Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Sunday, March 25, 2018 – Location: Hobbs, New Mexico

Nice and quiet last night except for the wind gusts.  Temperatures stayed comfortable, even at that altitude.  Woke up with the sun and Yuma and I took our walk and then had breakfast.  On our way to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, forty miles north by 9 o’clock.  Hwy 62/180 is a great road.  Four lanes most of the way and no traffic.

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It’s a 7 mile scenic road from the highway up to the entrance to the caverns.  It twists and turns all the way to the top of a  high plateau overlooking the countryside and dead ends right at the entrance building.

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They offer guided tours and self-tours.  I elected the self tour again.  When I retired in 2007, I drove out here and visited the caverns for my first trip to the southwest.  It was July and I was in a Mustang convertible.  Much different than my mode of travel today.

I also had the option to take an elevator down 800 feet to the Grand Room or walk the original entrance down.  The walk down is 1 1/2 miles.  The tour of the Grand Room is another 1 1/2 miles.  I elected to walk down as I did back in 2007.  What’s sad, other than the entrance building, I did not remember anything about the caverns.  I guess it’s good in one way; I got to do it or the first time again!  The cost is $10 and nothing for those with a senior pass.  So, it was free for me.

Behind the Visitor Center are the buildings that housed the workers building the walkways in the caverns.

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This is the open air atrium where people sit to watch the bats leave the caverns at dusk.

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The original entrance we walk down.

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Looking up towards the entrance.  Those are Swallows flying around up there.

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The entire walkway is paved and fairly easy to walk.  There were very young kids walking and some older folks too.  It was crowded and I got here when it first opened.  I’m sure it will be worse later on in the day.  Three miles was a lot for me.

From here, I will just let you look at some of the many photos I took.  I will just say, I was amazed at what I saw.  The cavern is huge and just filled with beautiful formations of all kinds.  I highly recommend anyone who travels through this area to stop and take the time to see this beautiful cavern.

The photos can’t convey the immense size of the rooms and some of the formations.  You have to go see for yourself.

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I finished with the tour around 1:30 and we were off.  I didn’t want to go far because I was tired and wanted to rest.  We drove 100 miles to Hobbs, New Mexico and called it a day.  We are camped at their Walmart for the evening.  The weather is warm at 82 degrees and partly cloudy.

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Dolly mentioned the last two games of the Final Four were on today and I was able to catch the last game.  Kansas beat Duke in overtime.  I was for Kansas.  Dolly’s team Villanova beat Texas Tech and of course I was for Villanova.

Been a busy day but an enjoyable one.  Time for a couple of hours of The Walking Dead and then off to bed.

See you later.

18 comments:

  1. Stunning pictures of Carlsbad Caverns! Such an astounding place. Everyone should try to get to see it. Thank you for all the beautiful pictures. Tell the truth, now...you were rooting for Villanova, because you had them, too! Have a good night. ❤

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    1. Thanks Dolly. Probably true about Villanova (:

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  2. Loved touring those caverns, we did the self tour as well and walked down the original entrance. a good workout for the day and the breathtaking views are amazing, gad you git back there again and shared the pictures with us.

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  3. Thank you for the Carlsbad Caverns tour. We have not been there but need to make it a priority one of these years. And soon so we can walk the 3 miles. :) It sounds great!

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    1. Thanks Patsy. You better do it and don't miss out on the beauty. You can always take the elevator down ):

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  4. I don't think any pictures can convey the beauty and depth of the cavern, but yours are pretty good! My snapshots were rather disappointing ... Continued safe travels!

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    1. Thanks Jeff. They don't have much lighting in there for picture taking. It is an amazing place. It would have been great to be one of the first spelunkers to go down. Bet it was scary as big as that place is.

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  5. Ah, my beautiful New Mexico ! Once this big batch of rain/storms passes thru - you should have clear sailing ahead. 😎

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    1. Thanks Moonfly. Don't think I'll wait. Just plow through the rain and be glad it is not snow.

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  6. Having been to both Kartchner and Carlsbad we thought Carlsbad was the much grander experience by far. Looks like you will be home soon so all the best and sorry we missed you in Borrego Springs this winter. Maybe with a little luck we'll all be back again next winter hiking and jeeping in the deserts and mountains of the great American Southwest.

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    1. You're right Al. Carlsbad was much more awesome in it's size and number of formations. I will be home in a few days and this winter will be behind me. I'm hoping that I do make it back next winter, but I'm not sure I can go alone again.

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  7. We always go the natural entrance too! You miss so much if you go by elevator. Would love to get my grandkids there! Your pics were awesome! 82 degrees is a nice evening for sure! Travel safe!

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    1. Thanks Shirley. It is good to hear so many have taken the tour. It is an amazing place. I can't believe I had forgotten all that beauty in just eleven years. But, anymore, I can't remember last week very well. I'll be home soon and this winter will be but a short memory.

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