Next up was Carlsbad Caverns. This is the farthest west we have traveled on this trip! We were excited to see what New Mexico had to offer since we have never been here before. Our first stop was Carlsbad, New Mexico. We stayed at Pecos River RV right on the Pecos river. There was a very nice river walk and a super big wooden playground that Marcus and Caroline loved!
We visited the Carlsbad Caverns and learned how water seeped down through the cracks and faults in the limestone while at the same time hydrogen sulfide rich water migrated upward from oil and gas fields to the south and east. These two waters mixing formed sulfuric acid, which dissolved the limestone and formed the caverns we see today. The decorations of Carlsbad Cavern (stalactites, stalagmites and a variety of other formations) began forming 500,000 years ago.
Caroline and her dad walked into the cavern through the natural entrance. They walked one mile and followed the explorers route. Marcus and I took the elevator 775 feet down into the cavern. I took only about one minute. We when met we took the self-guided 1 mile tour of the Big Room. We passed Bottomless Pit, Giant Dome, Rock of Ages and Painted Grotto.
We all learned about the bat flight which occurs here from May to October. Thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats fly from the cave each evening to feast of insects. This is how the cave was discovered by Jim White. It appeared the mountain was erupting, but it was the bats’ mass exodus. We learned about the different species of bats, what they eat, where they live, their size and how they raise their young.