Carlsbad Caverns National Park
I am in a hurry to jot down our visit to Carlsbad Caverns, as it’s been a couple of days already and memories start to fade away. With so many new impressions daily, the mind is eager to rid of the old ones, and events, people and places become a blur.
Pictures here https://goo.gl/photos/AsDCR4WFeCUjj3dB8
Along the way to the caverns, we stumbled upon the best little Mexican joint in NM, a hole in the wall. The owner, about to close for a siesta, kept the place open in a gesture of hospitality and shuffled over the counter a couple of burritos. “This is a fine mustache!”, I noted with slight envy. “And heck, you sure make the finest burrito this side of the border!” The mustache spread apart to flash a smile and two more plates of carnitas and quesadillas made their way across the counter. Courtesy of the owner. Not only, but he insisted that the kids have some cake to go for the road, because, well, you never know when kids get hungry. Which is true. Thank you, unknown owner, for your hospitality. I’ve noted down the place, GPS coordinates available upon request.
After lunch, we made our way south to the caverns, but as it was getting late we postponed the visit to the next day and spent the night at Guadelupe Mountains Nat’l Park, TX. The mountains and park are impressive, the campground is basically a large parking lot. Nevertheless, there was plenty of space and we witnessed a very windy and clear night, with many constellations fully visible. Played a few games of sequence, Julie and Lucy on one team, Lilly and I on the other. Lost. Note to self – make sure Julie doesn’t cheat.
Morning. Fresh coffee on the gas stove and onto Carlsbad caverns. The parking lot is vast, probably the size of a small village elsewhere in the world and many tour buses abound. The one that caught my eye was “Christian tours and adventures”, I think from South Carolina. Wifi and individual TV screens on the bus, I assume all prerequisites to stay close to God’s word. The lot was nothing compared to the front office of the park, a monstrous structure with a large lobby, cafeteria, museum, shop, snack machines and what not. And the best of it – it had elevators going down 750 ft to the caves. Just in case one is feeling lazy… Which we were not, so we took the natural entrance. At this point, my expectations were close to nada. We were instructed not to bring any food or drinks into the caves, then made our way onto a paved pathway into the mouth of the cave. Bi-lingual signs, warning that the ground may be slippery when wet were posted on each corner. And this is where it all started to change. The path lights became farther and farther away and we entered a world frozen in time, where millions upon millions of years had sculpted some of the most beautiful, bizarre and scary formations I’d seen. And I’d seen my share of caves. I doubt pictures or words will be able to convey the feeling of awe and astonishment we experienced, so just go and live it for yourselves…
As I am closing this chapter, in the tradition of a previous post, it’s worth mentioning that the wind just blew off the laptop off the table and onto my lap. This must be why they call them laptops. Lesson learned – always sit at an angle so the wind doesn’t blow directly at the display.
Stay cool, but also be warm. Cheers from Big Bend.
As always, your thoughts & feedback is welcome.