Mike and Nicole

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Coverups, Caverns, and the Comfort of Home

what are the most amazing naturally occurring wonders in the continental United States?
Our brief list stemming from a brainstorm session:

Old Faithful
Niagara Falls
Grand Canyon
Carlsbad Caverns
Great Salt Lake
Redwood Forest
Mississippi River
Monument Valley

Any other suggestions?

This list may be skewed, but we've seen three of these so far and have one more to go (Huck and Jim's River). Carlsbad Caverns National Park is amazing. We descended over 800 feet underground (where it was actually warmer - 56 degrees - than it was outside) and we walked down, rather than take the elevator (most of the fellow travelers we've encountered have been retirees, and those old folks all took the elevator - some have been cranky, some have been pleasant - I guess that's just how things are). One of the 'rooms' underground is as long as 14 football fields!!! That's almost three times as far as Andy Dufresne crawled through shit smelling foulness Red couldn't even imagine when he left Shawshank Prison (we were actually fairly close to Fort Hancock, Texas yesterday - from where Andy sent Red a postcard).

Let me get back to the subject, caves. The stalactites, stalagmites, and other phenomena underground were simply indescribable. So I won't try - just go there someday. They have a bottomless pit!! For some reason they then note on the sign it is 140 feet deep. Thanks for ruining that one for me park rangers.

Before we hit the caverns we stopped off at the International UFO Museum in Roswell, NM. Not the Smithsonian folks, but it was interesting. I feel they basically collected as much evidence of alien encounters, abductions, government coverups, and crop circles as they could find and threw them all into a big room. Then they give you a Walkman (complete with detailed instructions on how to use it) with an audio tour to accompany you. And starting at 10 am they run movies like Roswell and X-files. Also, most every local in town would have been on the watch list from Men in Black, as they all appeared to be slightly....alien. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

We are now in Kerrville, TX for the weekend, staying with my parents. It feels good to be home for a bit, and it's also good to know we are more or less halfway through our trip. We're about to head off to San Antonio, so more stuff to come!


  1. u guys missed Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park in Southern Utah.

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