Land of Enchantment Part 1

As we finally made our way through the giant state of Texas, we were excited to finally be entering NEW MEXICO!  We parked at a private run RV park in Carlsbad, NM, situated close to Carlsbadgood Caverns National Park.

Even the drive to the park was gorgeous!  The kids were in awe, as were we!

This is the outdoor amphitheater where spectators watch hundreds of thousands of bats depart the cave at dusk.  I processed the following photo in High Dynamic Range (HDR); I used 3 images merged together:

Unfortunately, the bats were on vacation in Mexico this time of year.  Sort of a bummer, but the magnificent cave made up for it!

Here we are making our descent into the mouth of the cave:

It just kept going down, and down... and down.  During this decent I couldn't help but think about the fact that the elevators were not working.  Which meant we had to go up the same way we went down. I wasn't too worried about Aaron and myself, but about the 4 and 6 year olds that we were responsible for making sure exited the cave at some point that day.  But down we went...

Simon felt safe with his trusty head lamp.

It's hard to tell in the photo, but that's water down there:

The kids were pretty sure this was a giant pile of melted peanut butter...

This formation is known as the "whales mouth" (if I'm remembering correctly)...

You learn something new every day (well at least I seem to)... bat poop AKA guano (the blue-ish stuff you see covering the rocky formations in the photo below) was actually mined for explosives.  MINED.  They went down to collect bat poop in order to blow stuff up.  Humans are funny.  

We made our way about halfway through the entire cave before I convinced Aaron that there was no way our kids would make it back up without us carrying them.  So we made the really hard decision to turn around without seeing the entire cave.  We keep telling ourselves that we'll come back some day to see it all.

Apparently I either underestimated my kids, or calculated their energy level just right, because they pretty much ran up the cave.  But by the time we made it back out front to the entrance sign, the kids seemed very done...

The cave was super cool, but I think the kids may have been more excited about the indoor heated pool at the RV park:

 ... And the fun tire swing thingy:

While in Carlsbad, we decided to check out the local museum and art center:

The kids seem to make friends wherever they go...

I loved the art throughout this place!

  There was all kinds of neat historic stuff as well:

And they even had miniature art! :D

And an entire interactive model village of 1905 Carlsbad!   I got to talk with the creator of the village, who interestingly enough is a former German airman.  He taught me all about Carlsbad and the history.

 ... he also told us some neat places to go around town, like the Pecos River, where you can swim and rent kayaks and paddle boats for free on the weekends.

Unfortunately, it was Monday, so the kids just stared longingly at the boats instead.  Good thing the German man also told us about the cool playground nearby!  This place was like a child-size "America Ninja Warrior" course, which Selah dominated...

I think being the founder of her Kindergarten Monkey Bar Club has paid off.


Off to New Mexico location #2 in the morning!

March 11, 2016

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