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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > May 2009 trip part6

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c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 09/09/09 12:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

May 2009 Trip
A Cross Country Journey
California to South Carolina and back
Part 6, Somewhere in Texas to Carlsbad, New Mexico
All of part6 Photos

May24, 2009

A nights rest wasn’t disturb for too long of time once a rolling lighting and thunder had gone its way. Still 06:00am seemed to come rather quickly and by this time morning was silent with a few clouds hanging around. This time it was decide to grab some food and eat on the run, also needed some fuel, we found both near each other. Stopping at the RV office to thank them for hospitably they shown us, they appreciate the thanks.
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Interstate 20 was quietly calling to us, waiting patiently and I answered her call by putting the pedal to meddle. Some time later we pulled into a rest stop, nothing fancy about the place just a nice clean spot.
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Back to cruising the interstate and it was moving at a good clip (70+), we saw a billboard for Texas bar-be-que. Well we would have pull in to that place and give it a try. Making our way to Big Boys Bar-be-que, I don’t remember what town we were in. What you know, it was closed, and that was indeed unfortunate. Luck was still with us for around the corner there’s another one, Buck’s Bar-be-que.
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Parking lot didn’t have any space for my rig so I made my own.
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My Julie and I selected “all you can eat” affair from their fine buffet.
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This restaurant turned out to be a choice of faith, for the food was excellent and we made it in just before the Sunday churchgoers swamped on in. Bellies full with delicious meats made for slow walking back to our rig, but down the interstate we had to go. More wind generators had sprouted along our traveling route and in the distance it looked liked two cranes was in a fierce arm-twisting battle. As we approached there was no doubt that a long ensuing effort to over come each other had been going on.
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About 9 miles east of Coahoma, Texas sunlight was draining from the skies to a gray state in front of us, winds kicking up to the point of were I’d to slow down a lot. Then there was no light only grayness and the sudden down pour of rain. Lasting about 15 minutes and it was behind us as we pulled farther away
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Video Texas Thunder Storm
A welcome sight we did see, Pecos next four exits. Making our interchange road to Highway 285 there is a large rock picture of Texas.
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Eighty-seven more miles till Carlsbad, NM. For the road that lay before us was straight and few in the way of sights.
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Passing a roadside shade area, a lone man and his bicycle look at us as we motored on by. Several abandon homes along our way; time taking it toll slowly eating the structures to dusk.
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Stopping to take a photo of this road marker, showing only of what’s left of a trail crossing that nature has reclaimed.
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A welcome to New Mexico state line sign let us know we weren’t much farther to Carlsbad.
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A dark cloud was drifting our way, dumping its life giving liquid to the parched desert; we had received only a few drops of that liquid for we had only shirted the edge.
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The miles to Carlsbad went by quickly, making our way through town for a large construction project was happening, we found Carlsbad RV Park.
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Securing a site was of no problem, we rarely make reservations. This being Sunday many of the weekend campers were baling, to make their trek back home.
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It was close with the tree branch, but did provide some shade. We wander around a bit to check things out such as the laundry room, showers and what groceries they carried (not much). We did spy a Wally World super store on the way in so groceries weren’t a problem. For dinner tonight was a simple affair of bar-be-que chicken, wild rice, and cottage cheese with fruit along with a chilled jack and coke.
May25, 2009
Honey, the stove won’t light, didn’t want to hear that at 6:00am. Took a look at the refrigerator, yip it was out as well.
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That tree branch just became a pain in the rear since I would have to climb up on the camper’s roof to get a full propane tank and one of those clackers was above me nagging at me.
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Soon all was as it should be, coffee percolating, grits bubbling in its pan and some sunshine eggs to go with everything else. With breakfast over it was time to see this marvel of a cavern that we’ve heard a lot about. Not many people were about this early and all the weekend campers were gone making traffic light going out to the caverns.
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Before you know, we are doing our traditional photo in front of Carlsbad National Park sign.
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I was told that this canyon could get very windy through it, as of yet not much in the way of wind. The road in did how ever wind around a bit and dipped now and then.
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Video Carlsbad Cavern Road
It would only be natural to make a couple of look-see stops on the way in to soak in new territory and some Ocotillos up close.
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Driving up to the main visitor center brought us to a vast view of the valley from the main parking lot. Parking the rig wasn’t a problem here, just don’t forget to lock your rig and you won’t have to walk back.
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My first sight in front of the visitor building was old glory at half staff, for it was May 25, a day to remember all the men and women who gave their lives for our country.
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We had long ago decided on doing the two self-guided tour, this would allow us to move at our own pace and the nice thing about the self-guided tours is that all I had to do is show my annual park pass and were go to go. Out the door to The Natural Entrance following the asphalt path as others have done.
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There are lots of warning about if you these health conditions, use the elevator, also take advantage of the restroom at this time for it will be awhile before reaching the end of the first loop.
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Julie and I casually walked on getting closer to the wide mouth of the cavern and its gentle switchback path leading us to shadows of a new adventure.
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Video Carlsbad Cavern Entrance
Wide mouth of this cavern shrinks down to throat size just big enough for people to file through behind one another.
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This was our first sighted formation, a pale yellowish slab that looked a little melted.
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Little did I realize that we were going to see thousands of different formations of nature’s underground handy work, some very simple and others that I have no doubt been carefully crafted by time itself. Taking photos would be challenging for my little camera and me. Walking the path soon brought us to an area called “The Twilight Zone”, a transitional zone of which the lost of natural lighting happens. In this part you are giving a taste of no light and have only the hand rain to guide one self along.
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Video Cavern Twilight Zone
I have simply took too many photos to be posted in this report so go to this LINK to see all of Carlsbad Cavern photos I took, so on with the tour of Carlsbad Caverns.
Once clear of the twilight zone area, a pillar that was once forces of opposites join together.
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The first loop is constantly going deeper into mother earth, revealing new and ever changing wonders.
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Such as one that is called “Whales Mouth”, A little imagination and one can see a Blue Whale.
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At this point the temperature is a little cool, but still ok for us as the shadowy path makes another downward turn deeper into the earth.
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During our journey to the underworld we came across many formation in which looked to me like a melted mushroom.
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I was speaking earlier of the challenges of shooting photos in low light conditions, using a flash or the night program; the results can be very different.
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Both above photos are of the same object. Moving on, that is downwards, passing by one larger fallen rocks know as the Iceberg for this huge chunk of once ceiling had come crashing to the bottom and like a ice berg you can only see the tip of it.
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As we approach the end of the first loop the stairway of how tourist and employees use to use to descend into the depth of Carlsbad Cavern is still here.
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Finding ourselves at the between point of the two tour trails we stopped for some coffee at café area for the coolness in the air required a little warming up. Oh the coffee was very good and we brought along some snacks
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From the restaurant area we are entering the “Big Room” section and the many construction of nature.
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Video The Big Room
The enormous space of the Big Room only adds to the enhancement of shadowy figures of blob like creatures or the tail of a fuzzy cat.
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Entering the Hall of the Giants where the Twin Domes Stalagmites tower 58 feet above the path we are walking on and the Giant Dome Column towers at even higher at 62 feet.
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Shortly we were at the short cut, if people didn’t want to continue on to the rest of The Big Room they could it and cut their walking almost in half. One of the earlier human ladders was left in place, used by explores to reach into the bowls of this cavern.
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During our stroll in the second half of The Big Room I’d noticed that there are many more small ponds and a sign about creatures living in those ponds.
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I could go on with a endless list of underground wonders that are here, the one that sticks in my mind is Rock Of Ages.
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Video Rock Of Ages
Passing many more of nature’s handle works, we soon arrived back to the elevators and zooming back to the land of light. It was close to 3:00pm time we exited the building and at 3:00pm there was a minute of silent for all our troops, past and present.
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Visiting Carlsbad Caverns was worth every minute spent there. After such an enjoyable day the drive back to Carlsbad’s was a quick one. My Julie said dinner tonight would bar-be-que chicken, corn and a nice salad, but we would have to stop at Wally World first.

