Photo by Kelvin Pond @ponderosa0210
Out in the West Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a State Historical Site. To tell the truth, this blog post has already been written, by Marty Robbins. The story of our month in Hueco Tanks is exactly the same as his song “El Paso” to the letter! It began with a girl, whirling in a cantina, and ended in gunfire, and me, shot through the heart.
There we were, a couple of young cowboys, wild as the West Texas wind. Dashing and daring, we parked the Rampage on our friend’s abandoned property, 25 miles outside of the park. Climbing at Hueco Tanks has been my dream ever since I first realized that I love roofs, and after years of failed plans to make this sacred journey, it finally happened. We received a warm West Texas welcome from a neglected pack of hoarse, limping dogs who came to yell WOOF at us as we explored our new haunted house. An extended family of pigeons exploded out of the roof, and behind the old water heater, a cat with no eyes patiently disintegrated. It was perfect, except for the 50 miles round trip to the boulders. After less than a week we moved to the Hueco Rock Ranch, the campground where all the other climbers stay, figuring that along with our mileage, our social situation would also improve. I rode on the roof, pushed the low-hanging power line up out of the way with a metal ladder, like you do, and we crammed the trailer into its campsite for the upcoming weeks.