Sunday, March 8, 2009

Road Trip, Day 3

Technically, I'm writing this on the morning of Day 4, but I'm hoping you'll cut me some slack. 

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We always stay in the finest hotels.  

Saturday morning we slept late, leisurely drank coffee, showered, and were out of the room with four minutes to spare from the check-out time.  How's that for getting your money's worth?  (To be fair, the room was nice.  I didn't blacklight it or anything, but I'm afraid to do the blacklight thing because I want to be able to actually stay in motels in the future.  Nothing like sabotaging your own travel, no? So, screw you germs!  I don't wanna know!)

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We drove to the Carlsbad Caverns.  We passed a lot of kitschy Americana, which I love.

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It was windy.  Stupendously, ridiculously goddamned windy.  It's been windy this whole trip. Yay.  Notice the ocotillo cactus.  My favorite.  The final 6 miles of the drive to the cavern really reminded me of Tucson and the drive to the Desert Museum.

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This is the trail head to the natural entrance of the cavern.  You have the option of not going this way and taking the elevator 750 feet straight down into ground.  We chose to take the long way, which I totally recommend if you can do it.  (Walk downhill for a mile and a half or so, that is.)

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Cave entrance.  Absolutely beautiful here.  I guess they did the rock work post Depression with CCC workers.  It's a good thing they did it then, because considering the scale of all the work done here, there's probably no way the National Parks Service could afford to do something so extensive and amazing now.  

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Springtime in the desert.  Beautiful.

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Beginning the descent into the cavern.  More amazing rock/trail work.  This kind of thing continues for miles underground.  So. Much. Work. And we got to enjoy it all for $12.  What a bargain.

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This was the only slightly unpleasant part of the trail.  It smelled of bat and bird poo, and there were a gazillion swallows overhead, so people were kind of hurrying through here in order to try not to get shat upon.  I didn't hurry because I am not a weenie.  Also, I just don't hurry.  Not in my nature.

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Goodbye, daylight.  Hello 56 degrees and 90% humidity.  After that wretched wind, this was a fantastic change.  

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The cave was utterly amazing.  

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Words do not do it justice.

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It was like being on another planet.  Planet Awesome!

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My poor little camera gave it hell trying to capture all the beauty.  Fortunately, there was beauty to spare and I managed to capture some.

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Also, we ate lunch 750 feet below ground.  Very cool!  Taylor is certain that we are the biggest dorks ever.  I swear all we do is run around embarassing her.

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In 1924, some poor bastards from National Geographic descended into the "Bottomless Pit" area of the cave on this wire and stick ladder.  They managed to make it out alive, but damn.  Just damn.  I felt vomity just looking at that puny ladder.

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Eventually, we had to leave, which was a bummer.  Soon, though, we were in Texas, aka East Jesus Nowhere.  Seriously, I drove 80 miles an hour for 45 minutes and didn't pass a soul.  

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No wonder.  There was no one to pass.  This is Orla, Texas.  Home of tumbleweeds, abandoned houses and dirt.  That's about it.

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And so we drove.  Eventually, we arrived in Kerrville, TX, which is not too far from San Antonio. The dude that runs the place is super nice, and gave us a discount on the room because we didn't arrive until almost midnight.  Thank you, dude!

And now I need to shower, because we are quickly approaching checkout time.


  1. That looks like a great day. I'm impressed with those caverns every time I see them. {SMILE}

    I don't hurry, either. {BIG SMILE, wink}

    Have you explained to Taylor that embarrasing their children is what parents do? They're especially good/bad at this when their kids are anywhere near their teens. {REALLY BIG GRIN, wink}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  2. Oh, girl. We enjoy tormenting Taylor. It really takes very little effort at all. :P

  3. I'm sure. When a kid is near their teens, it's ridiculously easy to embarass them. {REALLY BIG GRIN, wink}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin


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