Tagged: Guadalupe Mountains National Park

There and back again

Hello again and welcome back.  As stated at the beginning of my last entry, I had some computer issues that prevented me from posting my previous entry, but seeing as how I had already written it out I figured I would share it rather than relegate it to the recycle bin.  In any event, the entry is there if you should choose to read it.  Recent events in the Texas League South have created a jumbled mess in the standings.  We with the Midland RockHounds have had a difficult stretch, going 4-7 over our last eleven games.  In that time the standings have been compressed significantly, going from a five game lead over second place to currently being only five games in front of the last place team.  The good news is that we are still in first place and for the next two weeks we are playing the other division so we should have a good opportunity to put some distance between ourselves and the rest of the division if we are able to play with a bit more consistency.  I myself have seen the end to my recent hot streak.  I had a couple outings where I gave up some cheap hits, but Monday I had one of the worst outings of my professional career and gave up four runs in less than an inning.  I bounced back with a solid outing last night, throwing 2-plus innings of scoreless baseball, and we as a team bounced back as well with a much needed victory over Tulsa.  Hopefully this will be a harbinger of things to come for both me and my teammates.


Away from the field, I have spent the better portion of my time during this homestand putting my affairs in Midland in order in preparation for the end of the season.  While the main focus certainly remains firmly on winning games and making a push towards the playoffs, it is inevitable that we as players face situations in which we also have to plan against a premature end to the season.  Because we have to set up residences in the same way we would have to if we expected them to be permanent–despite the extremely temporary nature of our actual habitation–at the end of the season we as players are left trying to tie off the loose ends of our housing arrangements while still leaving us a roof over our heads.  So with that in mind, I have been making all of the final arrangements for our current apartment and setting us up at the hotel for the duration of our stay in Midland, which will hopefully include a long run through the playoffs.  In addition to mundane tasks such as this, I finally got to take my trip to Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks on our off day this past Tuesday.  I love being out in the middle of nature with no sounds but those of nature filling my ears and nobody to intrude upon my solitude, which is exactly what I got from this trip.  I started off early enough Tuesday morning to arrive at the Slaughter Canyon trailhead in Carlsbad Caverns N.P. at dawn and spent about three hours hiking Slaughter Canyon trail–encountering two rattlesnakes, various insects, a multitude of spiders and seeing numerous deer and elk prints–before making the strenuous mile hike up to the entrance of Slaughter Canyon Cave.  The cave itself was an amazing experience.  While it lacks for some of Carlsbad’s grandeur, the lack of trails or lighting made for an amazing experience, especially once we got into the pristine portion of the cave.  After finishing the cave tour, I hiked back to my car, drove 25 miles down the highway to Guadalupe Mountains N.P. and spent the remainder of my afternoon hiking the El Capitan trail, sweating profusely and taking in the beautiful scenery.  The most interesting wildlife experience I took in on the day was on this trail and wasn’t even an encounter with an actual animal (although I did see a couple more rattlesnakes and a few deer), but instead was seeing some mountain lion tracks in dried mud a few feet off the trail.  Pretty cool and a definite incentive to be back before dark.  In any event, it was a much needed break and I would strongly recommend both parks, but I’ll stop myself there before I bore everyone to death.  Until next time, please enjoy the customary poem.


Wood’s Edge

by Brenda Hillman


Infinity lifted:

a gasp of emeralds.


I thought I felt

the tall night trees

between them,


no exactitude,

a wait not even

known yet.


I held my violet up;

no smell.

It made a signal squeak

inside, bats,


lisps of pride;


ah, their little things,

their breath: lungs of a painting,


they swept me

in four ways, their square

plans, as I have made

a good square saying,


you I

you not-I

not-you I

not-you not-I,


ritual of hope

whose weight

has not been measured–