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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Carlsbad Caverns - the magical underworld!

Carlsbad Caverns is very different from Mammoth Caves. While it is not as big in terms of size - area the known cave covers, the portion open to self guided tours is called the Big Room and is over 14 football fields long. "Big Room" is an appropriate name. Lots of interesting facts about Carlsbad can be found clicking at this link. The pictures don't do it justice; it is much more impressive in person. We did a self-guided tour and rented the audio handsets which were well worth the $5. There was so much to learn and see. At the end of the tour the elevator lines were quite long (spring break still) so we decided to hike out. The "hike" or "climb" was +800 feet in ~1 mile. While the cave temperature is a constant 56F, you can work up a sweat hiking out. Allow 1-2 hours for the room tour and another hour to hike out if you choose.  Most people will walk into the cave and elevator out but noooooo not The Nomad Retirees.

Welcome to Carlsbad located in SW New Mexico.

Some views from our tour of the Big Room - you need to see these in person.
These are called soda straws coming off
the ceiling.
Stalactites and stalagmites can grow together
forming a column.

These are called curtains due to
their many folds.

The formation they call the Rock of Ages.

Getting some perspective on size - see
the person in the red circle. 

Happy the walk out is almost over!
 The long walk out is equal to about 85 floors.
We were huffing and puffing by the end. 

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