Monday, October 15, 2012

August 31-September 3 - Carlsbad Caverns

Janessa turned 17 on the 31st of August, so we celebrated her by going to the Carlsbad Caverns. 

In front of the visitors center was this huge metal bear so Gabriel, Garrett, and Shea did some posing for me beside it.

Zach decided to attack it with he pocket knife as it got a hold of him:).

They even chained it up.

The next few pictures are the tent crew's job. You decide if we did a good job.

Janessa and Kacy got to put a tent up all by themselves. Way to go girls.

This is the view we had in our camp site 

Shea got to learn the art of  camp fire building.

Gabriel took advantage of the fact that someone had the camera and put his smile on it.

Right before we lit the fire we got a picture of all the boys.

Janessa, Kacy, and Zachary brought their instruments for a sing-a-long. For Janessa's birthday she got to pick out a mandolin. Her's broke a few months back.  
Kacy's turn to pick a song

Zachary was trying to learn to play the new toy.
We finally got started. Dan is reading all about the Caverns, and the bats.

What was everyone else doing? The boys got to see how prickly pear works first hand, literally. :) 
She had his pocket knife so he cut a cactus for Garrett, Gabriel, and himself.

Rossella was tasting the scotcheroos

Garrett had the idea of burning the thorns off of the cactus using the fire so he could eat it. It never got eaten, but someone had spilled syrup on our hot-pad. Guess what we used?  

The next morning all six kids went up the hill on the other side of the camp ground. The boys took their guns to "protect" the girls from "Indians and other dangers". Janessa was armed with the camera. And Kacy helped Gabe sometimes.  

Wow! Doesn't that make you feel tiny, it did me.
Almost there
At the top where many bunches of these beautiful flowers.
The boys loved these cacti 

And now the caverns. In the lobby they had this figure, so the boys got in it for the camera. We got pictures of all the boys, but we were having problems with the camera. Thus we only have pictures of Shea and Zach. 

After quite a while we got to go down. The mouth use to be a steep drop when it was first found. I'll give you a brief of the cave history that we know of. 
It is thought that the Indians around that area believed that the cave was a home of one of their gods. Which makes sense because of the bats and that their is a huge black hole in the ground. A young cowboy, Jim White, was riding near that area and saw what looked like smoke in the sky. As he got closer he realized that it wasn't smoke, but bats. Thousands of bats where flying out of the cave mouth. Obviously he went down in the cave, but not until he tried to get someone to come with him. No one believed that he had actually had found that cave. Eventually he found someone to go with him. He found that the cave was much bigger than he had originally thought. One of the rooms can fit about 6 football fields in it. Even then no one would come to see the cave. After a few years he finally got someone to go in the cave, but all this man was interested in was the bat guano. For most of his life Jim mined bat guano, and on his spare time explored the cave. To make a long story short, he finally got someone to come look at the cave itself. After he died the caves where turned over to the national parks service. Who made it the way it is today.
Ground level.
Under the first lip.
Almost there.
We're in!!
There are so many beautiful mineral statues. I will tell the names of the ones I know.
If I remember correctly this is called the Whales Mouth.

Half-way there was a restroom and gift shop.
This was growing right next to the trail. (the bar is not bent, Kacy is on a corner.) 

Our Family in the caverns.
Looking down the Big Room. 

The Lions Tail.

This was named by our family The Ant Hill.

It was very unnerving to see this hanging over your head.

The Rock of Ages

I love this picture. I felt God's peace in the caves, and especially here.

Almost there
On our way out we took this family picture. I would show pictures of the Bat Flight, but we weren't allowed to have cameras while the bats were flying.

The last day this greeted Janessa and Kacy at about 7:00 a.m.

Our camp sight just before we packed up the tents.

Later that afternoon we went swimming in the in the Pecos river for about three hours.