We did not realize that New Mexico was in Mountain time and not Central so our internal clocks were still set an hour earlier than local time. This being the case I was up by 6:30AM for coffee and Bible study. We knew we were going to visit the Caverns today and that they stop allowing people in using the "Natural Entrance" at 2PM so we decided we would do family church this morning vs. going to a church. We each spent time reading out loud the scriptures relating to Jesus' resurrection and how that event a couple of thousand years ago changes our lives yet today. We covered some somewhat tough writings by Paul about how if this one event had not really occurred then we were really just living, and even worse spreading, a lie. He knew, and we know, that this event was real because God through it provides us His spirit as a helper and that proof and the relationship we have directly with God gives us the hope and comfort of living in His plan. All the kids seemed to get the message and we discussed how we could live this in a real way today. The kids had good answers about encouraging one another, not fighting, helping other people we meet today, etc.
Stacey made pancakes with raspberries on top and bacon on the side. It was good and even with a somewhat leisurely morning we were on the road by 10:30AM. It was about half an hour drive to the caverns. When we arrived, there was a medium-sized crowd and we had to wait a bit to get our tickets. Once again the National Park pass that Eric and Harald got us saved us from any admission price!
After a brief set of rules from a Ranger we headed into the "Natural Entrance". This is a steep trail into the caverns that is how people have been entering the cave since it was discovered. The trail was pretty neat and reminded all of the kids of a waiting line for a ride at an amusement park. It was paved with handrails all the way in - over a mile in total.
|Whales Mouth Formation|
|One formation from the Hall of Giants|
Once around the Big Room loop we hit the restrooms they had built in at the bottom of the cave and decided we would take the elevators back up. I really wanted to get some extra exercise but knew it would be too much for the little boys to make the trek back up the steep trail so we decided to stick together. As we were just about to enter the elevator for the trip up the lights all went out! Luckily, there were emergency lights that ran on battery power but we had to wait a good 5 minutes for the power to be restored to be able to get in the elevator for the trip up. We could only imagine being out in the cave itself with no real lights! We also felt very fortunate not to have been halfway up the 750 foot elevator ride when the power went out!
When we got to the top it was strange seeing the bright sunlight again. We piled in the Yukon and decided we would hit a hike on the way out. Unfortunately, one of the kids said their legs and feet hurt so much they could not make it on another hike so we decided to take a 10 mile backroad driving loop that turned out to be really neat. We saw a lot of desert landscape and canyons. We were hoping to see some snakes, spiders or scorpions from the safety of the car but did not see any.
|Wicked looking thorns|
|Love these blooms. A variety of yucca, I think, but different from ours at home.|
|I actually talked them into getting out of the car for this pic. |
We looked carefully for snakes first.
We got back to the trailer to a happy dog. Stacey made a nice dinner of ham, mashed potatoes, green beans and crescent rolls. I actually snuck in a nap. We tried to do more planning on where to visit the next month or so and in doing so figured out the wireless and Verizon coverage here is really bad. Looks like Verizon must partner through someone else here as their data is really slow and unreliable. We talked to the office about checking out early so I could be able to work better but the counter person was not able to give us much information so we will check in the morning on it. I might be spending my day at McDonalds!
We are finishing the day with the kids watching a free DVD rental from the RV park we are at and Stacey and I catching up on Blogging. Kinda nice having a little down time!