Willa Blair goes 750 feet deep — into New Mexico’s Carlsbad Cavern
My darling husband, Laird Peter, talked me into this adventure, and I’m glad he did. What an amazing trip, deep into the earth’s crust in the Carlsbad Caverns! That’s a point of view I never expected to experience.
They’re not kidding when they say it takes at least an hour and a half to walk down and the same amount of time to walk the mile-and-a-half circuit around the big cavern at the bottom. In addition to the distance, there’s so much to see, you stop often, awestruck at the size, scope and beauty. The path down is wide, paved, and generally well lit, though there are a few dim spots, and there are handrails the entire way. There are also stone benches here and there if you want to take a break. It’s cool in the caverns and very humid, but not cold.
We didn’t stick around to watch the bats emerge from the caverns. Yes, there are bats. Though we didn’t see any, we descended the first 100 feet or so down the gigantic open mouth of the cavern where they hang out—obvious by the amount of their guano and the smell, which was not as strong as I imagine it would be in a deeper part of the cave system.
There’s also an elevator, so you don’t have to walk either way, but you’ll miss a lot if you don’t at least walk down. We crossed paths with two people who were jogging up – keep in mind this is roughly the equivalent of a 70-75 story building’s height, or in this case, depth. Brave souls? Or crazy? After the hike down, I knew better than to attempt it.
Bottom line (pun intended!): It’s worth the effort. If you’re in the area, don’t miss it!
|The rock formations were huge! Stalactites and stalagmites, some meeting in the middle to form gigantic columns. Smooth rock, popcorn rock, some folded like drapery…there was something new to see at every turn.|
|And look who we found deep in the earth! Groot! Okay, maybe not, but it sure looked like him!|