Winter may be just around the corner, but we’re already looking forward to our spring break 2016 adventure. We’re heading to Texas and New Mexico to visit our 39th, 40th and 41st National Parks: Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains and Carlsbad Caverns. This region has come up on our drawing board before but been passed over due to time/distance issues or invitations from friends temporarily living on tropical islands. Weather is an important factor here, as the heat at Big Bend is nearly intolerable in the summer, making a “cool” season visit ideal. Even in April, average high temperatures should be in the low 90s.
It’s not an easy region to get to. Flight options from Chicago to Dallas-Fort Worth or Houston are practically limitless, but Texas is so huge, those cities are a full day’s drive from where we’re going. The nearest airports are at Midland and El Paso, each still more than 3.5 hours from Big Bend. As a result of some creative and flexible scheduling, we’ll fly to Texas separately. I’ll get a head start and visit family in Fort Worth for two days before picking up a rental car, driving across Texas and intercepting Nick upon his arrival at Midland/Odessa International Airport. We’ll then drive south to Big Bend. After three nights there, we’ll head back north stopping in Marfa and Guadalupe Mountains NP before crossing into New Mexico. We very briefly entered New Mexico last summer while visiting Four Corners, but on this trip we’ll give it proper priority. We’ll visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park and White Sands National Monument before spending two days in Santa Fe and finishing with
our return flight from Albuquerque to Chicago a train ride home.
The flights, car and lodging are reserved so now it’s time to research our destinations in detail. We’re even planning on stepping into Mexico, and there may or may not be a burro involved in transportation. Looks like it’s going to be epic, so follow us as we hammer out the details over the next few months.
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