Tuesday, April 27, 2021

"Carlsbad Caverns National Park is best described as living artwork." -- Stefanie Payne

"The Lion's Tail" is a group of stalactites  with "popcorn" at the end.

Carlsbad Caverns offers spectacular beauty!  Pictures, particularly amateur ones, do not begin to do it justice.  You need to see it in person. My camera is in for repair and cell phones aren't the best either. The "Big Room," with over 8 acres, is the largest limestone room in any cave in the United States. It has been a National Park Site since 1923 and a tourist attraction well before that.

Another "it's a small world" moment Monday evening.  I finished  booking a campground in Washinton state towards the end of Aug. and then we took Krikkit for a stroller ride around the park before dark.  A lady saw us and inquired if Krikkit was a red heeler (she is half heeler).  They also had red heelers in the past.  Her husband came out, and as we were talking, found out they were from Seattle.  Well, we are going to Seattle this summer.   They are also building a house a little further down the coast in a little town called Ocean Shores.  Guess where Ithe campground I just booked was?  Yep, 5 miles from Ocean Shores!  It IS a small world!  We enjoyed meeting and visiting with you Maria and Greg!  

A reflective pool

People have imagined some of the formations looking like things such as the "Dollhouse" here, or "The Lion's Tale" above.  Many labels have stuck.  Do you see anything in any of the pictures?

When stalactites and stalagmites meet they form pillars.

Organized tours are not operating right now so you are on your own and only allowed in the Big Room (an hour+ adventure in itself). We had the choice Monday of taking an elevator down the 80 stories or walking down.  I was already experiencing claustrophobic tendencies and feared a panic attack.  I'm always fine once I get down in a cave but that doesn't make it easier getting there.  I know it's an irrational fear but that thought doesn't conquer it either.  I still had to question the poor ranger on whether there were tight spaces in the cave and he said the elevator would be the smallest space.  That of course led me to ask how long it took the elevator to go down 80 stories.  As though he was asked that frequently, he answered quickly, 69 seconds.  The elevator is the route out of the cave too.  I survived the elevator ride and the cave was HUGE.

They have learned from the past.  At one time they had a cafeteria down in the Caverns.  Although food wasn't cooked down there, it still contributed to damage.  Now the ONLY thing you can take down is plain water.  Also, at one time, they had cars parked on top of the caverns.  Over time this allowed gas, etc. to seep down and caused stains. 

There are 17 different bat species in the cave.  As with other caves, they take great care to make sure you don't bring in the fungus, White-Nose Syndrom, which is fatal to bats.

We have been hearing strange noises occasionally from our car GPS.  A noise similar to, but not quite like, it's changing the route.  We never see anything on the screen that indicates anything.  Pat figured it out today.  It's like a video game.  You drive over the small purple 200 package and get 200 points and it makes the noise.  Points towards what we don't know.  Coming home from UPS tonight their was a purple package showing up on the GPS in our RV park.  Pat dropped me off at the office and drove down to the opposite end of our park to "collect" the 200 points.  Maybe businesses will pay to mark their spot to try and get you to drive there?  Who knows!

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