Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hueco Tanks State Park

While in El Paso, Texas staying at the Ft Bliss RV Park, I was approached by an individual who wanted to know if I wanted my RV washed and waxed.  I was going to say no, because I figured it would be more than I wanted to pay, but the price was quite reasonable with a 50% discount being offered to active duty and retired military.

The gentleman, we soon came to know as Adrian, came by and started to wash and wax the RV, which was long overdue!  We were also blessed with meeting his son, Julian and Julian's girlfriend Pita along with Pita's brother, Stevan.  

Adrian's business is called Sun Ray and if you are interested in a really good wash and wax for your RV call him at 915-703-8712.  He charges a very reasonable price, does an excellent job, and also washes your tow vehicle which is included in the price.

Sun-Ray Logo.
The day he came to wash the RV, Misty was really feeling down in the dumps and disconnected.  For some reason she felt an urgency to come out of the RV, even though she had not gotten ready for the day (which is very odd for her), and started to talk to Adrian, who we found out is also a minister, and after a quick prayer, Misty was feeling much better.  I did not know of her prayer the night before where she asked God not to leave her and to continue instructing her to do His work so did not know why she seemed so relieved and joyful over this meeting until after Adrian prayed and had left.  She then told me of her prayer and that she knows God sent him to comfort her and to assure her that he will always be with us.  He gave her the urgency to go outside even though she looked a mess (her words) because he was sending her reassurance through Adrian!  That caused her to reflect on all the times that God consistently sends us help, comfort & reassurance after asking as long as we are on the path of fulfilling His will.  It has only been times when we are seeking our own desires that He has remained silent.  During those times, we have turned away from Him instead of Him leaving us.  God is great in the way He guides us, when we just listen or follow.

As we got to know them better, they invited us out to do some sight seeing and one of the first places they recommended was Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site here in El Paso.  So the next Sunday, after church, we packed a lunch and drove out to the park for some rock climbing.

First off, if you are going to go climbing, you need to be in shape, which I am not.  I found out the hard way that sometimes a few extra pounds, thirty in my case, will hinder you when climbing on a mountain.  You will see very well what I'm talking about here in a few.

Just so you know, the park will only let about seventy individuals into the public area of the park, where you do not need a tour guild, at any one time.  There are a lot of indigenous species of animals and plants they do not want hurt along with pictographs and petroglyphs that they do not want damaged or vandalized.  You also have to sit through a brief film on the do's and don'ts  before you can enter the park.
A view of the North Mountain from the Interpretive Center.
Looking off of the North Mountain towards the entrance of the park.
Looking northeast towards the oasis that made Hueco Tanks such an important spot.
Not sure if these are pictographs or just graffiti, but they are all over the mountain.
More drawings on the mountain.
The views are spectacular along with the climb to the top of the North Mountain.  The elevation is right around 4800 feet, so that was not too bad on the breathing.

The Spanish word hueco "whey-coes" means tanks which are found all over the  mountain.  Early settlers would come and collect rain water pooled in the natural basins or tanks so hence the name Hueco Tanks.
Some of the natural basins created in the rock of the mountain.
Another hueco in the rock.
Tia, Pita, Adrian, Chloe, and Misty starting the climb up the North Mountain.
There are also tons of nooks and crannies to craw into and explore.  I guess it would be wise to watch out for snakes while crawling around the rocks, but luckily we did not see any while we were there.
Not sure if this is a nook or crannie, but it was fun to enter.
Looks inviting, doesn't it?
Rocks on top of rocks.
Tia, Pita, Avery, and Courtney in a natural made rock shelter.
Pita, Chloe, and Tia resting out of the sun.
As mentioned before, having a few extra pounds on can be harmful while climbing through some of the cracks in the rocks at Hueco Tanks.  If you ever watched the movie 127 Hours, you will know exactly what I'm talking about.
Don coming through one of the many cracks in the rocks at Hueco Tanks.
If you want to see exactly what I'm talking about, just watch the video clip below.  Needless to say, there was a couple seconds of panic in my heart.
We climbed on up, over, and through the North Mountain until we could climb no more or to be more accurate, until it started to get dark at which time we knew we had to find our way off the mountain while we could still see.  Luckily they have a chain trail off of the east side of the North Mountain that made it easier to climb back down.
Misty squeezing between two rocks on the North Mountain.
Julian way up on top of the North Mountain.
Two thumbs up from Julian.
Stevan and Don crawling through one of the many openings in the mountain.

Ian and Avery climbing the mountain above us.
Ethan on the North Mountain.
Julian and Ian taking a break.
Avery and Ian showing off their mountain climbing muscles.
Ian showing us his fun meter reading.
Don holding up the mountain with just one had.
The rock overhangs would have made a perfect place to camp for the night.  It sort of felt like we were back in time and walking where past explorers and settlers had walked years before us.

The pictures do not do Hueco Tanks justice on its massive overhangs and rocks.  It is one of those places you have to experience in person to really get an idea of its grandeur.
Looks like a great place to spend the night.
Ian, Adrian, and Don on the south side of the North Mountain.
Another hueco or tank with water in it.
More of the mountain.
The group just before the Sun set.
Tia, Courtney, Misty, Stevan, Ian, Ethan, Pita, Chloe, Avery, Julian, and Adrian.
If you are ever in the El Paso, Texas area, you need to make the time to visit Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site.  You will not be disappointed.
A panoramic view off of the North Mountain.
Once again while traveling the world, God has put us on a path where we meet just the right people and get to witness His might by showing us His wonderful creations on this Earth.  For us, just seeing what He has made is proof that there is One greater than us.

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We are so blessed to be able to explore this world, that God has created and that we have come to know his Son, Jesus, as our savior.

God bless you and your family and may He watch over you always.

Don, Misty, and Kids...

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