Carlsbad Caverns

Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
Trip End May 14, 2010

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Thursday, April 22, 2010

Today had a rough start. But sometimes a bad start sets up for a great finish. 

Our school for the day was in Loving, just 10 miles outside of Carlsbad, NM.  The school had paid for us to be there all day.  We didn't know how many shows they would have or at what times.  We only knew we had to be there at 6:45am and stay until they were done with us.  Normally, this isn’t a problem.  Except today I was sick, AND we wanted to make it to see the Carlsbad Caverns 40 minutes away before they closed the entrance at 3:30.  To say the least, our set-up time was a mess.  I was grumpy, we were unorganized, and all things bad about a set-up faced us on this day.  It was made better, however, by our contact person at the school. She gave us free breakfast and lunch from the cafeteria. She informed us that the entire district was seeing the show over 5 showtimes.  4 before lunch – one after lunch – at 1:30.  At this point we thought "if we’re lucky they’ll start early and we can drive fast and get to the caverns."  (OK – so the Caverns are such a big deal in this story because they are the largest known caverns in the Western Hemisphere, this was the only time we’d be close – as we were driving RIGHT by them on our way to El Paso.  And this week admission was free to celebrate National Parks Week.)  .  J 

The day wasn’t getting better as the first three shows ran a little off-synch, which is just annoying to watch.  But the day turned up when the next shows started running better.  I started feeling better and we found out that the seniors had a career fair to go to after lunch.  This meant they had to squeeze in the final show before lunch!  We got out of the school at 1:10!

Carslbad Caverns had 3 closing times.  5:00 the park closes.  3:30 is last entrance into the cave via an elevator.  2:00 is the last entrance via the natural walking entrance.  We had planned to make it to the 3:30 time.  But, because of the seniors’ field trip, we made it by 2:00.  We wouldn’t have known any different if we hadn’t made it, but we were so glad we did!  The natural entrance is an extra mile and a half of walking down steep inclines from the surface of the mountain to the caverns below.  The elevator takes passengers who do not want to, or otherwise cannot make the decent.  We deemed ourselves physically fit enough to hike – and it was awe inspiring.  I don’t know how to effectively write about what we saw.  Anything I could write would certainly do a disservice to the beauty.  It is summed up in this conversation Michael and I had:  We talked about how being down there made us think of how creative God is.  He “hid” this beauty 1000 feet under a mountain for us to discover because He enjoys us discovering what He did.  It brings Him glory.  We stand in Cathedrals and are awe-inspired – Cathedrals which were made by man to glorify God.  Down here, we see what God made to glorify Himself – and He did a much better job.  J
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