Week 34 - Carlsbad, New Mexico - 04-08-2007

Hello to y'all,

Happy Easter!  We know it is a little late, but we are now in Texas and the Verizon phone service ranges from poor to non-existent.  In our travels it has amazed us how we could get phone and Internet access even while in the desert.  But that does not apply to Texas!

Last week we traveled from the White Sands dunes of Alamogordo NM, through Ruidoso and onto the Elk's lodge in Roswell.  Ellen read the whole way about the 1947 "incident" where many think that a UFO crashed and the government is still trying to cover up the details.  We expected to see something UFOish about the town, but it is just a normal little desert town.  From this point on we were without Internet access until we got to Fort Davis TX.

We found the Elks Lodge in Carlsbad, NM. It was across the road from the Pecos River Walk and golf course. It was a beautiful place. Homes along the river selling for $80,000 to $300,000. The weather was good and we got a lot of exercise there.  From the city of Carlsbad, we spent the day at the Carlsbad Caverns.We left NM and drove through a beautiful part of Texas on our way to Ft. Davis where we stayed for three days due to weather conditions. We awoke to snow one morning and later that day we had a hail storm. We stayed at MacMillen in the Highlands  RV Park, owned and run by the MacMillens. (Duh).  They have a house, restaurant and RV park along Highway 118. Nice people that used to live in Laguna Beach. Across the street, was a paved jogging/bike trail that went along the road for about a mile and then turned in and went another mile past a park, three ball fields, and two soccer fields. An impressive area for such a small town.

Icy roads kept us in Fort Davis until Easter morning.  We searched the Internet to find a church and came up the Roy Cragg Ministries and Faith Alive Cowboy Church.  Yeehaaaa!  It was awesome. The worship was lead by seven cowboys and cowgirls, one of the best we have encountered on our trip.  The message from ole Paster Roy was from the Lord and from his heart.  Isn't it great that you can be with total strangers and feel so at home.  God is great and his mercies endureth forever.


The Pecos River runs through Carlsbad and they have a beautiful park and walkway along its banks

Carlsbad Caverns should be called Carlsgood Caverns.  Awesome, magnificent, unique, amazing, beautiful, intriguing, stunning, beyond description, inspiring, unbelievable, heart-stopping, overwhelming...  No words can describe this place.  No pictures can do it justice.  You have to see it for yourself.  In the late 1800's ranchers knew about the hole in the ground.  Tens of thousands of bats made it there home and would fly out a night looking for food.  Entrepreneurs would descend into the cave and scoop up the bat guana to make fertilizer.  In 1898 Jim White began exploring the cave.  He made hundreds of trips in and out using only lanterns to see with.  He later gave tours, where the visitors would have to descend down the guana bucket hoist and steep ladders to get into the cave.  It was made into a US Monument in 1923 and a National Park in 1929.  This is a must see in your lifetime.

The road to the cave is high desert and is not at all spectacular.

This is the entrance today, easily accessible, fun and amazing.

The following are a few 280 pictures that Ellen took

When we arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with hundreds of cars.  We thought it was really going to be crowded.  But look at the walkways below.  They are paved and have handrails throughout the cave.  This is 2.2 miles of walkways.  While there was a huge number of visitors, we rarely were in a crowd of more than 3 or 4.  This place is so large that it would take over 12,000 people to pack you in like a stadium.  And that is just the walkways.  The "big room" is the size of 14 football fields. Wow!

An incredible sunrise in Fort Davis TX.  Pete only sees them in pictures, just like you.

Faith Alive Cowboy Church in Marfa TX

Roswell, New Mexico

See you next week,

Love, Pete and Ellen

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