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Showing posts from April, 2016

Carlsbad Caverns, hiking

At Carlsbad Caverns, we got to enjoy our usual hiking caverns and climbing mountains, but inside a cave! Since the elevators were down, we were tortured lucky enough to go down and back up the Natural Entrance, all 750 feet of it, twice. :) But of course it was totally worth it for the spectacular views!
They're used to waiting on me. I'm not slow, I just like to take lots of photos. Plus, I'm slow. :) 
There was a great model to scale of the caves. It was neat to see how far down we went, and then how many miles through the caves the trails go! That elevator would have been lovely though.
The last peek of daylight before we were all the way underground. 
In a funny moment, at a junction, Lizzy said "I feel like there should be a mall down here." Of course we made fun of her... and then ate our words as we went around the corner to find - a mall. Underground. In a cave. It was surreal. We also bought lunch. When in Rome!
The pictures don't do this pla…

Carlsbad Caverns, bat flight

Since we enjoyed the Congress Street Bridge bats in Austin, we were anxious to see what they were like at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. We got there early and found a great viewing center, then were kinda surprised at all the warnings and restrictions. No noise or any kind of photography as the bats came out of the cave! It was a bit of a bummer after the party atmosphere in Austin. (As usual) the NPS is a bit overprotective, and a little lame as they explained that any noise or flash of light would prevent the bats from returning. They may want to visit Austin, because thousands of people literally stand on that cave (bridge) and cheer on and photograph the bats, who for some reason, decide it's just fine to return home in the morning. But it was still a great sight to see thousands of tiny bats taking off to start their day of bug catching! And the ranger did a great job sharing all about the bats and the cave.
Since the elevators are down, we knew we'd have to walk down …

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

After Big Bend, and then an unsuccessful stop to hopefully see the Marfa Mystery Lights (though we greatly appreciated the quiet night's sleep there!), we headed to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. We only planned one hike here, so Devil's Hall sounded intriguing. Plus it included bouldering, so of course. Hiker's Staircase sounded cool too, and it was!
Every hike seems to include side climbs.
Allen can't hike without issuing a CHALLENGE!  It's hot lava, don't fall!
The hall at the end was very cool. We were a little excited! :)
We can see our house from here...
While the "campground" is a small, concrete parking lot with no hookups, it was right in the park at the trailheads (and close to Carlsbad Caverns), and had a nice view, so we didn't mind!
The morning we left Marfa - taken by Allen, because morning. :)

Big Bend, Hot Springs and The Window

Since we were hot the first day, and cold the second, we decided to try the hot springs - so of course it was 100° outside! :) The hot springs were 105°, so not much difference. At least the Rio Grande beside it was cool! And yes, that's Mexico right there, across the river. Did we cross the border? Which is a few inches of water? As it's illegal, of course not, obviously. Do you see any pics of us on the other side? Nope, so there's proof we did not cross, obviously. :)
Beautiful drive there, of course.
Super short "hike" to the springs, which used to be the feature of a resort.
Mexicans cross the inches deep river to sell trinkets every day. Since it's illegal, we passed, but they were pretty neat!
Hoping to cool down, we headed to The Window to watch the sunset. It did cool down to 70° too!  I'm not a real photographer, so you'll just have to imagine, but it was gorgeous. Or better yet, visit Big Bend one day to see it yourself! Just maybe bef…