Friday, October 16, 2015

Aliens & Underground Lairs

We had to get back to Texas somehow so chose the Roswell to Carlsbad Caverns route and broke up the trip with pitstops along the way. There are long stretches of nothingness and oil rigs so you have to find ways to break up the monotony.

One of the long stretches. The roads were so straight with nothing along the way that we had trouble even finding a place to pull over for lunch and bathroom breaks.

Practicing alien greetings.

The museum had a very long and hard to follow movie in the style of "Unsolved Mysteries" complete with overly coiffed host. It was full of interviews with hard to believe people. The only time everyone perked up was at the conclusion where we were invited to enjoy the "free" museum. Free? What? When? And then there were the exhibits. UFOs, aliens and dry ice.


Dead alien.

I don't know if I was in outer space myself that day but I could just not follow any of the "logic" of the theories and firsthand accounts. Skeptical to say the least. The kids still have very active imaginations, though, so they were a little freaked out before we visited. These exhibits had the opposite of their desired effect and actually put them back on the track to reality!

I'm sorry, did you say 'va...'? Nevermind. 

Hey! These look familiar! Maybe the people of Sego Canyon were documenting alien encounters in their pictographs!

We stayed at a KOA a little way outside of Carlsbad Caverns. The campsites closer by the NP were reviewed terribly because of all the roughnecks living in them and partying a lot. But we were close to Living Desert Zoo State Park and visited with all the animals. This is a Javelina and actually cuter than she looks munching on her veggies like a little piggy.

I read a book called "How's Inky?" to the kids while we were traveling and they discovered a new love for porcupines. This guy obliged and waddled around for us.

It seems like it's very hard to spot owls in the wild so we enjoy seeing them when we can. The Zoo was also a great way to learn about the flora and fauna of the Chihuahuan Desert. It's quite pretty up close with the variety of plants.

Usually we don't get so lucky to see such active animals in captivity. These beauties looked like they were ready to pounce on us and they came right up to the fence making eye contact. One was trying to get the other to play. 

And then there were these two little punks! The kids ran up and down the path while the bobcat kittens raced up and down enjoying the game of chase and climbing up the fence. We took a huge blade of grass and ran it along the fence and they were playing like crazy. It was just like playing with a domestic kitten! They loved it and so did we. And the mountain lions had a window into the bobcat enclosure and liked watching the show. 

There were lots of little bunnies in the park. 

All layered up and ready to go.

Another strong warning. What goes on in these places? 


The winding walk down. It goes on and on. But, thankfully, no one got weak knees.

It was dark throughout with certain highlights lit up. But it was very hard to get good pictures. This is Whale's Mouth.

Lots of cool formations.

Plenty of mites and tites. This is Witch's Finger.

We did the audio tour which was really good. 

Since no food was allowed underground we took the elevator up, quickly scarfed and got the last elevator down so we could visit the Big Room. We spotted roadrunners during our break.

Chinese Theater. Check it out! 

At the end of the day we stuck around to see all the bats come out. A park ranger gave a little talk, told everyone the strict rules about silence and photography, and then offered to do Q&A until the bats started coming out. They took much longer than usual and the crowd was unbelievably hard on him! Somehow he managed to keep his cool. At last the bats came out and we were all very relieved! We watched them swoop around for a while then headed home knowing that was the unofficial end to our sightseeing. Just miles to cover and taking care of business from here until Puerto Rico.

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