New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns

Saturday, March 03, 2012S.V. CAMBRIA

Carlsbad Caverns

The last several days were a flurry of activity as we packed our things and said good-bye to Wichita.  We had a great time with my mom, visiting Grandma on Sundays, hanging out with the sisters in the garage and going out with friends, all making the past two months fly by and, once again, I found myself not wanting to leave.  But we can’t put it off any longer.  We’re due in San Diego on the sixteenth and have two very full weeks of camping ahead of us, so we hit the road yesterday morning and, after nearly twelve hours of driving, arrived in Carlsbad last night to set up “camp” at a Motel 6.

We got up early and drove the final miles to the caverns where we enjoyed a quiet morning walking down through the natural entrance of the cave (versus the elevator) before taking a ranger-guided tour of the King’s Palace (which used to be open to the general public before they noticed significant damage to the stalactites) and then walking through the Big Room, a four thousand foot long limestone chamber (the seventh largest in the world), on our own.  Although only five percent of the cave is still active, Carlsbad Caverns is an amazing place with countless spectacular limestone formations formed by the forces of water over hundreds of millions of years and an experience akin to taking a stroll through the imagination of Dr.Seuss.  It truly is a natural wonder and something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.

It was tempting to spend another day in the area and more time in the caverns but, with our accommodation options less than desirable (the joys of travelling with a dog), we reluctantly queued up for the elevator and ascended 750 feet back to the surface to begin the next leg of our journey – Oliver Lee Memorial State Park in Alamagordo, New Mexico. 

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