Figured by now everyone must be getting pretty tired of flowers, birds, & sunroom pictures so decided to reach back in our little bag of travel goodies & come up with something completely different. Enough of green shrubs, colorful birds, & cozy sunroons & lets get ourselves deep down below earth into the darkened caves of the CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK in New Mexico.
THIS PLACE JUST BOGGLES THE MIND
It was December of 2006 when we left our cozy little home in Bayfield Ontario early one morning on ice covered roads & blowing snow. Destination was the American Southwest.....somewhere. Aside from a quick trip to Big Bend National Park in Texas back in 2004 this was our first big adventure. We had a spiffy 2004 GMC Sierra truck pulling a nice 2005 Rockwood 5th wheel & the Bayfield Bunch was ready to rumble. LIGHTS ARE STRATEGICALLY PLACED TO HIGHLIGHT THE COUNTLESS ROCK FORMATIONS
Somewhere between here & there I decided I would like to see Roswell New Mexico because I've always had an interest in that alien stuff. We were making our way west across highway 380 when the weather began to turn sour. We were hearing reports of snow ahead & to the north a bit. Had ourselves a close call on some black ice early one morning so decided we had better get ourselves a little further south. Carlsbad Caverns had always been a place of interest to me so we heaved the nose of the truck over into the southwest wind & set sail for Carlsbad.
PEOPLE ON THE WALKWAY GIVE THE CAVERNS SOME PERSPECTIVE
We made the town of Carlsbad in late afternoon & spent the night at Brantley Lake State Park northwest of there. Cold, cold, cold!! We were up early because we wanted to make the 10 A.M. Cavern tour south of Carlsbad and wouldn't you know it....when we went to retract the slide it wouldn't budge no way no how. Finally had to get out the instruction manual & figure out how to get it in manually. Found the iron slide bar, crawled under the slide, inserted the bar into a whatchyamacallit & cranked the slide in by hand. I was surprised at how easily it went in. With all that done we headed for the Carlsbad Caverns just making it with minutes to spare for the 10 o'clock tour. THESE CEMENT WALKWAYS LINK THE MANY CAVERNOUS ROOMS
Boarded a crowded elevator & descended into what seemed like the bowels of the earth itself. A lot of people on this tour but it was just the way it had to be....darn it!! I know the word 'awesome' is way over used these days & it's a word I stay away from but it's the only word that describes what we saw, walked through, & experienced, over the next 4 or 5 hours. This is truly a great place & a must see for any traveler. I won't try to describe the Caverns in words because I don't have a vocabulary large enough to do that. The photos I took that day don't do it justice either but like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words so click on OUR CARLSBAD CAVERNS ALBUM which will take you to our photo album. Try clicking on "Slideshow" when you get there because it will enlarge the photos & make the tour a better experience. First 4 pictures are of us getting ready to leave Brantley Lake & the rest are of the Carlsbad Caverns. We have also been to the Kartchner Caverns in Arizona but we liked Carlsbad better . It's much, much, bigger & after the tour you are allowed to wander the caverns on your own for as long as you want. In Carlsbad one price covers all but at Kartcher you have to pay for each room you go to see. You can take as many photos as you want at Carlsbad but at Kartchner cameras are forbidden:(( Kartchner is a must see as well but if I had to choose just one.... it would be Carlsbad. LONG DESCENT INTO THE BAT CAVE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO TAKE THE ELEVATOR DOWN......WE DID BOTH
We walked for miles underground that day & by the time we got our tired legs back to the trailer we decided to stay at a dumpy little RV Park a few miles east of the Caverns at White City which of course is not a city, just a collection of half a dozen small tumble down buildings. At least we were only 1 of 3 rigs in the whole place so that was a nice bonus at the end of a very awesome underground sightseeing day. THIS MIGHT BE A REAL DARN GOOD PLACE JUST TO UP & GET LOST FOREVER!!
It was the following morning when we left there that we stopped at the Apache Canyon Trading Post nearby & I bought my black cowboy hat that I wear while traveling in the southwest...............:)) BE SURE TO SEE THE REST OF THE PICS IN OUR PHOTO ALBUM
GROANER'S CORNER:(( I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
OUR PHOTO ALBUMS http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy/
The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.