Carlsbad Caverns

Trip Start Jun 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 13, 2010

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Friday, June 25, 2010

Not more than a few days ago we decided to check out these Carlsbad Caverns and I'm glad we did. We wanted to see more than the standard "self guided routes" so I had booked this Lower Cave tour, in advance, for Friday at 1pm. Not too costly...$20 for adults and $10 for Vi. They only allow 9 people per day on this tour and we scored the last 3 tickets by calling ahead. We were real lucky here.

We got up in the morning, had breakfast then headed up to the National Park about 30 or 40 minutes out of town and up this windy little road. It was slow going and luckily they had plenty of RV parking for us at the top. It was hot and they had a kennel service that welcomed Chula for $5. We opened up the RV windows for Sugar and left him inside while we did the tour. (The heat doesn't seem to bother our cat as much as our dog.

Once again, our National Parks pass pays off. We love that thing. We entered the park and walked the self guided tour 750 ft into into the cave. This tour is a paved route and takes us through the "natural entrance" to the cavern. It takes an hour or so to reach the bottom where you can actually catch an elevator back to the surface. Once at the bottom of this route we met with our tour guides and the 6 others joining us. They rigged us up with helmets and lights and gave us some pointers. Once we were off we had to climb down a short rope over some slippery flow stone and then, down a set of 3 ladders through a small opening to reach what they call "the Lower Cave". They warned us of this stuff prior to the tour and said if you're scared of heights or tight spaces you may want to choose a different tour. It wasn't difficult and the ladders weren't even, really, completely vertical. In the photo you can see Vi negotiating one of the ladders. Everything was real damp and slippery though so we had to watch our footing regularly. I think most of the passages that we went through were 800 - 850 ft deep. Some wide opened and some real tight where we had to crawl.  At one point we all met inside this little room, deep down into the cavern, and sat down in a circle. The tour guides had us all turn out our lights for a minute or 2. Total blackout. It was so weird and freaky. You would think you know what dark is until you experience that. Can't even see a shadow of your hand when held in front of you. This place was awesome as the photos and video will hopefully show.

We were back into the RV and on the road toward Odessa, Tx by 5 or so. This was my best time I had in NM by far.

On our way out of Carlsbad we stopped at this BBQ joint to sample some brisket and ribs. I can't remember the name of the place but, sad to say, it wasn't that good. The brisket tasted a little like corned beef and the ribs were way over salted. Oh well. Had to try it and I plan on sampling lots of BBQ, among other foods, along the way. Did I tell you I ate an Elk burger at a little town near Bryce, UT? Different but not so sure I can say I enjoyed it. I ate about half of it.

Lately we've been running across lots of BBQ places. Even in little towns. It's apparent that BBQ is way more popular out this way than back in Santa Rosa.
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farth on

that place looks awesome, they should put a bbq pit down in there. don't forget to see the worlds largest ball of twine.

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