Great Day in the Caves

Trip Start Jun 29, 2009
Trip End Aug 07, 2009

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Where I stayed
Sue & Paul's home

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Monday, July 13, 2009

We spent today in Carlsbad Caverns in southeast New Mexico. It was very educational, but more it was incredibly beautiful and awe inspiring. The caves are magnificent. We entered through what they call the Natural Entrance. It takes you on a mile of steep switchback trails that bring you to the Big Room. It was a bit cold down there in the 56 degree temperatures, but compared to the 105 degrees up top, I found it quite refreshing. We actually ate lunch down there as we waited to join a special guided tour of the King's Palace rooms. They were spectacular, and not accessible from the self-guided areas. The gorgeous rock formations - stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and my favorites – the draperies, were incredible. As much as I tried to get some good pictures, you have to see them with your own eyes to really grasp how beautiful they are. Our Ranger guide turned off the lights for awhile so that we could experience complete darkness. The girls clung together and gasped as they could not see their hands in front of their faces.

After the guided tour, we went on to tour the Big Room. This self-guided tour took us on a 2 mile trail through the cave. We learned much by listening to our audio tour wands, and stopped at 50 marked points throughout the cave to hear about how the caves and formations were formed and many other interesting facts about the history and future of the cave's exploration. There are actually 365 caves in the area – with some being much larger than the ones accessible to the public. By the end of the day, the girls were beat, and we zoomed out of the cave ascending 750 feet in a flash by elevator.

Our road trip continued northwest through Roswell and on to Magdalena. The scenery was fantastic along NM Route 380, and much of the time we had the road to ourselves. Definitely feels like God's country out here!
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