Dropping Into Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Have you ever taken an elevator 750 ft beneath the earth? At Carlsbad Caverns National Park, that is the quickest and most astonishing way to blow your mind, however the alternative is equally mind-bending. After driving to the top of the mountain, we made our way through the access gate, the ranger tour and finally down to the gaping jaws of the earth into what seemed like another planet. Should you be packing any hallucinogens, you are certainly in for the most amazing or terrifying trip of your life.
Packing a one year old and four year old curbed any desire to warp our minds, but we did have our work cut out for us visiting one of the most astounding short journeys I think our National Park network offers. Once the natural light disappeared and the cavern engulfed us, the first thing I noticed was the lighting dramatically showcasing the expanse around us. With each step down, gravity tugged at our feet and the phantasmagorical stalagtite and stalagmite formations on our brains.
I felt like a kid again, in absolute wonder at the things our Earth can create and proud of the foresight somebody had to preserve and open such a space for public access; for wheelchairs nonetheless. Once in the Big Room, the concrete trail flattens and the walk is like a masquerade through space and time. While certainly impactful, our boys were perhaps to young to fully appreciate the sublime nature of the cavern.
By the time they both started losing it as one and four year olds are known to do, we were ready to bail and fortunately the elevator returned our bodies and minds to the surface of the earth within 60 seconds. Lost in memory, documented only by our few photographs and these words, we felt no rush to leave; waiting for sunset, skating the scenic desolate parking lot and savoring a meal and every last moment until the last Park Ranger sent us off.