It’s Halloween and we are making our way out of the Texas oilfields to New Mexico. It seemed like as soon as we hit the state border the oilfields ended. It was just as desolate and wide, though. One thing that’s strange, and for me unsettling, is how vastly open it is out west. It is so flat and devoid of any plant life taller than a couple feet that you can see across the land as far as your eyes will allow. The sunset isn’t restricted to one cardinal direction on the horizon, but it is panoramic as there are no land formations, trees, or buildings to interrupt your view of the sky’s colors. I’ve never felt so small!!
Our only planned stop in New Mexico was Carlsbad Caverns National Park. It was much like Mammoth Caves (they are the same rock and formed the same way), but Carlsbad Caverns were very large underground spectacles and Mammoth Caves are hundreds of miles of mostly narrow caves.
We got to the caverns in the late afternoon so we only had time for one self-guided tour, but one awesome thing we learned about was The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. This pass, also known as the Annual Pass, gets you into all national parks at no charge and gets you discounts at other properties under the Department of the Interior for one year. The pass costs $80 and Mike and I can be “co-owners”. Now we own 2 things together, which is very cute. Carlsbad Caverns alone would have been $20 for us to enter, and once we hit the national parks in Utah we are sure to exceed the $80 cost of the pass.
We decided we didn’t want to stick around until the next day to do the other tour since we had already seen Mammoth Caves so we got back into the van to drive through New Mexico into Arizona. On our drive out of the park through the mountains afforded us some glimpses of mountain goats!
Fees Waived with Annual Pass:
Carlsbad Caverns National Park $20