July 8, 2016
After eating breakfast at the hotel we stopped in at the nearby Krispy Kreme. We don’t have one in Maine, so seized our opportunity while in Texas. When we got in, the lady working there gave us fresh hot sample donuts. All I wanted was a hot glazed donut, so she satisfied that without me having to make a purchase. The day was starting out well. The girls each purchased two donuts for the road, and we were off.
As we headed out of El Paso, past the dozens of scrap and junk car lots, all evidence of civilization slowly disappeared, except for the occasional battered old recreational vehicle parked in the desert and serving as someone’s home. It was quite desolate and depressed. After several miles we came to a Border Patrol checkpoint where we were asked if we were US citizens, and upon giving the correct answer allowed to proceed. A few dozen miles later we passed a sign stating simply that the next services, e.g. gas, was in 128 miles. We had a quarter of a tank, so turned around and headed all the way back to El Paso. So much for getting to Carlsbad early. trusted sites buy viagra
We did eventually get to Carlsbad Caverns. It was late morning when we arrived, and we were all very excited for what we’d shortly see underground. We talked to the ranger in the Visitor’s Center, then got our tickets for the Natural Entrance and Big Room self-guided trails and the King’s Palace ranger-guided tour. why is levitra cheaper than viagra
The caves are a wondrous, magical place. The caverns are absolutely massive. Fortunately for us visitors, the trails are well constructed and maintained, and there is good lighting of the walkway and cave features and decorations. The girls and I were in awe at the many stalactites, stalagmites, popcorn, soda straws, draperies, and massive fallen boulders. We read the signs along the paths to learn about the geology and history of the caves.
During the ranger-guided tour of King’s Palace, our ranger turned off the lights in the cave. No light from the surface reaches that far down, so it was completely, immensely black. It was as if we were instantly plunged into a pool of black crude oil, as every space between eyeball and object was filled with a tangible, material blackness. After he described what it might be like for an early cave explorer to be in this darkness, and how important it was to bring with them light, he created a single flame which lighted the entire room. Then, he offered anybody with a light to use them, and immediately all the iPhone flashlights were illuminated, filling the room with a cold, blue light. It was amazing to me how the darkness felt. In there I could see nothing. It was serene and oddly peaceful.
After our guided tour we stood in line for the elevator to the surface. We got lunch in the restaurant there at the Caverns, then poked around in the gift shop. Hayley bought a little souvenir, then we left. We drove four hours to Albuquerque and checked in to the Hyatt Regency. Our room was on the 19th floor and was quite impressive. It was late, nearly midnight, so we all went to bed without enjoying its amenities. It was a good day, filled with natural geologic wonders and phenomena, singing, and conversation.