In New Mexico - first on the agenda was Carlsbad Caverns.
It was still chilly. Our pipes were freezing most every night, but they were normally thawed out by 10 AM or so. This was manageable.
We got our National Parks Pass - so exciting - and got ready to descend into the caverns via elevator.
It was a full one minute ride to the bottom.
Awe-inspiring really doesn't begin to cover the experience of the caverns.
We met people there who come back again and again to take more pictures, to hike through it again, to experience it anew.
There is no way for your eyes to take in everything.
Jonah was so overwhelmed he had butterflies in his stomach during the entire cavern hike. So big. So gorgeous. Unearthly, really.
|This is sixty feet high.|
After our tour, we got a National Parks passport book so that we could add stamps from each park we visit. We were a little sad that we couldn't get the stamps for Acadia and The Everglades... maybe we'll go back again some day.
Through the gift shop after the self-guided caverns tour, there was a gallery including photographs by Ansel Adams of the caverns. Adams is Michael's favorite photographer - possibly his favorite artist, so this was a real treat for him.
"I am gradually becoming impressed with the Carlsbad Caverns; they are so strange and deep in the earth that I can never feel about them as I do with things in the sun -- rocks, trees ... surf and fog. The photographic problems are terrific; I start with a basic exposure of about 10 minutes...I then boost up the image and "drama" with photoflash. Some of the forms are beyond description for sheer beauty...Twice a day I ride down in the elevator (just like an office building) for 750 feet, and then walk a mile through the caverns to the selected spot...Today the elevators were not working in the morning and I carried the camera, tripod, reflector and lights all the way down the trail for the full 750 feet. My shoulders are a bit creaky tonight." - Ansel Adams