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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 these ramps the next day. 750 feet! 
 Allen dressed for the occasion. 
We stopped at a  (okay, the only) store on the way there and Matt got a kick out of the chairs. :)