We drove until we got to Roswell. Don’t tell anyone, but we went to the UFO Museum and read about the sighting at a ranch nearby in 1947. We didn’t see any aliens except some of the unusual people who were there!
We then went to Carlsbad Caverns and had a Ranger-led tour of the King’s Palace and then a self-guided tour of the Big Room. Wow..it was truly an awesome experience! This is something we have wanted to do since we were kids and it was well worth it. The stalactites and stalagmites, columns, drapes, soda straws, etc. were amazing to see and imagine how long it took for them to form.
The caverns were fund by a 16 year old cowboy in the early 1900s and became a national park in the 1930s. The Big Room is 8.2 acres and can hold 10 or so football fields. To get to the level of the cavern where the walking is, you take an elevator down from the surface in one minute. You are going down75 floors in that one minute!
After seeing the caverns, we ate and then went to the amphitheater to see 400,000 bats leave the cave! There are several species of bats but the predominate one is the Mexican free-tailed bat. They can begin their flight anytime after dusk; tonight it began at 7:45p.m. In a matter of minutes there was a thick bat whirlwind that spiraled out of the cave up into the sky. They come out and fly to either the Pecos or Black Rivers which are about 25 miles away is different directions. They drink and eat insects for most of the night and then return to the cave before dawn. We watched for 40 minutes or so and even then, there were still a few bats coming out. There are no pictures since everything electronic had to be turned off and people had to be very quite so the bats would come out. If there is too much going on, the bats will stay in the cave until people leave! Another awesome experience.
One of the Rangers that we talked to as we leaving the amphitheater told us that this was the best flight she had seen in 4 months…and we …along with 1000 other people…were there to see it!
We stopped at Wendy’s on the way back to the hotel for a Frosty before we went to bed.