Carlsbad, probably the Best Caverns in the World

Carlsbad Caverns don’t really require a huge amount of explanation; they’re huuuuge limestone caverns full of stalagmites, stalagtites, and other features we’d never seen before (including a similarly-formed feature that somehow ends up looking like a bird’s nest). We agreed that these were the most impressive caves either of had ever visited…..

The ampitheatre at the entrance is to allow people to watch as gazillions of bats fly out of the cave at dusk; we were there at the wrong time of year (they’ve flown South) so no bats. It must be a fantastic sight…..

Although our standard entry was covered by our America the Beautiful pass, we paid extra to take the once-daily guided tour to a part of the caves not normally accessible called the King’s Palace.

The rest of it you can just walk through yourself; a quite steep zig-zag path from the cave entrance down about 800 feet under the surface, then a path around the Big Room, which is the largest known natural limestone chamber in the Western hemisphere and the size of 14 football fields.

Carlsbad Caverns was the South-East corner of our intended tour, reached after 2,688 miles on the road in K.A.C. From here we’ll be driving West, roughly parallel to the Mexican border, in the general direction of San Diego.