Monday, November 2, 2009

Day Six

The next day, we toured the famous Caverns at Carlsbad National Park. The entrance to the Caverns looks like...a giant hole in the earth.

And you walk down into it.

And you keep walking until you can't see any more. Then you keep walking. Seriously, though, you go 750 feet down. It's a mile long trail, but it didn't seem all that steep. The cave is 56° year round, which can feel nice in the middle of August in New Mexico. The rock formations are amazingly varied. And they all have evocative names that I can no longer match up with what I took a picture of. Still, here they are

After spending the morning and early afternoon in the cave, the bright, sunny, New Mexican day was a relief. Cloudless and blue, and, of course, hot.

We drove a couple of hours west into the Sacramento Mountains to a tiny town called Cloudcroft and found the Cloudcroft hostel. The scenery outside the car window changed dramatically from the ocher colored desert to lush green pine forests, in just a couple of hours. The air even felt less dry, and as the afternoon lengthened, we were shocked to see mist rising from the mountains. Cloudcroft (allegedly 9,000 feet above stress level, if the website is to be believed) was pretty adorable, but we left the exploring for the next day. We spent a quiet evening talking with the hostel's owner, John, as the sun set behind the mountains of the Lincoln National Forest.

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