Monday, September 28, 2009

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Arizona to Texas, I always considered the interstate to be the best bet - straight, fast, lots of lanes to pretend I am driving a roadster - Will say that I was incredibly elated, though, to find out that you can cut through Alamogordo NM, into the Guadalupe Mountains Range. Same mileage, the sluggish speed limit adds about an hour and a half to the trip - but worth it. Felt like I was back in Colorado! The higher altitude makes everything so green. Towering trees - deer - cute little cottages, in the middle of nowhere.... Screw Interstate 10 - from now on I planning on driving through the mountains range.....

Stopped at a little pet-friendly motel in Carlsbad for the night. Nine hours on the road, Perry was pretty excited to finally get out of her cage. She was jumping all over the windows, climbing in the tub, running over the table.... finally she climbed up in the cubbyhole next to our bed, stuck her paws over the side, and passed out.... ha... love that cat.

Carlsbad Caverns is fantastic. One of my favorite National Parks... created by an inland sea that dried up - The caverns were carved by sulfuric acid which was created by the combination of oxygen in water with hydrogen sulfide gas from the oil deposits far below the surface. As the mountains rose, the water table dropped, dissolving the limestone and leaving behind immense underground chambers. The 'Big Room' at Carlsbad is large enough to hold six football fields. Pat and I hiked in 750 feet below the earth's surface - still amazes me when I think about it.

Later that evening, Pat and I returned to the cave to watch the Mexican freetails bat fly - something that I have never had the chance to experience.... The audience is so silent during the bat-flight - was really beautiful.


Chris Taylor said...

That's a nice, concise description of the origin and morphology of those caverns.

Are you secretly a geology major?

London Andrews said...

Hahaha..... Did you know that I am truly not a nude model at all... I really travel the world studying the morphology of caves... : )

Actually, though.... that audio guide at the front desk of Carlsbad brainwashed me... You can rent one for $3 and walk around the cave with it. Brilliant audio recordings keep repeating themselves over and over again... just like sulfuric acid, carving out your brain.... : )

PD said...

Sounds like beautiful country. The Pics are great. Jealous. Once again jealous.

Funny shot of the cat!

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