To Carlsbad and Back: Day Two

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Day two of our Mini Road Trip we spent exploring Carlsbad Cavern National Park. Depending on how fast you walk, this is at least a half-day event. It took Christopher, Joshua, and myself 3 hours to hike down the Natural Entrance and around the full Big Room, taking the elevator back to the surface.

I’ve been to the Cavern several times in my life, but this is probably the time that I’m going to remember best because I made Christopher and Joshua slow down and read all the signs (I HIGHLY recommend doing this!) and really look at what they were about. I know they probably won’t remember a whole lot of this experience, and I’ll have to bring them back, but I know that Christopher came away with a deeper understanding of geology and how caves are formed. Unsurprisingly, Joshua got bored about halfway through the Cavern and kept asking why we weren’t seeing any bats. It’s okay. He’s only 5.

I do have to admit, I didn’t take my camera into the cavern. You see, it’s REALLY dark down there. Once your eyes are adjusted to the safety lights that are strategically placed throughout the cavern, the bright flash of a speed light- or even the pop-up flash!- will ruin your vision and everyone else’s too. Admittedly, I could have jacked my ISO to the max, shot wide open, and used a slow shutter speed, but… I wanted to enjoy the time with my boys. I only have 9 precious summers left with Christopher, 13 with Josh, and 16 with Andrew. They’re gonna fly by, and while I LOVE being a photographer, family is first.

Anyway, after we got done with the Cavern, we went back to our campsite and spent the rest of the afternoon lounging around the pool and our tent site. It would have been wonderful, if it hadn’t been so stinkin’ hot! We had to wait for the sun to go down to even start cooking dinner! Oh, well, we still had fun.

Well, that’s it for this day! Check back tomorrow for the last episode of this adventure, and to see what’s up next!