Monday, October 17, 2011

From Carlsbad to Caprock Canyons State Park

by Karen on October 17, 2011

in quilts

Well here we are back in the Central Time Zone and in Texas – wow was it windy today  just like the news had said it would be.  We traveled from the southern edge of New Mexico to just a little southeast of Amarillo Texas – most of it at about 55 miles per hour or less and on highways.  The wind kept us from making good time.

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Taken through the windshield – you can see all the dirt and dust in the air – nothing major as it didn’t really make the visibility bad – we could see to drive, but the sky was dirty looking almost all day.

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I had no idea that west Texas and parts of New Mexico had so many cotton fields.  We saw a lot of it being harvested today. All that blurry stuff is cotton Smile

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I don’t think I got more than a couple clear photos all day with the dust that was kicking up. Those big blue things in the background are huge bundles (bales) of cotton.

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The big machines that are used for the process of picking the cotton.

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All of a sudden we were out of cotton country and into the small bluffs and canyons south of Amarillo.

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Despite the wind we got to our destination – it did take about an hour and a half longer than planned because of the weather though.

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And there are buffalo here – not in the campground but around the park – I didn’t realize they would be here although Mike swears he told me – it was a nice surprise to see them.

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Our campsite.  I nice sun shelter by the picnic table but it is too windy to bother to use it!  And look at those clouds coming in.  It was 90 degrees a short way from the campsite then it suddenly dropped to the mid 70’s and now it is 68 degrees at 7 PM.  We will need to remember this campground though as there are quite a few hiking trails around here to use when it isn’t so windy!

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We took a walk before I got busy making our evening meal.  Look at that sky!

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Our camper hidden behind some trees – I wonder if they are acting as a wind break – it doesn’t feel like it Smile could it be worse?

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On Tuesday  we will be driving to someplace in Oklahoma – it is about a 10 hour drive without stops to home from here so I know we will be stopping some place along the way.   Most of the rest of the drive home will be on interstate 40 as that is the most convenient way and the fastest.  Most likely we will be a bit east of Oklahoma City – we will see. 

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Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

by Karen on October 17, 2011

in quilts

Wow – what can I say – the largest cavern I have ever been in! (seen on the 16th)

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The zig-zag walk way to the cave opening – the Natural Opening.  We could have taken an elevator down to the main floor of the cavern but that would have cut out seeing about half of what we saw.  This way is very steep – not for people with health problems.  I have not so good hips, quads, & knees and believe me by time we got to the main floor by knees were shaky and my thighs & hip’s ached.  Over all we covered close to 3 miles of paths through out the self guided trails and we took close to 3 hours doing it.  Here is a link to the park and you can wander through the site to see more information than I can give.

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Looking back at the sky above from inside the opening quite a few feet down.

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Some of the natural wonders inside the cavern – I don’t remember what all they are called, I am not a cave expert!  My small camera took some good photos and a lot of not so good photos – the lighting is poor – there are lights along the walk way and here and there pointed at the natural wonders.

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Once you walk down the walk way (about 1 1/2 miles) of the natural opening which is very steep in places – you end up in a big open area.  There is a rest room! believe it or not a perfectly normal restroom with flush toilets and sinks – there is also a snack bar/lunch room where you can purchase pre-made ham and cheese sandwiches, salads, water, soda, coffee.  We knew it was there and we started our walk at about 10 AM so knew we would need to get something to eat and drink – so glad it was there.  You are not allowed to bring in any food or drink other than water.

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So far beneath the ground – I was amazed to find normal facilities

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A map of the Big Room self guided tour – from the red dot on the map you take a loop walk ended up back where you started and there is an elevator to take you to the top in about 15 seconds!

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close up

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We start for home now – this is scheduled to post in the morning on the 17th and we will be busy breaking up camp and hitting the road so I doubt I will be answering any e mail in the morning – . A cold front is coming through tomorrow and the winds will be picking up by afternoon so we want to get on the road first thing in the morning and then stop early afternoon and set up camp before the wind starts.   We will be camping somewhere southeast of Amarillo Texas Monday night and then somewhere in the middle of Oklahoma I think near I-40 – we should be getting home Wednesday or Thursday depending on how long we drive each day. 

I will post again somewhere along the way if I have internet, I have no more pre-scheduled posts – I am caught up Smile

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