El Paso is about 144 and two hours and 25 minutes miles from Whites City, according to Google and that is about what it took us. We started on a four-lane divided highway that goes between Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Guadalupe Mountains Nation Park named, creatively enough, National Park Highway.
The highway makes a straight beeline, southwest, for Texas and then turns almost due west just before the border as if it didn’t really want to go to Texas.
Just as we enter Texas, the highway contracts to two lanes and starts getting more interesting.
Thank you, Texas.
We run along the southern edge of the Guadalupe Mountains. These are the highest mountains in Texas – the only mountains, really – and Michele and I are both thrilled to be in the mountains again.
When asked to sum up his four book masterpiece on geology, John McPhee said, “If by some fiat I had to restrict all this writing to one sentence, this is the one I would choose: The summit of Mt. Everest is marine limestone.”. Now, we are looking up at a 4,000-foot thick marine deposit that was formed when it was a shallow sea at the edge of what was, at the time, the only continent on Earth, Pangea about 275 million years ago. About 12 million years ago, this area was raised up by the Farallon Plate sliding under the North American Plate.
From a high point in the Guadalupe Mountains, we drop down into the Rio Grande Basin for an uneventful drive to El Paso,
much of the time driving directly into the setting sun and lengthening shadows.
We ended our drive at the Scenic Drive Overlook, looking down at El Paso and Juarez like any other tourist, and we ended the day at the Hoppy Monk where we had excellent Lamb barbacoa tacos, Rabbit tacos, suburb Veggie empanadas, and a pretty good Beet and Kale salad.