Thursday, February 23, 2017

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

 I haven't been doing that much travelling lately due to the fact that the kids are always in school and my husband doesn't have the weekends off. Luckily My hubby and kids didn't have school or work on President's day so we planned a day trip to the Carldsbad Caverns.

From Clovis, New Mexico where I am from up to Carlbad Caverns is roughly 3 and 1/2 hours drive. Not that bad of a drive but the dull scenic view will take a toll on you, my husband kept on yawning the whole drive.

We left home around 7am and reached the park about 11:30, thats after stopping over for breakfast and a car wash at one of the small towns along the way.


This is the entrance to the caverns, you have two options here, take the elevator down or take a hike through the natural entrance going down. We opted for the elevator because we had our kids with us. 
From the main entrance, the cavern is 750ft underground. We went on President's day so the entrance was free, otherwise it would be $10. They also offer day tours in different parts of the caverns for a fee of course, you can check out the most recent prices on their website.


This is the entrance to the elevators that will rush you 750ft below the surface to the 119 caves that the Carlsbad cavern is made of. A heads up advise to you, only bottled water is allowed inside and do not touch the rocks inside, you can permanently damage this wonderful work of nature. I would suggest you wear a jacket below because it does get cold at some areas but I guess all the walking will keep your body temperature up.
 This is the first marker or map that you will see when you get below. It shows you the rest area and some routes including shortcuts throughout the caverns, we opted to hike the whole big room from start to end, passing by the bottomless pit and top of the cross along the way. 

It's very dark inside aside from some lights that are highlighting  parts of the cave. I read on one of their fact sheets that if those lights go off, it will be so dark that you won't be able to see your hand in front of your face. Imagine if they actually went out while you were down there.


Welcome to the big room. The largest known limestone chamber in the western hemisphere. 
This is where our journey begins. Floor space is listed at about 600,000 square feet and it will take you about an hour to walk around it.

 Stalactite's and stalagmites fill up the caverns, beautiful art pieces that were crafted by nature.


Here's a part of the hike that i found interesting, a wire ladder that was installed in 1924 that took explorers down 90ft into the lower cave, imagine climbing down this ladder in darkness.


Here's the wire ladder, picture won't do justice on how scary it seems.
Passing by the Hall of Giants.  These three massive speleothems are the largest in the cave. Started from dripping that slowly increased it's mass and girth, turning into columns.

 Throughout your walk through the cave, you will pass along these signs that gives you interesting facts about the place.

More signs along the way. 

We reached the top of the cross, a room shaped like a giant cross. One thing I noticed in this room where the row of stone benches, i guess they made it so people can sit and enjoy the scenery.
Sometimes I would forget that I was 750 ft underground, seing all thses people discovering the caverns along with me, each whispering to each other because normal talking will echo through out the place. 
I mentioned this a little earlier in my blog about the lighting in the caverns, and here is the fact sign that tells you about it.
making our way throughout the caverns, we can't help but be amazed by the beauty of it, knowing that underneath the ground that we normally walk on lies beautiful caverns like this one.

We didn't get to explore as much as we wanted to because we didn't want the kids to get tired, there's a whole lot that we missed but we definitely do plan to come back here to explore it, and next time we will start the hike from the natural entrance.

 I wonder how many years it took for these formations to take it's shape?

 It seems like a whole new world down below.

 Stalactites and stalagmites


They first thought this was a bottomless pit but years later they found out that it's actually 140ft deep, but when you look at it, it does seem like its bottomless.
 this is how the Bottomless Pit looks like.


This place use to be where bats had a colony, if you look at the floor below you can see the build up of bat droppings.



An half an hour walk but truly worth it!


 Carlsbad Canyons, one of the many beautiful places New Mexico has to offer crossed out from my bucket list.

See you on our next adventure,
Joy




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