Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Caves, UFOs, and Bats

We got a decent night’s sleep but for the a-rythmic and continual beating sound of a nearby oil drilling operation to wake us up. Who would locate a park in the middle of oil fields? Apparently, New Mexico would. And the though the park was blessed with bunnies, it had an unfortunate number of scorpions and tarantulas. I was reminded of all the small and deadly creatures that inhabit the desert when I was joined in the shower by a scorpion.

After a hike around the lake, we set out for Carlsbad Caverns. The caverns were amazing and huge. We took one of the mile long self-guided tours, but unfortunately weren’t able to get on a ranger-led tour of the unimproved caves because they only run those tours on the weekends. When we were done exploring the caves, we realized we had another 6 hours before the next Carlsbad Cavern attraction we wanted to see—the bat flight at sundown.

So what do you do when you’ve got hours to kill in Southeastern New Mexico? You drive to Roswell for the UFO museum, of course! We made the ridiculous drive to Roswell and back mostly so we could squeeze in some more attractions we had heard about for the following day.

You could probably spend hours at the UFO museum “finding the truth”—they even have a research library for you to peruse and check out books. My only critique of the UFO museum was the conspicuous absence of the WB’s Roswell teen drama. What gives? Being at the museum spurred a pretty interesting conversation about Dennis and my different personal beliefs where we forced each other to rank in order of liklihood the existence of seamonsters, chupacabra, yeti, the faked 1969 moon landing, and aliens. Forget about questions of religious and cultural differences, this is the stuff you need to know about the person you plan to spend the rest of your life with.

We made it back to Carlsberg for the bats with time to spare. I was hoping to make up for the lackluster bat video in Austin, but unfortunately no photos or video are allowed. I have to say that the bat flight was incredible and well worth the commute. At about 6:30 pm, millions of bats begin pouring out of the cave in a black cyclone swirl and fly towards their insect hunting grounds in giant cloud formations. A mesmerizing experience and one that makes you feel truly in awe of these tiny mammals.


Leslie said...


JA Campbell said...

Went there when we lived in Lubbock---uhg hate bats and they smell