2014 Western Road Trip Day 12, Friday May 16th

Today is a beautiful day starting out in the mid 70’s. Our first stop is the Chamizal National Memorial. The memorial was established in 1967 to commemorate the treaty between the U.S. and Mexico establishing a permanent boundary between U.S. and Mexico  by constructing a canal between Juarez,  Mexico and El Paso, Texas which fixed the permanent location of the Rio Grande river. Prior to the canal, spring rains caused flooding which effectively moved the deepest point of the river which determined the boundary.  Mexico lost part of its former territory, but was compensated for the loss by payment from the U.S. the Memorial consists of a multi-use park where multicultural performances are regularly held.

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Concert stage the park centerpiece

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Babs in front of mural

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Old border marker

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We left Chamizal and went back to the CVS pharmacy to pick up the remainder of my prescriptions and passed this “old Mexico” street in El Paso.

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We then headed north toward the Guadalupe Mountains National Park about a 120 mile ride. The ride is through barren desert. Yesterday I ran over a jackrabbit that darted out in front of me. Here the Jackrabbits take their lunch it’s so desolate.

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The Guadalupe Mountains National Park was established in 1972. The mountains are 8,000 feet high mountains of solid rock that rise from the desert floor. There is a visitors center but no roads that traverse the park. The primary activity is hiking and climbing.

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We made a couple of sandwiches that we ate in the car due to the 94 degree temperature and then headed toward Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The Carlsbad Caverns is a very large natural cave. One section, the bat cave, is home to thousands of bats and is not open to the public. A very large section of the cave is not open to the public and is reserved for research.

We took an elevator 750 feet down to beginning point of the “Big Room” self guided tour. The big room is about the size of 14 football fields and can be viewed by walking a 1.25 mile paved loop trail. The interior of the cave is just to magnificent for words to describe. Once again, I’m probably posting too many photos.

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Unique rain chimes

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Old visitors center now ranger housing

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Flowering cacti outside visitors center

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The mountain the cavern is in is 4,400 feet and this is the view from the top. When you are in the cavern, you are still 3,300 feet above sea level.

Our hotel is in Artesia, NM about 60 miles from the Carlsbad Caverns.  It is an oil town and a lot of people work in the fields and live in the local hotels.

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We are staying at a place called the Legacy Inn. Rooms in Carlsbad were running $250-$375 a night and were mostly booked. Most places here were $150-$ $250 and also mostly booked. We were lucky to find this place for $125!

Dinner was at an authentic Mexican restaurant located in a steel “Baker building” in a residential neighborhood. The food was authentic and excellent. Definitely the best meal of the trip.

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Babs Says: There are a few things that are worse than being sick on vacation, but not many. A curse on microscopic body invaders.

 

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3 thoughts on “2014 Western Road Trip Day 12, Friday May 16th

  1. Rob says:

    Why travel so far when we have Luray Caverns a couple hours away? Was the food better than Pollo Mex? Hope you feel better!

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