Showing posts with label Carlsbad New Mexico. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carlsbad New Mexico. Show all posts

Sunday, December 12, 2010

THE Trip, Carlsbad Caverns

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

The drive from our campground just south of Carlsbad to the Caverns only took about 30 minutes or so.  On the way in we stopped at just a few of the turnouts/exhibits.  The first one, an Indian rock shelter, I think we enjoyed/liked the most.

After our drive up to the Visitors Center via Walnut Canyon Drive (7 miles) you take an elevator ride 750 foot down and step out into the caverns.  WOW.  Large, and deep in the earth.  Huge, ohh, that is large, only more so.

Short factoids:  The caverns were carved out not by running water and streams, but were dissolved by very aggressive sulfuric acid. The temperature in the caverns is an almost constant 56 degrees F.

Carlsbad Caverns, there are 8.2 acres in the Big Room, which you can visit on a self guided tour.  The paths are slip resistant, and have nice guard rails on both sides, all the way around.   There are no colored lights in Carlsbad, just a few spot lights here and there.  It is fairly dark, we tried using the hand held twilight feature on the Sony, outcome mixed, not as good as the Christmas lights in Grapeveine Texas.  Here are a few of the best.

Guard rail across the bottom.

Photo does not show the immense size.
Guard rail and walkway in lower left.

This area is called Chinese Theater

In the center, a pool of water.

Carlsbad Caverns, overwhelming in size and a bit overwhelming being that far under the surface.  It is a "you gotta see it in person to appreciate it".  My photos just do not do justice.  The lack of color in the caverns made it difficult to see details in the photos, the camera did not pick up what our eyes saw.  The colors were tones of whites, beige, browns,a little rust, some green where lights had encouraged the growth of algae. That said, I would not mind a re-do attempt!  Man and I only did the Big Room and only part of that.  Again, because it is so overwhelming, a re-do would allow us to see the back half of the Big Room where the Bottomless Pit and Mirror Lake are. 

**(And, Man, next time you have to feel 100% before we try this, but, would not have missed what we did, so so worth the time and effort. Mother Nature is really something, isn't she??)


Saturday, December 11, 2010

THE Trip, Carlsbad New Mexico, The Riverwalk

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

When Man and I heard folks talking about their Riverwalk in Carlsbad, we figured it was something akin to the one in San Antonio Texas.  Wrong!

The Riverwalk in Carlsbad is simply natural.  It is 4.5 miles of fishing, walking, picnic tables, playgrounds, all along what we found to be the neatly kept banks of the Pecos River.

You can even cross over the river on this bridge.

And, a water fountain in the middle of the river, sweet:

One of the more interesting sights, a palm tree dressed in it's winter best.  We are guessing to protect it from the cold(er) nights.  Saw quite a few palms dressed this way all around town.

We only had a short visit to The Riverwalk of Carlsbad New Mexico, however, we found it to be a wonderful respite.  In our opinion, a true jewel the town has every right to be proud of.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

THE Trip, Living Desert State Park, Carlsbad New Mexico

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Even tho Man is feeling icky, we have been wandering away from Tana for a few hours each day, the abundant sunshine drags us out and about.  One of our little jaunts was to take in the Living Desert State Park here in Carlsbad, New Mexico.  The park is a showcase of the Chichuahuan Desert flora and fauna.  You know who took a lot of photos, of course, 117 give or take.  Since they are primarily of flora and fauna they will start appearing over at Reflection's Flora and Fauna, in fact the first photo, The Prickley Pear, has already appeared.  In the next few days you might find Elk, Mexican Gray Wolf, and more.

The park sits atop a hill top, maybe they consider it a mountain top, not quite sure, but, it is up there, and being so, gives great views of Carlsbad and the surrounding desert lands.  The day we visited was W-I-N-D-Y-Y-Y-Y, nearly blew me off the hill top.  You could see the dust blowing around down in town.  Between the dust and the bright bright bright (did I say bright?) sun, taking photos was a challenge.  This one is tweaked in the brightness and contrast.

Down there, those buildings in the sun and dust,
Carlsbad New Mexico

The park has a very nice visitors center with display cases and even a "please touch me" display, full of bugs, and horns of Elk and other fun stuff.  (If you consider bugs 'fun'.)  They also have a fine collection of rocks and minerals from around the US and Mexico, beautiful stuff.  And, I spied this enchanting sculpture by Wren Prather, titled, "Gathering the Mescal".  The piece is not large, but the detail is delightful.

We spent a couple of nice hours strolling around the park, enjoying the flora and fauna, and even though many of the photos will appear, like I said, over at Reflection's Flora and Fauna, I just have to share this one, yes, a prairie dog, they are a Reflection's favorite.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

THE Trip, Odessa TX to El Paso, No, Make That Carlsbad, New Mexico

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

We started the day headed for El Paso along I 20. Then, we remembered suggestions to visit the Carlsbad Caverns. We actually remembered just in time, about 30 miles east of Pecos Texas.

So, we jumped off of I 20 and headed north west on 285 to Carlsbad. Basically a 2 lane road, one of the most remote we have been on. Lost the Internet and cell phones here and there, it was that remote. In total we drove about 160 miles.

As we drove through Pecos we saw signs for a local museum. Since we had effectively cut our drive almost in half of what we had expected to do for the day, we decided to stop if we could find a place to park Big Butt and Tana. Turned out there was no issue with parking, we found a great spot right by the museum. And, what a museum we found.

West of the Pecos Museum, housed in the 1896 Saloon/1904 Orient Hotel. Because of the bedrooms upstairs the museum has individual rooms (some 50 or more) they can use for specific displays, such as a music room, a school room, a doctors office, a kitchen, a barber shop, a room that highlighted washing machines (including a wash tub and scrub board), and a display of several early telephone switchboards, and MORE!  Here are a few photos, a few of the best of the best.

The bar. The friendly bartender (decked out for the
holidays) is, mmm, mechanical, & motion detector activated,
he will tell you all about the history of the bar.

You just know they had to have a collection on Pecos Bill!

Maybe some of Reflection's readers will remember our rant at
a campground in November of 2009, when a nice (?) campground
employee told us, "this is not my first rodeo".  Man and I have never
forgotten the phrase, and laugh about it a lot.  So, dear campground
employee, were you at THE first rodeo??  1883??  Really??

Nice bottle collection, taken through the fenced in door.

And, finally, from the land of the truly bizarre, some
 kind of electric hair curler (photo to the right actually
shows some chick hooked up to this monstrosity).
Makes me really glad I gave up curls and love the
straight and natural look!
I took over 175 photos at the museum and along the road this travel day.  Man felt good this day, but, by the next day he was feeling quite punk.  So the next few days at Carlsbad I will spend catching up, reality days, laundry, dog grooming, blog writing, sleeping, resting, grocery shopping.  Man will spend it resting, updating software and such on the iPod Touch, coughing and generally feeling icky.  We are having cool nights, mild days, and buckets and buckets of sun.  We have our home on wheels, are in a campground, a few days off are not a bad thing ('cept he feels crummy, that is never a good thing). 

On the agenda while we are in Carlsbad, the Caverns, of course, there is a River Walk, and the Living Desert State Park.  When Man feels better we shall continue the trek westward.