Friday, July 20, 2007

Carlsbad Caverns

Truth be told, we are not big cave people. Sure, we made the requisite jaunt to Luray a few years back. And, make no mistake about it, we enjoyed our time there. It's just that there are a lot of activities we prefer to checking out caves. The ones you can easily walk through tend to be too commercialized and the other ones tend to be too intense for us non-spelunkers.

That said, Carlsbad Caverns is probably the one set of caves that everyone should go visit if they get the chance (and if you can find it in the middle of the beautiful and desolate Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico). One cool feature of the cave is that you can walk in through the natural opening and head down 750 feet to the Big Room. Sure, the Park Service has fully paved and railed the descent, but I guess there is no way around this. And the payoff at the bottom is really worth it. The Big Room is supposedly the largest open cavern in the Western hemisphere. It really is a sight to see with its varied formations. The only bummer? It turns out that the feature labeled "Bottomless Pit" is actually only 140 feet deep.

Oh, and the fact that there is an elevator that takes you back up to the surface (and down if you can't/don't want to walk it).

No matter...The cave itself is only the opening act. The main attraction, for us anyways, was the bats...



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