We have moved back into New Mexico but really we are just skirting the state line between New Mexico and Texas since Texas is experiencing tornados and flooding in the areas we were planning to go to next.
New Home Base: Brantley Lake State Park
Brantley Lake State Park is a beautiful body of water fed by the Pecos River, with abundant wildlife (primarily bunnies and birds), plant life, gorgeous sunsets and stunning night skies. It sits at an elevation of about 3,300 ft.and covers over 3,000 acres.
However, we are staying here because of its closeness to Carlsbad Caverns. There aren’t any pictures that have ever been taken that can convey the grandeur and the magnificence of this underground world. When you are in there, it feels like you are on a different planet!
A Visit to an Underground World: Carlsbad Caverns National Park
We took the self-guided tour using the 50 short audio recordings to tell us about the area. The natural entrance is easily accessed but given the slippery steep gradients and switchbacks as you descend 800 feet, it may be hard for folks who are handicapped, have bad backs or weak knees. It takes about an hour at a moderate pace to reach the center reception area where the tour begins. You can bypass this natural entrance walk by taking a short elevator ride down to the reception area but you will miss some spectacular scenery.
We decided to do the Big Room tour loop which was an additional hour and a half hike. After all the hiking down into the caverns we took the elevators back to the surface. Both hikes were a breathtaking experience and we hope you enjoy our pictures.
A Great Day Trip: The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens in Carlsbad
The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park is a New Mexico state operated zoo and botanical garden, specializing in native species of the Chihuahuan Desert. It is a short 1.3 mile self-guided walking tour which includes ecosystem exhibits on the Sandhills, Gypsum Hills, Desert Uplands and Arroyo, Pinon Juniper Zone, and Succulents of the World. It also included live exhibits of nocturnal animals, reptiles, mountain lions and bobcats, a bear that has his paintings for sale in the gift shop, mule deers, bison, pronghorn, elk, wolves, javelina (looks like a wild hog), and prairie dogs.
Botanical Garden Exhibits
Happy Trails – We are on our way to Monahans Sandhill State Park to play on the sand dunes in Monahans, Texas.