Thursday, December 6, 2012

Carlsbad Caverns

Odometer 26447 miles

Trip meter 0

Carlsbad, NM

December 6, 2012

Part of the RV lifestyle is keeping up with all the things that one needs to do, as well as the things one wants to do.

One thing I knew I had to do was to keep up with my exercise program. I don't go to a gym, I never have. Most of my life I have had a career that kept me physically challenged.
Now that I have chosen a quite different life situation, I still feel the need to stay fit.
Joan and I have bicycles that fold up and fit into one of the storage bays in the coach. We love to get our exercise riding around the smaller towns, like we did in Ajo. Today we drove south on Route 180 to Whites City, New Mexico- yeah, the town name is real close to the White City, in Oregon that we used to frequent. This Whites City is at the turn off to the Carlsbad Caverns. A seven mile entrance road takes you to the very top of a high ridge in the Guadalupe Mountains and a very nice visitor center. With my Senior Pass Joan and I get in FREE! Yeah! A short path winds down to a huge opening in the ground where a winding path allows you to descend into the mouth of the cave
The path is fairly steep and in goes down, and down and DOWN- 750 feet down in all and each turn, each passage takes one into another chamber and another landscape of beautiful stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and drapes. The temperature dropped down to a chilly 56 degrees, so we pulled on our fleece pull-overs
Luckily Joan brought the iPad to take photos, because even though I brought a mono-pod, most of my pictures did not stand the long exposures.
As we spiraled down, we came to "The Big Cave". The Big Cave is 8 acres in size and is still only the seventh largest underground chamber in the world. We walked the trail around the entire perimeter and it took us about 45 minutes to an hour The lighting in the caves is very subtle, and well placed- you can never see any direct light source.
By the time we had hiked for 2-1/2 hours we were very glad to see that there is an elevator that will take you back to the surface.

Tomorrow we head out for Dallas, TX. At our normal fast clip, it should take us at least 3-4 days and a few adventures in between! Jeff and Joan

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