Wow, That’s A Big Hole

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Next stop, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, near Carlsbad New Mexico.  We stayed at the Carlsbad RV Park, about 15 miles away from the caverns.  It is a nice facility.  Since this is the desert, you might expect that excess rain is not handled well.  We found this to be the case.  It had been raining quite a bit and the pull-through sites  were extremely muddy.  We moved to one of the newer back-in sites that were well drained and graveled.  For big rigs, I wouldn’t recommend any of the parks that are closer the the caverns.

The drive to the National Park entrance was fairly flat on a nice road.  Of course, some road construction was underway.  Once you enter the Park, you begin a windy vertical trip to the top of the mountain, where you find the Carlsbad Caverns Visitor Center.

Looking down on the road.


At the visitors center


You can see from this photo how high the cave entrance is over the surrounding plains below.


We made two trips to the Caverns.  We made our first trip before dusk after we were settle at the RV park.  The object of this visit was to visit the cave entrance to learn about the bats that reside in the cave and to observe their daily exit in search of food.


An amphitheater is provided for this function and takes place every evening when lightning is not present.  Like clockwork, the bats begin to circle and spiral out of the cave at dusk.


Our second trip to the Caverns was the next morning to tour the caves.  There are two ways to tour Carlsbad Caverns.  The first is to walk the path down into the mouth of the cave and wind your way to the heart of the unending display of nature’s finest.  Having made this trek several years ago, we opted for the 750-foot elevator ride down to the same area.

Since we forgot to bring the good camera, our photos don’t do justice to the place.  You’ll have to go see the Caverns for yourselves.  We’ll only give you a few.  This type of stalactite is called a lion’s tail.


Not sure what they call this one.


Depending upon how rainy the season is determines whether there is much growth activity taking place.  This structure was covered with water.


The pool below the structure was collecting the drips.


The formations varied in size from these very small stalactites……….


to massive columns formed after centuries of deposits.


Discovered in 1898 by 16 year old Jim White, Carlsbad Caverns have been explored ever since.  I can’t imagine myself exploring the caves with only a kerosene lantern for light, no paths and only a good memory to help find a way back to the exit.  Jim White’s story is fascinating.

If you’re in the area, this is a DON’T MISS destination.

2 Responses to “Wow, That’s A Big Hole”

  1. Sister says:

    Tinka, when your mother was a teenager, they toured the cave by being lowered in some device from the top of the lip of the opening down into the cavern. I am not sure how much lighting there was. Will ask Aunt Faye.

  2. Rick and Tinka says:

    According to Jim White’s booklet, they used to lower people down in a guano bucket. Sounds delightful.

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