Monday, March 31, 2008

Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico

We began the 7 hour or so drive to New Mexico from Ft. Worth on Monday morning. This was a very interesting drive as I had never been west of Abilene on the interstate. We have visited Arizona and California, so I've been further west, but that was by airplane. We enjoyed seeing all the oil wells and the HUGE windmills, which looked like something out of a sci-fi movie. Outside of that, we mostly saw nothing. Now I know why a desert is called a desert. I think it was a wonderful idea for God to put oil in the desert, as the oil wells definitely don't harm the look of the landscape since it's barren land anyway and you can't do much else with it.

We drove past Midland, Texas, where we saw a huge sign that said "Hometown of George and Laura Bush." Sometime after that, we exited off the interstate and headed north to New Mexico. A lot of what we saw looked like a ghost town...

We finally made it to Carlsbad in the early evening and visited the caverns the next morning.

Here's the opening where you begin the descent into the caverns:

From March until October, bats fly out of this opening at dusk. They say there are thousands of them, and it takes around 30 minutes for them all to fly out. They were on their way back from Mexico and had not yet arrived while we were there. I'm usually terrified of bats, but I think that would have been neat to see.

It was a very windy and cold day, but once we entered the caverns, the temperature was perfect.

It was a 1.5 mile hike down into the cavern, and we were 750 feet underground when we reached what they call the Big Room where there were elevators to take us back to the top.

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