for the remainder of our vacation.

Our porch at The Stone Village Tourist Camp

St. Joseph Catholic Church

Prada museum in the middle of nowhere

We made it to Gudalupe Mountains National Park. The park is home to the tallest summit in Texas, El Capitan. The girls earned their very first Ranger Badges and patches. Outside the visitors center we met a family with three kids on their way to Fort Davis. The children were highly decorated Junior Rangers. Upon their suggestion we drove thirty minutes away to Carlsbad Caverns to watch the bat flight just after sunset. We set up our camp site and the drive into town for dinner at the Cactus Cafe. Pretty much the only restaurant outside Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Cameras and phones must be turned off so not to disturb the bats.

The ranger said there were estimated to have 160,000 bats in the cave. We waited with anxious anticipation in complete silence. After the sun had set what looked like a swirl of smoke slowly rose out of the deep cave. It became thicker as the mob of bats made their way to their preferred feeding grounds. You could see their trail as they disappeared into the distance. The picture below was taken the following day when we hiked I to the Caverns.

The entrance into the cavern taken on day 3

We made it back from the Caverns pretty late and decided to give the kids a bath with wipes in the parking lot of the national park. We all brushed our teeth and changed into pajamas. Ryan and I were able to enjoy the stars, and at 6500 feet the constellations were bigger and we saw soanu shooting stars.

Day 3 August 2

Sunrises, cool temperatures and a view of Mount Capitan

I don’t want to leave our campsite either Maddy

We (meaning Ryan) packed up our tent and headed to the Caverns . Our stay at the Guadalupe Mountains could have only have been better with a hike, but with limited time and little legs that needed energy for the Caverns we made a mental note to visit soon.

At the entrance of the cavern is a scorching 100 degrees, hello again heat. The temperature in the Caverns stay in the mid 50s. The girls complained of their freezing hands and feet towards the end of our tour. It took us about three hours to walk the Caverns. We took the elevator back out. The girls finished their ranger bookelt and earned another bagde. We are working on our public speaking skills.

Back to the Caverns to start the 800 foot decent
Inside the Great Room, Carlsbad Caverns

Ranger Mark approving their 2nd badge

We left the park and headed toward Arizona and decided to drive as far as we could. We decided to stay off the interstate and go through small towns. We landed at a renovated hotel in the middle of a town. We arrived around 10pm and was greeted by the hotel manager who lives upstairs. Walking up to our hotel in the middle of the night I felt like I was in those old westerns like Gunsmoke. I thought I may see Miss Kitty at the saloon downstairs and offer us a place to sleep off the booze upstairs.

Our room was on the first floor past the dining room. We were the first door down a long hall of other rooms. The room was inviting and cozy. There was lavender being diffused at the beside. We took showers with lavender infused shampoo and shower gel. The two full beds were clean and cozy.

Check out the hotel and our day driving detours here.

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