I wake up early in the morning before the first light, so I can witness the waking of the day from an early stage. It is a remarkable feeling to look at the horizon and see the color coming to life for a new day. I know I have only half a day of work today because I'm going to the McDonald Observatory for a guided tour later in the afternoon.
The drive to the McDonald Observatory is absolutely out of this world! You have to see it to believe it. I parked my car and at the same moment, another couple came out from their vehicle. We start talking immediately and an incredible connection begins. Usually, when camping, it is easier to have company around me, but now that I'm staying in a lodge, there isn't as much contact with other people. Therefore, it is a pleasure to spend my time with Patty and Jim. I am learning something new about myself with each connection I make. Each person's story, wisdom, and experiences are gifts to me.
If you ever come to this area, visit the observatory. I learned so much and enjoyed every minute of the guided tour. I truly enjoyed sharing this experience with Patty and Jim. I hope we can see each other again when I get to Austin.
When I first heard about the McDonald Observatory, it was too late to make a reservation for the star party. (If you decide to visit, you must make your reservations months in advance.) I sit in my car patiently waiting for darkness to take over. I want to experience again the beauty of the night skies glittering with billions of little lights.
There is no one here; I'm all by myself. Oh, that is not true. When the gigantic door of the telescope opened for tonight's viewing, I saw one of the astrologers up high on the balcony of the telescope. It was so cool seeing this giant structure come to life. I get out of my car to be at one with this darkness. Suddenly I hear a noise coming from the bushes not far from me. Of course, my fear goes into high gear and I run (without really seeing much) to the safety of my car. I'm so annoyed how a second of fear took away a peaceful experience. Anyway, it is late, and it's time to drive back to my little cabin and make dinner.
The next day I took a break from my travel research and visited Fort Davis National Historic Site. I enjoy walking around and learning about the history of this town. I return to my laptop to do some more work and cook dinner. It is a sunny day here with the presence of some clouds. I realize that the sunset will be spectacular. Dinner can wait. I needed to hurry up and drive to Davis Mountain State Park to witness another magical sunset. When you have the right combination of light and fluffy clouds, you feel like you are in an art gallery looking at a new painting by a noble artist.
The maps of Alaska and Canada are open on my bed. The Milepost is resting next to them. I'm still trying to figure out how to read this book. I searched for YouTube videos but couldn't find any support. YouTube is an excellent way for me to better understand any question I have. After all, I am a visual learner. I've been watching YouTube and following other travelers for over eight months. Trying to understand Alaska and Canada and what is involved in visiting those places is a significant undertaking for me. I remind myself to take a small step and break everything into small pieces. I'm still hoping to find another traveler to join me in this part of my journey.
It's time to pack my car and get on the road again. I'm excited to visit Guadalupe Mountains, National Park. I plan to try hiking to the "Top of Texas" with a hike up Guadalupe Peak. It is a very strenuous hike (8,751 feet in elevation). It is an 8.5-mile round-trip hike with a 3,000-foot elevation gain. I hope the weather will cooperate with me.