"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Long Walk In The Caves

Here is Sophie, watching Sweetie and our son get the car ready and packed, as I explain to her that I am going on a long walk...........
without her. ............... It's been years since we have "gone away" on a trip.......the main reason of many......we enjoy staying home after years of traveling when our children were small and I have animals that have to be put safely up for the night away from predators. We live so far away from everyone, it's impossible to get someone to come out every morning and night to take care of them all. So it's almost imposssibe to be gone overnight and no way that we can be gone for days........ However, we live close enough to the New Mexico state line, that we decided to take a trip to Carlsbad Caverns. It is close enough that we can go there for a fun time and be back in the late night hours . We have been there on many occasions,......... when we were newly married, and when our children were little.
We took the route closer for us, through Seminole TX, then Hobbs NM, and then Carlsbad NM. The view of the flat dry country was not much to take photos of, however, the peach orchards in Seminole stole my heart away. As you can see, no one else was interested, I had to take the photo through the window of the car. I had dreams and plans going on in my head all the way to Carlsbad about the apple orchard I would one day want to start.


I love old towns with their old buildings. On the corner I spotted this old clock.......which was still telling the right time! You can click on the photo for a better look.


Soon the flat ground start turning into the Guadalupe Mountains.


Here is a view from the top of the cave in Carlsbad.




We arrive! I can't wait to start walking....wishing Sophie could have come........but, NO DOGS ALLOWED.....
The last time we visited Carlsbad Caverns, I had to carry our youngest son, still a small toddler all the way down.....750 feet.....in my arms, because baby strollers are not allowed. I was in my early 30's at that time, and it was nothing to carry him and enjoy the walk.




This is the beginning path that winds it's way down, down. The gravity of the downhill walk started to make my feet and legs to complain.....and I wasn't even holding a toddler this time! It is a 2 1/2 hour walk to get to the bottom.







This is the roof of the top entrance. The smell of damp cave and bats fill the air and my heart beats in anticipation. My camera did not want to cooperate in the darkness so the photos did not come out good enough. You can visit the cavern's website and look at some beautiful photos of the amazing structures by clicking on to this link http://www.nps.gov/cave here you can read about the cavern's history as well.






We were a couple hundred feet down and I snapped the last picture of the opening entrance before we wound on down to where it can no longer be seen. There were so many visitors from so many places! The license plates were from Delaware, Washington, Montana, California, New Jersey, Florida, California, Michigan and on and on. As I walked the path, I noticed I was using the hand rail......something I had never done in the earlier years, and by this time, I had parts of my body that I didn't even know I had, screaming for me to sit down somewhere. Instead, I just kept moving along, in awe of the beautiful cave and formations in front of me. Finally, we made it down to the bottom floor.....and took the elevator back up to the top entrance. A fun time we all had. We roamed around Carlsbad, not too much going on in the town itself...and then decided to journey home. We got home just before sundown and just in time to tuck all of the animals into bed. Sophie and all the cats were so happy to see us! I went to sleep knowing I had much weeding to do out in the garden the next morning...........




however.........



6:30 A.M comes and I roll out of bed, and quickly realize I have even more body parts I did not know I have!!! How sore I am! I still made myself go out and weed....and now...I am even more sore than when I started out. Now my question to you.......have you heard of Carlsbad Caverns?......Do you have any type of Caverns around your area? Have you been there? I would love to hear!










23 comments:

Mildred said...

I've heard of Carlsbad Caverns but have never been or even seen photos I don't think. These pics were so interesting to me. Looks like you had a great day for your outing too. How nice that you made it back to get the pets settled. Hope you get the sore muscles feeling better soon!

Linda said...

I visited Carlsbad Cavern when I was 17 years old (50 years ago). I don't think I'd want to do it again. These days I don't care for caves. At 17 I thought it was wonderful.

Vickie said...

Hi Kathleen - haven't been to Carlsbad unfortunately. I went on a church youth trip the year the rest of my family went to Carlsbad. But we did take our kids to Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown spur of the minutes when passing through Austin several years ago. It was very neat! There were crickets that had no eyeballs! One of these days, we'll have to come see Carlsbad. That's on the list of places one is supposed to see, right? HA!

Pam said...

I loved your pictures!
I have heard of Carlsbad Caverns- as a youngster, I had a viewmaster reel that had pictures from Carlsbad Caverns- I thought it must be a wonderful place and hoped to visit there someday. I haven't made it yet, but who knows? Maybe someday....
Hope you have a terrific week-
Pam

KathyB. said...

Yes, I have been to Carlsbad Caverns...our family was on its' way to Ft. Polk, La and we stopped and visited them. Awesome and scary are the words that come to mind, and I still vividly remember them. Anyone who has the opportunity to visit should.

And of course, back to the gardens , huh! Watering, weeding, and hopefully harvesting!

LindaSueBuhl said...

Absolutely one of our family favorite places! Probably been there a dozen times and always fascinated by both the caves and the surrounding natural areas. I graduated from Ruidoso High and my brother went to Roswell High - famiy is still in Midland/Odessa area so Carlsbad is a big destination spot for us. I've heard the Christmas on the River there is pretty spectacular (of course that's from somebody who lives in Hobbs so you have to factor in their location!). Isn't it funny - we work so very hard and then when we exert doing something different - whole new muscle groups are heard from! Be sure to keep well hydrated - muscles appreciate that fluid.

