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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Aloha Everyone,

The lovely Guadalupe Mountain ranges offer no hint of what lies beneath.

Ansel Adan's described Carlsbad Caverns as, "Something that should not exist in relation to human being. Something that is remote as the galaxy, incomprehensible as a nightmare and beautiful in spite of everything." 
We knew from National Geographic and geography classes that Carlsbad has one of the largest caverns in the world. Compared to other caverns we have visited, the sheer size of large chambers after chambers is very impressive. Carlsbad Caverns is located in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico.

J.J. and I signed up for a walking tour which took us down 800 feet by elevator to the big room, a natural limestone chamber which, according to the visitors guide prepared by U.S. Department of Interior is almost 4,000 feet  long, 625 feet wide, and 255 feet high at the highest point. Our guide was Ranger Phil. We walked in and out of numerous chamber caves seeing long, narrow stalactite coming through a hole in the ceiling. Some resembled rope coming through the roof of a belfry while others looked like curtain or drapes hanging down.

Carlsbad Caverns was discovered circa 1898 and today there are still so many areas that needs to be explored. We were told that the entire cavern is 36 miles. Many of the chambers have names including King's Palace, Left Hand Tunnel, Papoose Room, and Queen's Chamber just to name a few.

One of the most interesting experience for me was in one of the chambers, Ranger Phil turned off all the light for us to experience total darkness.  He also asked us to maintain silence for few seconds.  For many, maintaining silence seem to be a huge challenge. I totally loved the experience and thanked our guide.

The total walking tour with many stops was about a 1 1/2 hours.  I will be writing about my personal experience of a total darkness from a meditation point of view in my yoga blog in the coming days.

Randy works in the gift shop 800 feet beneath the ground. He was dressed for the environment as the temperature is about 53 degrees Fahrenheit year around.

Randy told me that he used to work in a shop on the ground level but he prefers his current location.  7 hours a day he works in the cavern only to surface to see the sun on his lunch break. Randy looked serene, and I couldn't help but wonder if the environment has attributed to his calm, peaceful demeanor.

I truly enjoyed our walking your but I was also very happy to be in the sun.

Aloha -- Cathi