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March 15, 2018

Beneath the Surface of the Earth

by Steve Winogradsky

When we started our trip in June 2017, we sometimes drove long distances between points A and B in a single day. One of the things we have learned on this trip is to break up those long drives by staying in small towns along the way, making the drives shorter.

The side benefit of this is that if we see something along the way that we had not known was there, we have the time to stop and explore. We took advantage of this when we were outside Atlanta and saw the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem GA. After leaving Marfa TX on our way to Santa Fe NM, we noticed signs for Carlsbad Caverns National Park and decided to take a side trip.


Beginning at the Visitor Center, there is a Natural Entrance trail, where you can walk down to the caverns, which is 1.25 miles and extremely steep, OR you can take an elevator 750 feet below the surface to the caverns. Once below, there are paths leading you through the caverns, where there are over 100 caves formed when sulfuric acid dissolved limestone, leaving caverns and various types of natural structural wonders.

A  note about the photos below: it is VERY dark down there, lit only by a few low wattage floodlights, so these photos have been "brightened" digitally for your viewing pleasure.

As you go into the cavern there are informative signs that provide the names of the spaces you are in as well as some geological info. For those needing a refresher course from your high school geology course, please read the following:

Remember, stalactites come down, stalagmites go up!
The main cavern is called The Big Room, with floor space of approximately 600,000 square feet.


Everywhere you look, there are things to see that are rarely seen by most people. Not too much to say here except WOW!

The "yellow" light is from the floodlights.








Another natural wonder!






Pools of water form in some places after dripping from the ceiling.






Still growing!




The Rock Of Ages




The trip down into the caverns took a couple of hours, but was well worth the time spent to see the beauty of this underground world. If you are in the area, I highly recommend a visit.

On to Santa Fe!


Note: We were here in early February.

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1 comment >>

  1. I can't go underground because of clastrophobia so I appreciate the chance to see your pictures.

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