Monday, April 11, 2011

Lovely Weekend Part 2

Friday was such a cool day! We went to visit Carlsbad Caverns, and probably overdid it a bit, walking the various trails and paths. We first did a guided tour thru a tunnel or cavern, lit only by lantern - very cool! It was an old fashioned candle lit lantern, and was very much how the first explorers of the cavern saw it. Very spooky when we all blew out our candles and kept quiet for a minute. Absolute darkness and absolute silence. We then went back up to the top to retrieve my camera and decided to walk down the natural entrance to the caverns. The above shot is of Jeff at the very, very beginning of the entrance - we had to walk down 750 feet, on a very steep switchback trail. My toes were not very happy during this, as my feet kept sliding to the front of my boots and swishing them! Still, it was very cool to have done that!
It was hard to actually take photos inside the caverns because it was pretty dim and dark most of the time. Every so often, some parts of the cavern were lit fairly well, and were close enough for the flash on my camera to actually illuminate things well enough for things to be clear! The image, above, gives you an idea of what the various openings in the cavern walls showed you.
These sort of icicle looking formations are called stalactites when they form from the ceiling of the cavern (they hang "tight" to the ceiling) and stalagmites when they form from the floor of the cavern (they are "mighty" and reach to the ceiling). When the two of them meet, they then form a column. Here are a couple that are almost a column. They are actually only about a few feet from each other. It will probably take them quite some time to meet tho.

As we looked overhead, it was quite the experience to see the stalactites reaching down for one's head! I couldn't resist taking a shot of some as they reached for Jeff & me. I am very glad that they hang "tight" to the ceiling!


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