Tipper said...

No caves around here-but what an amazing one you visited-wow!

Muddling Through said...

Hi Kathleen, I'll just take your trip in lieu of one for myself. :) Don't even like the thought of caves, especially ones that go that far underground. Nope. I'll stay above ground, thank you very much!

What kind of beans are those you have growing? My pretty red-flowered Hestia beans did not care for the Houston weather, but we do have a good fence full of field peas we're enjoying.

Hugs,
Elaine

limpingalong said...

Love Carlsbad -- have visited there so many times. Did you stay to see the bats come out?

Didn't know Seminole had peach orchards.

Muddling Through, the caverns are so spacious that you don't get the feeling of being closed in! Now the Sonora Caverns are much smaller and those might bother you!

Around here there is Innerspace, near Austin, and another cavern at New Braunfels -- lovely but don't remember the name and lots of stairs to climb. Carlsbad has them all beat!

Linda said...

What a wonderful adventure....the pictures took me right along with you. I loved the one heading down to the entrance of the cave and the picture of the last look of daylight was awesome.
Many years ago we visited some caverns...but for the life of me I can't remember their name.....maybe Mercer Caverns, I'm not sure. I remember how cool they were and very quite...it was a great experience. I'm happy you had a good time and all was well when you returned home...hugs, Linda

Nancy M. said...

That's quite a walk to get into the caverns. We have a small caverns near us called Linville Caverns in the NC mountains. That's the only would I have been to, but I would love to go to more.

Lanny said...

We have bat caves up on one of the passes over the mountains to eastern Washington. We first went when the girls were little and Anna was about to turn two. The summer before my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in it's last stage and knew she was going to die, so she made Dirt and I accept money for a new car so that things would be "even" before she died and her assets in the will were split evenly. (We had been the only couple in the six children and spouses that had not barrowed money.) We had chosen a conversion van and the next summer we thought it would be a great idea to vacation in it. But all our stuff wouldn't fit inside with the children in the back too so we rented a little u-haul trailer to pull behind and hold the tent, sleeping bags, cook stove etc. When we got home after two weeks we knew what to spend the inheritance money on, a travel trailer!

The bat caves were the first stop on that memorable trip and so have become a favorite of ours to visit every once in a while. Not as impressive as your Carlsbad Caverns though that is for sure.

The beauty of getting older is discovering things you didn't know you had before!

Can you grow apple trees where you are at? Bet wishes peaches did better up here and on this side of the big hill.

Farm Chick Paula said...

We take day trips too Kathleen for the same reason- I have to be home at night to tuck my "babies" in safely... also, I just like to be in my own bed at night! LOL
I have heard of Carlsbad Caverns but never knew where it was... thanks for taking us along!

It reminds me of Fall Creek Falls in middle Tennessee in that you can actually hike to the bottom of the waterfall... at 256 feet, is the highest waterfall in the eastern United States and it's so beautiful whether you're at the top or the bottom of the falls. It's about a 3 hour drive for us, so it makes a nice day trip.

Poor Sophie, I'll bet she missed you terribly!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

We have Blanchard Caverns--wonderful! Come and see. V and I would go, too! C

Doug said...

When we lived in England we were near Cheddar Gorge in the county of Somerset(that's the Cheddar the cheese comes from)and we had the famous Wookey Hole where a witch lived!
Now we are living in Ireland near the famous Mitchelstown Caves but I'm ashamed to say I have never visited either!

Vintage Linen Treasures said...

I LOVE Carlsbad Caverns! They were the first caverns I ever visited. If done lots of caves and caverns since then, but none come close to the beauty of these caverns. We came when I was a teenager. Now that we live so much closer, I look forward to going again. Great post!
Patricia :o)

papel1 said...

I got to New Mexico and the Panhandle of Texas for the first time last month. We want to go back and visit there again, maybe go south the caverns. I enjoyed the pictures.
Judy

DayPhoto said...

Carlsbad is one of our favorite trips. You did a good job of sharing with everyone. And it was cool down there for sure!

Summer is finally here for us, 99* and heading upwards. All that rain I complained about will sorely be missed. :)

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Kathleen,
I've never heard of Carlsbad Caverns, but it sounds like a marvelous trip. I'm so glad you all could get away and enjoy the day. I know the animals were so glad to see you come back home. Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful trip. I enjoyed it through your photos. Blessings! Brenda

Pat / Silver Thimble Quilt Co. said...

Well that was some day trip. I've been to Carlsbad but I was a child and while I remember it your photos refreshed my memories. Thank you.
I'm sure the animals were glad to have their dedicated parents home. Hope your sore muscles are better.

Pat

Flower said...

Thanks for the visit to Carlsbad Caverns via your post! ( We understand how hard it is to get away for a few days! )
We don't have caverns around here but there are bats..little ones.
Rest up! :)

Daisy said...

I have heard of Carlsbad Caverns but didn't know anything about them. Wow, that walk down into them must have been really something. I have been inside of caverns before but none that were as deep as these you visited. I remember how pretty the crystals were inside the ones I visited.

Gina E. said...

Oh gosh you have brought back some memories! On my tour of the US back in the mid 70's (with first husband) we went to Carlsbad Caverns. It was fantastic! All those bats flying out of the caves at dusk. Thanks for the memories!