Day one (two weeks ago tomorrow) in our first mini road trip of the summer involved getting up at the crack of dawn (the norm for our house, by the way) and loading the car with our final few items before grabbing breakfast at McDonald’s for the boys and a Blake’s breakfast burrito for me. Then we finally hit the road for Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Along the way, we stopped at the Smokey Bear Museum in Capitan, New Mexico. This is a tiny-but-well-worth-it stop along the way. It beautifully displays and documents the history of Smokey Bear and of forest fires in a way that is relatable and child-friendly. Oh, and Smokey is actually buried on the premises.
After we jumped back in the car and hit the road again, Roswell, New Mexico was our next stop. Of course we HAD to stop at the world-famous International UFO Museum! Although this museum welcomes children of all ages, it is most definitely geared toward older teenagers and adults (people who have the patience to read displays). Because my boys are younger, they didn’t enjoy this nearly as much as they did Smokey, so we spent a short while here before hitting the road again.
About an hour later we made it to our campground and set up camp. Once that was done, everyone was game for heading on out to Carlsbad Cavern National Park, so we hit the road. By the time we got there, it was too late to enter the cavern, so we checked out some of the other activities the park has! For example, the Visitor’s Center has a wonderful museum that covers the history of the park and the Mexican Freetail Bats that live in the cavern. My boys were fascinated with the diorama of the cave they have in there! We also took a drive along the 9.5 mile scenic loop drive they have. It is well worth the time it takes to drive the loop, but I highly recommend taking a high-clearance vehicle because the dirt road gets a little rocky at points (my Chevy Traverse made it just fine). We made it back just in time to attend the Bat Flight program! Ranger Emily was an awesome and very knowledgeable host who helped my boys fall in love with these amazing creatures! The program ended with the colony exiting the natural entrance of the cavern- a glorious sight, well worth sticking around for!
It made for a VERY long day, but it was well worth it. My boys had a blast and found something enjoyable at each stop. I had an awesome time watching them had fun. And, of course I got what I needed for my photo project! I can’t wait to share it with you!
Until next time, y’all!