Today, we visited Carlsbad Caverns National Park. We opted for the self-guided tour with an audio guide. We were all happy we got the audio tour because not only could…
Today, we visited Carlsbad Caverns National Park. We opted for the self-guided tour with an audio guide. We were all happy we got the audio tour because not only could we move at our own pace ,we learned a lot.
The descent into the cave is something I’ll never forget. I really didn’t know what to expect. We wound down the path until we came to this massive black mouth. It was sublime. The cave was first discovered by a 16 old boy, Jim White, when he saw what he thought was a volcano or twister in the distance. He set out to investigate and discovered bats coming out the cave. Can you imagine?!?! Over the next several years, Jim White continued to explore the cave using homemade torches, lanterns, and ladders. Talk about brave! While I’m adventurous, I think I prefer the paved paths and lights that are present today.
The cave was magnificent. Crazy. Grand. Beautiful.
A whole other world existing below the surface of the earth.
The only thing that would have made this visit better is the BATS who had already migrated to Mexico for the winter. I love bats. They are so cute. (I’m also the girl who had pet rats as a teenager.) Thing 2 and I play this game in the mornings called “baby bat”. We pretend we are bats. I wrap my wings around him and we snuggle. My bat voice a really bad Asian/British/Southern/what-the-heck accent. Baby Bat tells me he is hungry for “fish”. I have no idea where we got the idea “bats eat fish” but that is what Baby Bat always wants. I had never really considered a bat’s real diet which turns out to be insects. Recently, Baby Bat has been wanting “cat” and Mama Bat reminds him “bats don’t eat cat” but it doesn’t seem to help. Any excuse to chase Meow Cow.
Golden plains stretch as far as the eye can see. The sun beats against my face. I shift in my seat but cannot escape its glare. James Vincent McMorrow’s voice…
Golden plains stretch as far as the eye can see. The sun beats against my face. I shift in my seat but cannot escape its glare. James Vincent McMorrow’s voice fills the cabin and his lyrics stir my heart. My body is tired and achey from hours of sitting yet I’m content. Content to my bones.
After there days of go, go, go. I’m ready for a day on the road. We are headed to Carlsbad to experience the mystery of the caverns.
Eastern New Mexico is desolate. We passed nothing but flat land and run down buildings that are slowly returning home to the soil. I love it and prefer it over a cityscape any day. I will miss the west.
I open up my computer to try to write for a few minutes. Suddenly after hours of silence I get a barrage of questions. Thing 1 needs to know all about the campground. Brent is wondering if I can make calls. Traveling as a family is wonderful yet it is not without frustrations (as you might imagine). Solitude is scarce these days. I must carve it out in my mind amidst questions, quarrels, and cramped quarters. The vast plains out the window help.
After hours of driving, we come to Roswell, New Mexico. The store fronts are plastered with little green cartoon aliens capitalizing off the supposedly UFO crash of 1947.
Meow Cow wakes up from his slumber on the console to take in the town.
“So that explains it.”
We drove off into the sunset straight to the Walmart parking lot.
Today felt like three days in one. After our glamourous morning in the Walmart parking lot, we headed up the Turquoise Trail en route to Santa Fe. We didn’t know…
Today felt like three days in one.
After our glamourous morning in the Walmart parking lot, we headed up the Turquoise Trail en route to Santa Fe. We didn’t know what to expect. We were taking the scenic route based off of a friend’s recommendation and my distaste for the interstates. Unlike, our first foray off the beaten path this one turned out to be the sort of day that lived in our pre-trip dreams. The Turquoise Trail led us to a little town of about 300 people called Madrid. Not unlike Jerome, Madrid was once an active coal mining town, turned ghost town, turned vibrant tourist town, thanks to artists and craftspeople.
It was a cool morning, perfect for a stop at for coffee and hot cocoa.
We wandered down the street taking in the brightly colored old houses and exploring shops that caught our eye.
We got lost like like children in a store called Weasel and Fitz. Weasel and Fitz sells…well lots of things but most of them are made from recycled and found objects. I found the perfect Christmas gift for my mom. 😉
If I had more room (and cash) I would have definatley purchased on of these lampshades made from old metal signs.
Next door, I stumbled into a dream a non-profit vintage/consignment shop named Resources.
I was small and quaint and run by the sweetest lady. I ended up purchasing a dress and a coat. (A thrifty threads post is in the works.)
I desperately wanted this dress. It was the most beautiful pink with pleats and buttons but it was just too big. My sewing skills are not up to par for altering anything dresses with lots of pleats and lining. I’m also kicking myself for not buying a great pair of Frye boots in perfect condition. If you are in Madrid and love vintage be sure to stop by.
We arrived at Los Campos, our campground in Santa Fe, around 1 pm and after setting up camp, the boys and I headed downtown to the New Mexico History Museum while Brent stayed at home to work.
I know this may sound silly but when I think of colonization of the United States I always think of pilgrims, the Mayflower, Jamestown, and New England even though for the last 15 years I have lived in California where almost every town and road has a Spanish name. I forget that while pilgrims were settling the east coast, the Spanish were moving into the south and southwest. It’s been fun piecing together history with the land it grew from.
It’s also been cool for the boys to see relics pertaining to the stuff we are reading about in history.
Learning about the the first atomic bomb blast.
In painstakingly stark contrast to the atomic bomb exhibit, upstairs there was a special exhibit, The St. John’s Bible and Contemplative Landscape. It took calligraphers, artists, and theologians over 13 years to complete this Bible that will be housed permanently by the Benedictine monks at Saint John’s Abbey. We read a passage out loud (quietly) and tried to reflect on it’s meaning. Not easy to do with two boys who are about “museum-ed out”.
It was a lovely afternoon despite almost having a heart attack trying to drive the big ole’ truck through the tight and confusing roads of Santa Fe all by myself.
The day ended at DKB fitness with a kettlebell workout taught by my “buddy” from my RKC certification followed by dinner with her and her husband. We had traditional New Mexican food of enchiladas with eggs on top and sopes with honey. So. much. fun!
What a crazy day from waking up in an Albuquerque Walmart to a kettlebell class in Santa Fe with museums and vintage stores in between. Tomorrow we are heading off to Carlsbad.