Since we began traveling, we have wanted to visit the Carlsbad Caverns, which are located on the southeastern side of New Mexico. Well, we were finally in the area so we decided to make the move from our spot in Las Cruces to a well known dry camping spot just outside of Carlsbad. For one week, we camped in a dirt, horseshoe shaped parking lot that had a humongous tire in the center where all the kids from neighboring campers would hang out throughout the day. There wasn’t anything exciting about our site but it was a convenient spot to camp since we wanted to be close to the Caverns. A lot of other people had the same idea so the place was never empty; on the weekend, it looked like a regular campground.
We spent a day visiting the caverns and were surprised at how busy they were. It was probably due to the time of year that we went (around Spring break), so the visitor center was crammed with people. Many of them walked down into the caves (they are about 1,000 feet deep) and then took the elevator up. Because it was so busy, we decided to do the opposite of everyone else and take the elevator down and walk up. We were so glad that we did it this way because we were able to view a lot of the caves without most of the crowds. On the way up, however, we had to travel single file due to the large number of people coming down.
The caves are amazing and simply stunning. Apparently, they were formed “when sulfuric acid dissolved limestone leaving behind caverns.” They are covered in growths coming down from the roof called, ‘stalactites,’ and growths coming up from the ground that are called ‘stalagmites‘. The dim lighting in the caves, combined with their unique structures, causes them to appear very medieval. They looked like they should be on the filming set of a movie. Since they are so huge, we spent several hours exploring them. One spot that was especially interesting was an overlook called, The Bottomless Pit. Although you can’t see the bottom, it is only 140 feet deep. I don’t think we’ve ever enjoyed a national park or monument so much as we did that day.
Also during our one week stay in Carlsbad, we met some other fellow full-time RVers – Brad and Sarah and their little girls, Sunny and Coral. You can check out their blog (and follow them on Instagram from there, too). The manner in which we met them was sort of funny. I was exercising outside because I noticed their truck was gone and thought no one was watching me. However, I was wrong. Brad had gone into town so that he could work from a place that offered WiFi, so Sarah and the kids were still there. They all came out to meet me, and Hunter, hearing the commotion, came out as well. They are from Washington and have wanted to do the full-time thing for some time, so about a year and a half ago, they decided to go for it. We hung out in their camper that evening and, the next night, they came to our camper. We always enjoy meeting new people, especially those who can relate to our lifestyle. We hope to run into them again sometime.
After 4 months in New Mexico, we decided to head towards the beach. We took a day drive and stopped at a city park for one night in Texas. It was so beautiful – very lush – which was quite a change from where we had been. Even though we were only there for one night, we made some unforgettable memories. First of all, there was a large dam that we walked across several times. This was fun because the water was flowing over top of it, but it was also a mental challenge because on one side, the water was so deep we could not see the bottom and on the other side, it was a slippery, sliding, get-scraped-up sort of fall to a rocky riverbed. The park also had an entire frisbee golf course set up so we definitely took advantage of this. Finally, as I mentioned in our last blog, I love history and there was a cabin that was built in the 1800’s there, which we took our time viewing.
After falling asleep to the sound of running water, we awoke the following morning and continued to our destination in southeastern Texas.