Sunday, October 22, 2023

Visiting Carlsbad Caverns National Park

!Me by the sign
Entrance to the Visitor Center

This is one of my bucket-list stops, and it was great!  It’s pretty amazing going down the stairs at the entrance to think about how the guy who discovered the caverns would have experienced it.  Imagine that as soon as he was the bottom of the entrance, there would have been almost no ambient light and he continued exploring even deeper with only the light he could  bring with him.  Along the way he  would have been navigating through loose rock and boulders.  Today, of course, the caverns are lit well enough and the path is paved with a guard rail to keep visitors from straying off.

Cave Boobie
Cave Boob

The trip through the cave is about 1 1/4 miles and with a steep descent that works out to be about 79 stories.  It’s pretty easy to do though, and there is an elevator at the bottom that I rode up back to the visitor center.  I think my favorite formation was the Cave Boob (my name for it).  There are other formations that are more visually interesting, but this one made me giggle like a fifteen year old.

Cave Formation-02 Cave Formation-29 Cave Formation-30
Cave Formation-03 Cave Formation-05 Cave Formation-06

Old Wooden Staircase
Old Wooden Staircase

At one point in the cave, they have left an old wooden staircase that was used by visitors to the cave long before the paved trail was put in.  (Maybe before it was made part of the national park system).

Cave Formation-09 Cave Formation-10 Cave Formation-12
Cave Formation-24 Cave Formation-25 Cave Formation-28 Mirror Lake
Cave Formation-31 Placard Cave Formation-31 Cave Formation-29 Placard
Cavern Entrace-2 Cavern Entrance-1 Entrance Placard

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