Friday, March 06, 2009

Alamogordo, New Mexico

I did it. While Robin stayed in the RV and had a leisurely breakfast, I went back into the Big Room and walked all the way through. My timing was pretty good. Last night, one of the rangers told me that they were expecting a group of, I think, 97 school children to arrive this morning. Aargh. We got to the caverns at about 9:00 a.m., and I didn't see any school buses. I went in, and there were six other tourists in the room, plus a few rangers, who appeared to be checking for falling stalactites. Four of the half-dozen tourists were the chatty type. They were talking in loud voices and hollering to check out the echo. Charming. Then a ranger shone a flashlight in their direction and said "Lower your voices, please." Yes! I rushed through the first part of the cave, to get away from the noisies, and for most of the walk, I was alone. Then, as I was approaching the exit, I saw an army of people coming in. There must have been at least fifty people - and these still weren't the expected children. I breathed a sigh of relief and left while I could still hear the silence.

When Robin went in yesterday, he asked me (softly) what piece of music the park should play in the cavern, were they to do such a thing, and I said "The Albinoni Adagio". Today, I stand by my decision, but in truth, what kept going through my head this morning was Paul Simon's You Can Call Me Al, because the man in the song sees angels in the architecture, spinning in infinity, and he says "Amen! Hallelujah!" Yep. That's Carlsbad Caverns in a nutshell.

At 10:30, I finished my walk and drove the motor home down the hill to White's City (a clump of shops and a hotel at the bottom of the hill). Robin decided to ride his bike down, so I met him there. We drove back through Carlsbad and on to Alamogordo, which involved a climb to well over 8,000 feet. Robin did most of that climb while I took a nap. It's just as well that I was asleep during the first part of his drive. The wind was so strong, he thinks he was up on two wheels at one point.

Now, we're sitting in a very pleasant park at 4000-odd feet, breathing much better, watching the approach of what the local people sincerely hope is a rainstorm. If that does happen, we may be here for another night, but if not, we'll be going to White Sands National Monument in the morning, then heading west.


John Hayes said...

Wow, that piece by Albinoni is superb! Never visited Carlsbad, tho I did take my folks to Luray Caverns in Virginia back in the 80s-- thos big caves are really remarkable.

foetoe said...

We visited White Sands many, many years ago. Timing put us there in there late, not long before the Park closed (sort of like your first visit to Carlsbad Caverns). We had the place nearly to ourselves and the low sun sculptured the dunes in shadowed relief. A quiet place of wind and sand. Beautiful! Of course today I think they ski down the dunes, so not sure what you will find.


Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh, I am enjoying this read - right along side of you- and feeling indignant from the shouting. The tourists do that in our mountain cove sometimes - play loud music, holler, have parties sometimes - I think to say to them 'why come to our quiet mountain and bring noise and trash?...what's wrong with you?" ah well....

Sandra Leigh said...

John, I'm glad you enjoyed the Albinoni. He's one of my favourites.

Marty, you wouldn't have liked our visit. I'll talk about it in the next blog entry.

Kathryn, hello - good to see you! The cavern experience really was spectacular, even with the noisies.

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