Guadalupe Mountains/Carlsbad Caverns
Trip Start Mar 01, 2009
59Trip End Ongoing
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While the winds had died down by morning, we decided to leave and move on to Carlsbad, first the town, then the caverns. The Blue House Café and Bakery was a good breakfast place, and weary after the night we experienced, we eagerly sought the promise of creature comfort. Bolstered by hot chocolate, breakfast and an interesting conversation with local geologist and avid caver, Michael Queen, we went to Carlsbad's Forest Service Office to inquire about a permit for backcountry caving in Lincoln National Forest. We were told that a high clearance vehicle was required to reach (even hike in distance) the caves. The Sentra was definitely not up to it. However, Roger at the Forest Service gave us fabulously detailed information on local backcountry camping.
We initially planned to spend several days in Lincoln National Forest, however, after walking the Natural Cave Entrance route of Carlsbad Caverns (amazing!), we were spent and decided on a motel stay in town instead. Hot showers, a bed, and clean laundry gave us a much-needed boost. Re-focusing on our primary aim (enjoyment vs. drudgery), was also helpful. It's all too easy to get caught up in the rigidity of a pre-planned route and budget. With that in mind, we departed for El Paso the next day, drove on through when we didn't feel like staying and continued on to Las Cruces.