This weekend we drove to Carlsbad, New Mexico, for some [tent] camping and caving. My parents gave us a bunch of camping stuff before we got married, and being on a budget, we reserved two nights at the Carlsbad KOA Kampground. I love KOAs… and have stayed at them in California, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, and now New Mexico.
Here’s a snip of our route there.
It is quicker to go the southern route, on 62/180, but we were told it’s more scenic to go the other way. We brought the southern route home, which actually did not lack scenery. After I got home from work around 11:30 on Saturday, we packed up everything and we were off.
I had heard great things about Cloudcroft; namely, that the temperatures were a LOT cooler than El Paso. And they were, as it’s nearly 9,000 ft above sea level.
Green! Yay! After almost two months in the desert, this was a breathtaking sight.
We ventured on in New Mexico. After we descended from this little oasis, there was pretty much nothing. How do people live out in the literal middle of nowhere? I don’t think I could do it.
Anyway, we got to the Carlsbad KOA around four-something. The campground itself is actually halfway between Artesia and Carlsbad. We set up camp, and took to relaxing for the evening. For dinner we had hot dogs over the fire.
Sunday morning we woke up and ate a quick breakfast of Pop-Tarts and berries. We got some coffee from the campground store (makes me want a Keurig) and we headed for the caverns. It was about a 50-minute trip there, and we had to get there early to pick up our tickets for the tour.
After taking the tour on the paved trail, we ascended up through the natural entrance, which was an ascent of about 800 ft. (Some more adventurous ones, like my dear husband, wouldn’t have minded “wild caving”. Uh, crawling around in spaces that are dark and scary? Not for me.)
I love this picture of us… [aside: WHY do I spend so much time on my hair and makeup when not camping? It all looks the same to me. Anyway.. carry on.]
That’s the light of day! While we were on the tour, the ranger turned out all the lights for a few minutes. It was unnerving.
We ate a gourmet lunch in the car of chips and tuna salad sandwiches before we toured the visitors’ center. We headed back to the campground after stopping for coffee (and maybe a pancake or two) at IHOP.
It was unseasonably cool and rainy yesterday, but the rain stopped in the early afternoon. We relaxed in the hot tub when we got back to the campground and then took showers.
Foil dinners were on the menu for Sunday night. Aaron got the fire going, which wasn’t an easy task with the wind. With foil dinner, you can put whatever you want in the foil, wrap it up, and cook it in the hot coals. We took ground beef, veggies, and seasonings. Yum.
Pair that with a yummy beer (we had ShockTop Raspberry Wheat) and you have a great and easy meal. We also, of course, had our fair share of s’mores.
This morning we woke up with the sun, got some coffee, packed up our things, and came home.
Strange that El Paso is “home” now, but glad it’s our home. Provided I can get the time off from work, we’d like to check out Silver City over Columbus Day weekend. Oh Army, how I heart four-day weekends!
Hope you had a restful Labor Day weekend, friends. 🙂