There is a deadline to our travels. At least for the Fulltime RV lifestyle and it’s creeping up quicker that I would like. There’s so much that we’ve yet to see and because of life happening, it will have to wait. I’ve had to remind myself to enjoy the journey and not get caught up on what we haven’t seen yet. There’s always another time, summers, winter breaks, and dare I even say, retirement?
There is nothing scarier than driving a HUGE vehicle up the side of a mountain and not knowing when the drive will end. The website said there was RV parking and we did see a few other rigs coming down from the caverns so that at least settled some of the fears.
One could spend all day here. There is just that much to see. Just being outside near the center will give you an eyeful to look at. Our time was rushed, so we enjoyed the Big Room by taking the elevator straight down. There is a separate Natural Entrance for those who are fit or have littles who are more inclined for that sort of adventure.
Inside, this place is huge. It certainly earns the name Big Room. The tour is self-paced and you do not feel rushed to complete it. The weather below is chilly but once you start moving around, you barely notice the cool. This cavern is thought to feed water into the Bottomless Lakes State Park in Roswell, NM which is about 90 miles away by car.
During the Summer months, there are bats by the thousands that settle in the caverns. We are quite sad that our timing was off for this one. The center offers a FREE “Bat Flight Program”.
While we were here, we picked up our Annual National Park Pass. There are different types of passes for Seniors, Active Military, Disabled, and free passes for 4th Graders. This pass was good for our Carlsbad visit and to other Federal National Parks, The Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Army Corp of Engineers. This summer looks to be a busy one and we hope to use it often.
It’s like it’s so close. So close to being this amazingly campy area in which all of your X-Files dreams were aching for but it falls short. It’s true that everywhere you look, there are little or sometimes large green men with slanted eyes. Even the light posts have alien eyes staring back at you. But the visit to the museum was a bit more sterile than one would have hoped for. Most of the information was in newspaper clipping and hung in photo frame form.
The best part of the experience was the alien display. At some point, an alien starts to move its head. Shortly after, smoke starts coming from the mothership as well as more movement. This delights everyone at the museum and takes away from some of the duller ‘fact’ based information.
Bottomless Lakes State Park
Get out and stretch your legs while viewing some amazing cliffs and deep red rocks. There are tons of hiking trails and a lots of lakes. It is said that some items that have gotten lost in Carlsbad Caverns have shown up in these lakes. The water is very cool in February but it didn’t stop the kids from getting knee deep in it.
Big D’s Downtown Dive
This place has great reviews and it’s totally earning its keep. We enjoyed their ridiculously large Monster Fries as an appetizer and almost couldn’t finish our mains, almost. I had the Tomahawk which was a beefy burger on Navajo Fry Bread. Navajo Fry Bread is this warm, crispy yet chewy piece of fried pillowy bread. All of the additions- guac, lettuce, pico de gallo, and cheddar added to the yummy goodness of this ‘burger’. The only negative was the size of the wings. They are appetizers but I think we had 6 and were expecting more like 10. Totally our expectation and not anything written on the menu so it’s not their fault as our kids ate them as a main.
Red Barn RV
This has been one of the smallest RV parks we’ve ever stayed. There isn’t much in terms of amenities, clean bathrooms and we didn’t use the laundry. But the owner is very welcoming and helpful when you are backing into the spots. The other positive, the walking area goes around the farm next door. Lots of space to stretch your legs after you’ve spent all day on the road so you don’t feel like you are cramped in.