First stop down! Yeah buddy.
We dedicated the first day to the road to head out west towards Carlsbad, NM. The drive was rather unremarkable, as anyone that’s been through West Texas can attest to.
We spent the night at a KOA, and headed out to Carlsbad Caverns first thing in the morning.
The cavern’s entrance is a gaping mouth, complete with winding tongue walkways and stalactite uvula (the hangy-down thing in your throat… Just looked it up).
Shortly into the walk, we enter room after room of glossy rock formations, each with its own natural works of art. Every piece is marvelous in its own right, and unfortunately pictures can’t do justice.
To quote a fellow cave diver after he took a photo of Fairyland, a spectacular popcorn stalagmite formation near the entrance of The Big Room: “Oh good, another picture of my flash.”
Carlsbad Caverns are certainly best experienced first hand. As the audio tour (somewhat strangely) kept repeating:
“The Caverns are not the longest in the world; that belongs to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. They are not the deepest in the US, as that belongs to the Tears of the Turtle Cave in Montana. But visitors unanimously say that Carlsbad Caverns have some of the most unique and widest range of beautiful rock decorations in the world.”
As a spelunker with this one trip under his belt, I completely agree.