31 August-3 September 2001: Down in a Hole!



        Our Labor Day weekend, 2001trip was a blast!  We drove down to Carlsbad Caverns National Park on Friday after work, and camped in a field that night.  After a not-so-good night's sleep, we packed up our tent and headed toward the Yucca Canyon trail.  Reaching the trailhead was quite an adventure on a road not meant to be driven in a Dodge Neon.  We loaded up our backpacks and set off up the canyon.  It was a somewhat strenuous hike, but worth it.  We were the only ones up there except for the rabbits, coyotes, and mountain lions, and it was incredible.  When we reached the top of the canyon, we set up camp and left our stuff, and continued hiking for some spectacular views.  And some spectacular storms.  With hail.  ugh.  We sat down on a rock and waited it out, then hiked back to camp to find most of our stuff wet.  But we still had fun!

        We hiked down the next day, and saw mountain lion tracks right on the trail!  That night, we went to the Natural entrance to the actual caverns, and watched over 300,000 bats leave the cave flying to wherever bats fly at night.  It was amazing!

    Monday we spent all day in the caves, doing two self-guided tours and two ranger-led tours, one of which involved some crawling and climbing.  We'd never been caving before, so that was really cool.  The caverns are amazing!  God can truly create some wonderful things.  We have pictures of everything but inside the caves...they haven't come back yet!

rainbow.JPG (8067 bytes)    An awesome rainbow we saw on the way down.

andiyucca.JPG (16003 bytes)    Andi, loaded down, hiking up Yucca Canyon.

seanyucca.JPG (20936 bytes)    Sean, loaded down, hiking up Yucca Canyon.

guadalupe.JPG (14522 bytes)    From the top of Yucca Canyon, looking south toward the Guadalupe Mtns.

campsite.JPG (22310 bytes)    Our campsite in the Juniper grove on top of the ridge.

canyon.JPG (13660 bytes)    One of the OTHER canyons we could hike to from our campsite.


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