Friday, April 5, 2013

Carlsbad Caverns

100_5510If it seems like we are moving a bit faster than we usually do; well, we are.  Gary has a couple things he wants/needs to do on specific dates so we are orienting our travels to accommodate them.  We rolled out of Texas and into New Mexico.  We haven’t moved very far each day, but we have moved three days in a row.


100_5512Our present destination of Carlsbad Caverns is one that we really have been looking forward to.

Gary had been here twice before – in 1975 and in 2005.  This was my first visit.  It certainly has the reputation as one of the most spectacular of the national parks.  And we also had recently visited a very amazing cave in Texas – The Caverns of Sonora – and were looking forward to the comparison.

100_5511We camped at another state park.  This time it was Brantley Lake, north of the town of Carlsbad.  It was really hard to beat at $14 a night.

We were met at the entrance to the caverns by our Park Ranger who bore a striking resemblance to the Marine who guided us through the Marine Museum back in Virginia.


100_5518We entered the Caverns via the natural entrance.  This way takes you down switchback after switchback to a depth of around 750 feet below the Visitor’s Center.  Unfortunately, the bats were only beginning their migration back from wintering in Mexico.  We  missed the bats back in Austin for the same reason too.  It would have been quite the sight to have seen them flying out of the entrance of the cave.  Even though the bats were not there yet, we could certainly smell guano (it has an unforgettable odor).

There are a number of formations on the way down, but the really great stuff is down at the floor in the “Big Room”.



So, which set of caverns is better?  We have a split decision on this one.  Gary is definitely in the Carlsbad camp.  I had a slight preference for Sonora.  But without a doubt they are both spectacular and we surely are glad we toured them both.

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