If you head out to the Guadalupes again, a good alternative is to go North in Pecos (can't remember the name of the road) into the tiny town of Orla. From there, you drive due West on a curvy road full of wildlife to the Guadalupes. It cuts off a good deal of mileage and probably 30 minutes in travel time.
Last time I headed out there, I made the last stretch at night. I saw easily 5 dozen cotton-tails & jackrabbits, 7 coyotes, 4 white-tail deer & 1 mule deer. You definitely can't go the speed limit at night while trying to dodge the fauna... ;-)
I do plan on making another trip to Guadalupe NP. I will definitely try the alternate route. Thanks for the info.
US-285 is the road that you'll take north from Pecos, and RM-652 leads west toward the Guadalupes from Orla.