Day 33: Caverns and aliens in New Mexico

May 16, 2009


DAY 33: Artesia, New Mexico
Miles traveled: 5,035
States visited: 16 (just added: New Mexico)
Weather: 93, sporadic showers

Jason and I entered New Mexico last night and headed for Carlsbad Caverns today. The cavern was quite a sight. We hiked down 750 feet into the cavern, past all sorts of rocks, calcium formations, stalagmites and stalactites. The temperature down there is a constant 56 degrees and there is water dripping in various places. It was amazing to see formations that are thousands of years old. There are also tons of bats that live there and come out at night, but we didn’t stay all day to wait for that.



At the entrance to the cavern, you can see for miles and miles.


There wasn’t much vegetation in eastern New Mexico, just cactus, dry grass, and a few flowers. And some brave animal life forms.


After Carlsbad we went north to Roswell. As you might expect, this town is all about aliens.


We went to the UFO Museum & Research Center, which detailed the alleged alien landing in Roswell in 1947. The museum was actually pretty weak. It didn’t do a good job of telling the story. Someone could come in and make this a much more interesting place.


Then we traveled through a town with a summit of 7500 feet. I found that hard to believe, though, because we hadn’t driven up many hills. How could we all of a sudden have arrived at a place higher above sea level than Denver?! I thought we should try to bake a cake using the high elevation recipe, as a way of confirming that we were really that high above sea level, but the opportunity to do so never materialized.