Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Carlsbad Caverns, Whites City, NM (Wed.2/13-Fri.2/15)

Not the largest or deepest cave around, but many say the prettiest. We spent 2 days hiking around in the caves.

Some say it's nearly impossible to take good pictures in the cave and after a few days of attempts, I would say it is impossible for me to take good pictures.

Natural entrance, Big room, King's palace – done by the whole family. The easiest-to-get-to stuff is probably the most spectacular, but it was worthwhile to see the other stuff.

The bats have all gone south-er (Mexico) for the winter where there are more bugs, otherwise you can see hundreds of thousands of them cruising out at dusk. For February... no bats.

Natural Entrance

on the Left Hand tunnel, Levi, Elan, Shae and Dad carried little lanterns and got a bit off the main trails.

Lower Cave – Levi and Dad (you must be 12 or older). This part of the cave was very active – wet, dripping and growing, some unique things that the rest of the cave doesn't have.

We heard the story several times about Jim White, his discovery of the cave and early explorations. A very adventuress person to be sure. It's secret! You can't tell what tours you took or where they were... They had this funny thing about the “adventure hikes”, the ones where you go off the main trails with a leader, well, we went on the Lower Cave tour and the guide told us not to tell anyone the name of the hike or where it was only to tell people to check with a ranger. It's listed in their brochures so I'm going to break the rules and go on record saying we did the lower cave - there I said it.

We saw large piles of Guano (bat droppings) – which were mined out of here for fertilizer for many years. Thousands of tons mined out but, again, no samples and not even any in the gift store at any price! Odd...

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