|Sep 6, 2016
About 1 1/2 years ago I started to get interested in mountaineering so I started to look up different types and mountains. Then I stumbled onto Guadalupe Peak. I already knew it was the highpoint of Texas and would be relatively easy. So I made a plan to go out there. It was originally going to be early May but I hurt my back so I had to cancel. Then I decided to take a camping trip out there for the first week of September. I had never done a trail more than a few miles roundtrip or with a measurable prominence so I knew this would be harder. I arrived on the fifth and planned to go on the seventh but the weather was supposed to be bad so I had to make it a day earlier. I got to the trailhead that morning around eight and officially began my ascent to the top of Texas. About 1/4 of a mile into the trail I learned this would be the most physically strenuous hike I had ever done and was wondering if I would make it. I decided to continue because I had already driven the 500 miles to get there. I walked about two hours and came across some people going down who said I was about 1/2 way to the summit. I was already pretty tired and had a blister on my foot so my mood went down a little, but I continued. After about another hour I reached the campground and got renewed energy knowing I had less than a mile left till the summit. Then I saw another hiker who said it got a lot tougher which drained my mood again. But I still continued because I was not going to let anything stop me after getting this far. Then I saw a third couple. The man was covered in blood from head to toe which really scared me because that proved that the mountain was dangerous. Apparently he had seen a rattlesnake, got scared, stumbled back and hit his head on a rock. Even with the threat of lethal animals, sharp rocks, narrow trail, and long drops of you slipped, I didn't let it stop me. After about another 1/2 hour I was beginning to think about giving up. I was tired, physically and mentally, and had more blisters on my feet. Then I saw this sign that, instead of saying 'Guadalupe Peak Trail', it said 'Guadalupe Peak' so I knew I was close. Then, I saw the top of the monument. Once again, I got new hope. After climbing over a few boulders and almost running, I reached the summit and hugged the monument. Then I took about 4-5 pictures and signed the register. I was so happy up there that I didn't want to go back down. Unfortunately I had to so I started the reverse trek. About a mile in I was walking down and I heard a noise, but didn't see where it came from. However, any 5 year-old would have been able to recognize it. I had just walked up on a rattlesnake. All rattlesnakes are lethal if you don't get treated and I had no way of contacting anybody below me. After I saw it and was able to get out of the way I took a picture. Then I had to find another route because it was not moving so I was stupid enough to go off the trail. I almost slipped while trying to get back on the trail on the other side of the trail. Fortunately I caught myself. Now that I was on the other side of the snake I took another picture because it finally decided to move (that bastard). By then I had never been so exhausted in my life. My legs had gone numb, my kidneys were sore, and I could barely walk. I somehow managed to pull the energy out of my ass and continue down the trail. Eventually I saw yet another couple and told them to turn around because it would be dark before they reached the summit. They also gave me some band aids for my blisters which didn't make it any easier because it wasn't the blisters that were hurting, but it was a very nice gesture. Then I saw the parking lot. IT was about 200 feet below me which meant I still had more than a mile left. Finally,after another hour,I reached the trail fork. About 30 seconds later I was at the trailhead. I had just successfully completed my first highpoint. I felt more accomplished than I had in a very long time. I hope everybody else who takes this hike enjoys it just as much as I did.