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Cat Tail Falls


Thunderstorms rolled in a bit past midnight; large droplets of rain fell on the tin roof of the cabin and we lost power around 3. My head still hurt after yesterday’s misadventures and I took care to take regular doses of Tylenol and one Vicodin. Just as we were contemplating the possible merits of a trial of Turkish coffee—Glen being quite happy with yesterday’s leftover cold coffee while I require hot coffee—versus running up to GhostTown Café and whether or not they might have lights, the power came back on.

After a breakfast of pancakes and bacon, packing left-over supper for today’s lunch and another dose of Tylenol for me, we headed out. Our first order of business was to replace the hats we had lost yesterday. I got a Tula straw rodeo hat and another Scars are Tattoos with Interesting Stories T-shirt and Glen got a floppy fishing hat that actually fit.

The roads were still quite wet from the rain and we learned later that there were a lot of campers stuck in the back country due to mud and impassable roads with 8 inches of water in places. More thunderstorms are predicted for tonight; we’re quite content in our little cabin at Chisos Mining Company Motel.

Yesterday, one o f the guides had mentioned an off the beaten track trail to a lovely falls near the base of Window Rock called Cat-Tail Falls. She pointed out the entrance and noted there was a parking lot about two miles or so in; the road in being rough but passable with regular vehicles. The road was a bit rough in places but easily traversed. Two other vehicles were in the parking lot.

The trail leads through a desert of Sotol , a few century plants, and lots of lechugilla, creosote bush, prickly pear, daggers, and the occasional ocotillo. The day was over-cast and we could see rain falling in the distant mountains and mist in the Chisos. The falls itself is quite lovely with a drop of thirty feet into a large pool at the base. Maidenhead ferns were on the rock walls—not as dense as Ojito Adentro but still quite picturesque. On the trail we met a couple—retired from Christus Hospital system—and with a sister who is a nurse practitioner in Soldier’s Grove—near my hometown.

We decided to try walking up the trail towards Window Rock approaching it from the east rather than the west from the Chisos Basin. The mile marker said .3 mile and to the Window Rock trail just 1.7 but we began to think that the crow marked those miles. At 2:30 we decided to return; it was amazing how far away the truck in the parking lot appeared.

A quick run to the post office at Panther Junction was next on our agenda and we made it just in time before it closed at 4:30. Dark blue rain clouds hovered over the mountains as we drove back to our cabin, promising more rain for the night.

Leftover fried pickle chips and a handful of nuts made for a not very nutritional supper but enough.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. I always enjoy your adventures.
    I feel like I am travelling with you – and I am – virtually!

    February 4, 2010

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