Part7 conclusion coming soon.


2007 F-250 4x4 /6.0 PSD/ext cab/ 2020 Bunduvry

Lance 815/ 85 watts solar panel (sold)
2020 Bunduvry by BundutecUSA

Travelingman2 Photo Website
Truck Camper Trip Reports 3.0
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Alex and Julie's Travels Blog


Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 09/09/09 02:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the trip photos.
We loved Carlsbad Cavern. We were there in 2004 but were late in the day so we had a limited time there and had to rush. We were chased out by a very nice park ranger who let us take pictures of things on the way out and gave us a naration of things we walked past as he made sure the park was emptied for the night.

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Everyone that can, should go there early in the day and plan an entire day going in the natural entrance which we could not because we were so late in the day.


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weymard

NORMANDY

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Posted: 09/09/09 02:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Awesome ! Thanks for sharing !


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whazoo

Idahome

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Posted: 09/09/09 07:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like a fantastic trip, love those cave shots! What are you doing trying to catch that bird? Borrow Silver's crossbow and you'll have dinner "on the fly." Thanks for the trip report there Alex and Julie, you travel maniacs.





kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 09/09/09 07:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for bringing back the memories with the cave shots. I remember some of those formations from when I visited back in 2000. We had planned on staying to watch the flight of the bats, but with 50+ mph winds blowing, the rangers said the bats probably wouldn't fly. We actually wondered if the TT would still be on it's wheels when we came back up.

By the way, if you have one or get a chance, I would love to see a photo of your roof top storage system.


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turtletalk

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Posted: 09/09/09 11:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for trip details and pics...even menu items.Any other tips for cross country TC travelers?

c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 09/09/09 07:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

turtletalk wrote:

Thanks for trip details and pics...even menu items.Any other tips for cross country TC travelers?

Enjoy the view,where ever you are at.[emoticon]

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