I discovered his obituaries in the regional media websites (Trans-Pecos Texas, Southern New Mexico) when I was looking for info for the NPS ranger I’d met way back in my earliest trip to Dog Canyon in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
(I include the NPS page here, but I’ve also captured the page to a PDF if the park service changes the link in the future.)
I’ll start from way back when.
Sometime, I think it was in September of 1986, I was on a long trip to California and back. On the way out I hit Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and did a little backpacking trip. As I left Pine Springs, I resolved to hit up Dog Canyon which I only knew from the hiking guide. As an aside: Guadalupe Mountains National Park (GUMO) has only two significant camp grounds. One is Pine Springs, the main one which is near the “official” entrance and visitor station for the park. The other is Dog Canyon, on the northern border of the park (and New Mexico state line). It’s a hundred mile drive from Pine Spring to Dog Canyon, and there is little along the way. I was going to take a look at it, and drove there after leaving Pine Spring, but was a little late.
So, it seems to me, in my recollections (I’m going to tell the rest of this story as I remember it) , that the Dog Canyon entrance was supposed to close at 9. I crept in past the entrance sign which indicated they were supposed to be closed, and eased into the campground. Suddenly, I was approached by a man who asked me who I was and where I was going.
I told him I just wanted a place to camp tonight. His face lit up, and he recounted to me how he had not long previously had a group looking to enter whom he had not approved, and adorned the story with a bit of salty language.
But then he turned his attention to me; told me “yeah, we’ve got a bunch of boy scouts camping here but we’ll find you a spot”.
He also showed me a box with lighter fluid for starting charcoal fires; obviously things have changed.
Anyway, that’s all I recall of Roger the ranger (that’s how he introduced himself to me, btw).