Bright and early on Christmas Eve, we head out of Amarillo aimed firmly in the direction of New Mexico by way of Lubbock. The holiday makes for decent travel (although not always the best roads). Thankfully, the drive is uneventful although our campground choice is further away from everything than we would like (including a nice leisurely 15-mile drive up a gentle long steep hill that we thought we might need to push the RV up).
Not having enough driving, we started the RV back up and headed to the other side of Carlsbad towards Carlsbad Caverns. The same light holiday traffic on the roads also means less tourists in the caverns. We get there near 3 p.m. and take the elevator down to the Big Room. Oh. My. God. It is just amazing to us that places like this exist…and just get stumbled upon by hikers or geologists or people like us. And they are still discovering new caves and byways and all sorts of interesting things each day.
|Max and Mara at Carlsbad (duh!)|
|One view in the Big Room|
On a bit of a down note, we walk out to have Mike study the front tire and see steel belts showing. Uh. Oh. It’s 4:45 p.m. on Christmas Eve in Carlsbad, NM (population 27,000). I get on the phone with the campground for a recommendation, call them to find no answer…but a hotline number! One and half hours, over $200 and a Christmas Eve dinner at Wendy’s later, we are in good shape…Big Thanks to Carlsbad KOA and Forrest Tire! We follow up our unconventional dinner with a viewing of A Christmas Story…a perfect ending leaving us in a new search for a smiling duck to have at some meal on this trip…
P.S. – The dusk bat flight only happens from May to October, so we didn’t see a repeat performance of the one we had seen in Austin, TX several years ago. It is literally like watching some weird movie to watch them come out. In Austin, it’s from under the Congress Bridge; here it’s from the cave entrance. There are likely other places to experience the same thing and you should definitely try it – especially you Twilight fans!