The most popular campground at Guadalupe Mountains National Park is Pine Springs Campground, located at the mouth of Pine Springs Canyon. We’ve camped there four times between 2002 and early this month, each time for several days, so we felt we were quite familiar with the place. However, we learned something new on our most recent visit.
One night we were in the Visitor Center discussing our campground with a Park Ranger, and he commented, “So, I guess you’ve seen the gorilla.” We told him we didn’t know what he was talking about. He said, “Look at the mountains at the far end of the canyon. You’ll see it.” Later, we heard others mention a gorilla near Pine Springs Campground.
Over the years we had never heard anyone refer to a gorilla in Pine Springs Canyon, so we were getting curious. One morning I was staring at the far end of the canyon and, lo and behold, there it was.
Notice the craggily rocks on the skyline to the right of the tree in the foreground. I had observed that feature dozens of times over the past eleven years and even photographed it, but never thought of it as anything but rocks. Now I saw a gorilla.
The remainder of this post contains a few more photos of the gorilla taken over the next few days. Because I am a big fan of old black and white movies, I used black and white versions of the photos in honor of the most famous gorilla in the old movies, King Kong.
Here is an early morning shot of the gorilla.
The next photo was taken as the sun was setting behind the far end of the Pine Springs Canyon.
Cold, damp weather moved in during our last night at the park. The next morning, as we were about to leave, both we and the gorilla were shrouded in a drizzly mist.
I guess this is all about the so-called “power of suggestion.” Only after I was told to look for a gorilla did I see a gorilla. The header image at the top of this blog is yet another example. In that case, however, I saw the name “Cochise Head Mountain” on a topo map before I saw the mountain itself, so it was obvious from the start.
The location from which these photos were taken is shown on the map below. Zoom in for more detail.