I crossed the Texas state line for the first time in four months yesterday, barring a quick two-day flight back in July. I am taking the long road home, staying in Carlsbad but visiting the caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
I didn’t plan on going underground and even if I had, the crowds at Carlsbad Caverns would have driven away. Instead, I found out when the bats fly and planned on hitting it later in the day.
Instead I ventured another 20 miles to the south and hiked McKittrick Canyon. The clock on both my phone and car moved forward an hour when I crossed the state line, but the park ranger assured me I was still in mountain time. So I thought, in that retired sort of way, that I’d just lost an hour in simple absentmindedness. The gate to McKittrick closes at 6 p.m. and I hoofed it to make it back in time. When I crossed back into New Mexico, I gained the hour I’d lost and found that if the park ranger was correct (still need to check that) I had an hour to spare.
Didn’t see the bats as I drove into a tremendous thunderstorm and inched my way back into Carlsbad, pulling over twice as I could not see a thing in the blinding rain. Don’t know if the bats stay “in bed” under those circumstances or not.
A note about the town of Carlsbad. Couldn’t figure out why hotel prices were so high, but once here quickly realized I am in an oil boom town. Traffic is terrible and everything is overpriced. I’d call this Midland west as I was even treated to a dust storm upon my arrival. The town is so ugly it’s almost impossible to believe the beauty of the landscape at the caverns and Guadalupe lie just to the south.