Day 11

Trip Start Jun 19, 2010
Trip End Aug 02, 2010

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Where I stayed
Brantley Lake State Park

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2010 U.S. Road Trip – Day 11 -
6/29/2010 – Destination Carlsbad, NM

We actually got an early start today.
The high only reached into the low 80's and there were instances
where the temperature dipped below 70. We traveled through west
Texas en route to Carlsbad, NM. The western part of Texas goes from
rolling hills to flat desert. There were oil fields on both sides of
the highway. The pumping rigs could be seen from the highway. The
speed limit actually went up to 80 mph in west Texas. We entered New
Mexico on highway 285. We are now on mountain daylight savings time
which puts us 2 hours behind the folks at home. Since we gained an
hour we were able to make it to Carlsbad Caverns by 3:00 p.m. The
cutoff time for the natural entrance cavern tour is 3:30. So we had
made it on time for that tour. There was one problem though. There
was lightning in the area and the ranger stated that the natural
entrance tours had shutdown for the day. But we could still tour the
caverns via the elevators. The elevator dropped us down 750 feet
into the cavern at a rate of 9 mph. It only took a few seconds to
get to the cavern floor.

The tour through the cavern lasted
approximately 1.5 hours. The only caverns I had toured prior to
Carlsbad was Luray and Carlsbad is certainly a larger cave than
Luray. We chose the self guided tour and was able to rome freely
through the cave. Once back on the outside we had dinner at the
Carlsbad Cavern restaurant. The prices were reasonable and the food
was good.

We were able to find a campsite at
Brantley Lake State Park about 30 minutes north of Carlsbad. Since
we already had dinner at the caverns we were able to setup camp and
get to bed early.
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