Carlsbad Caverns…

I found a great little breakfast place – the last thing I expected to find in Carlsbad, to be honest. Blue House Bakery Café, located on N Canyon Street, turned out to be one of those little gems you encounter every now and then. Housed in a small blue bungalow on a side street, the inside was warm and welcoming. And breakfast was AMAZING! I ordered an egg, green chiles, cheese and asparagus on a croissant and a double latté. Just after I sat down at a table, my phone rang and it was my friend, Katy, calling from High Point, NC to check in while she had coffee!

We had a great conversation about all kinds of things, including my recent doubts and whinging, Max, her upcoming trip to Italy with Scott, weather, friends… What can I say? It was wonderful to spend 20 minutes or so on the phone with her!

Meanwhile, the croissant sandwich was out of this world! New Mexico knows chiles, and Lisa at Blue House knows how to put together a great breakfast sandwich on an excellent croissant.

I was SO thrilled when I drove up to this little Blue House Bakery Café in Carlsbad this morning!

This cheery bar with warm orange walls is the first thing you see on entering Blue House Café. I just knew this was going to be a good breakfast, and it was.

I loved this painting in the dining room at Blue House Bakery Café.

After breakfast, and a nice morning walk with Max around the big block, I went back inside and gave a blog card to Lisa, who had prepared my delicious breakfast. We had a nice conversation about my trip and I asked for suggestions on where to take him in Carlsbad for some exercise. Before we knew it, three people were involved in a discussion of where to go. We settled on a fenced ball field on Cherry Street, where one of the women said a lot of people took their dogs. With grateful thanks, I left and Max and I went and had a pleasant half hour chasing the tennis ball before we headed for Carlsbad Caverns. How could I be this close and not go to this quintessential American attraction? It was truly a gorgeous morning, crisp and sunny, and I was so happy to be on the road and zigzagging rather than going in a straight line from one point on the map to the next!

The seven mile drive from the main highway to the caverns was worth the trip in itself! This view back down towards where we had come was really spectacular.

I was totally unprepared for the immensity and beauty of the Big Room at Carlsbad Caverns. The self-guided tour, which I chose due to the fact that I had missed the morning Ranger guided tours, was one to 1-1/2 hours long, and I found it to be a very moving experience.

There were so many of these niches in the cavern.

According to the placque describing this Crystal Spring Dome, “About 95% of the caverns speleothems are dry and inactive today. Crystal Spring Dome, the sparkling, wet stalagmite in front of you, may be the largest speleothem still growing.”

The wire ladder in this picture was installed during a six-month exploration and survey sponsored by the National Geographic Society. Built by Jim White, a cave guide, the ladder descends 90 feet into the Lower Cave. Explorers felt uneasy dangling in this dark pit on the swaying ladder.

The Rock of Ages, according to my audio guide, was one of the most popular features for many years. Why? Ranger tours would get to this formation, turn off the lights, and lead the group in singing the hymn Rock of Ages! The practice was discontinued in later years, due to the risk to larger tour groups. It was really spectacular.

All in all, my experience was another spiritual one. This immense cavern, softly lit in places, and darker in others, was hushed and humbling. As I walked, I thought of all the places around the world that have limestone caves – many we know, but probably many undiscovered.

It’s just awe inspiring to me to think of this hidden beauty all over the world, and the intricacy of what water can do over the ages. Also, to think of the caves where prehistoric peoples left their marks on the walls…

I came out into a beautiful sunny breezy afternoon, feeling exhilarated. I brought Max out of the car, and he was oh-so-happy to see me after an hour and a half. He’s always frisky in wind, and he pranced and danced around me, grabbing gently at my hand with his mouth, making me feel even happier to be alive and to be on that mesa with my happy pup.

Before we left the parking lot, I had to make a decision – which way to head? Backtrack North through Carlsbad to Roswell? Or head West towards Silver City, which would take me through El Paso, Texas? I decided to go to Roswell, because it was closer.

Also, I’ve been feeling a bit like a stranger in a strange land, so Roswell (with its history of aliens and UFOs) seemed like the place to go. So, here we are in Roswell, and there’s snow coming our way! The prediction for tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday is for snow showers with accumulations of only a couple of inches, but temperatures – in the daytime – are only going to reach the 20s! Even so, we’ve got it better than a lot of you in the rest of the country who are looking at a BIG blizzard heading your way. Stay warm!


About Maureen Farr

I am a graphic and web designer – and the publisher of the print version of Arts Guide, a free guide highlighting the arts, dining, events, and more on the coast of Maine. In addition, I am a visual artist working in mixed media and encaustic, as well as creating found object jewelry. I am currently at work revising a short novel that I wrote as a participant in the 32nd Annual 3-Day Novel Contest.
This entry was posted in Coffee, Eating out on a road trip, On the Road, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Carlsbad Caverns…

  1. Diana Richardson says:

    A fascinating tour….of a very special place I may never visit, but now feel as though I have at least some(better)idea of what it is. A great Post!

  2. Wow–I’m so envious that you got to see the caverns. I’ve always wanted to see them and that area of the country. And now you’re in alien country–another place I’ve always wanted to see! Glad you’re having fun and good experiences. I like reading and hearing about them! Xoxo cin

  3. guy oliver says:

    Maureen Now you know why it is called the Land of Enchantment. In Roswell visit the Goddard museum, the birthplace of our space program. I would recommend a backtrack to the White Sands near Alomogordo and take the road up to Cloudcroft N. M. then on to Albuquerque and Sante Fe. I made this trip often to rejuvenate my soul and know it will do the same for you.

    • Maureen Farr says:

      Thanks Guy, we are going to explore a little bit here in Roswell, and will check out the goddard museum. I’m on to Santa Fe today, but plan to go back down through Albuquerque in a few days. will look forward to your recommendation on that end. It’s really cold here this AM, but partly sunny and only a dusting of snow.

  4. hank says:

    really enjoy being along on this trip! your blogging just gets better and better

    • Maureen Farr says:

      Thanks Hank! Sometimes, after I post I think “wow. that one won’t be so interesting…” just goes to show ya!

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