The 8th post card in my collection has a special place in my heart. My husband and I moved across the country in 2008 – just the two of us (everyone else we knew lived on the east coast). In 2011, we decided to move back east.
I transferred within my company, and we only had one week off from work in which to drive all of our belongings from Arizona to Pennsylvania. We set off together, each driving one vehicle laden with everything we owned in the world. Since we had a little leeway built into the schedule, we planned a stop in New Mexico at Carlsbad Caverns, and a couple other stops to visit friends in Texas and Tennessee.
We pulled into Carlsbad, NM late that night. It was our first overnight stop of the 3,000 mile journey, and we were exhausted after driving all day (remember, we were two people in two vehicles, so we both had to drive every leg of the journey).
We managed to check into the hotel and drag ourselves down the street to the Chili’s (it was the only restaurant open in town at 11pm). Hot wings and a margarita have never tasted so great!
Carlsbad Caverns, Carlsbad, NM
The next morning we drove out to Carlsbad Caverns. We spent a good 4 hours walking the cool, quiet, crypt-like caverns. We opted for the walk-it-yourself route, which is a longer pathway down to the deep vaulted caves. There is an elevator for easier access – we opted for this option on the way back up. But the slow, calming descent from the summer desert air into the cool stillness below was like its own form of meditation.
We were unburdened of the past, and not yet set in the ways of the future. This trip to Carlsbad Caverns was like a moment out of time. The caverns themselves reflected this same timeless feeling.
I would love to go back one day, at twilight to witness the exodus of bats from the mouth of the cave. But I don’t think it would hold the same magical appeal as that summer day when I bought this post card.