Day 8 – Fort Stockton, TX to Santa Fe, NM via Carlsbad Caverns National Park

We left Fort Stockton pretty early for our drive to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.  I recommend bringing Starbucks Via on a road trip because the middle of the country tends to have less appreciation for my fancy coffee preferences.  My only choice was McDonalds, and it was awful.

IMG_0322 We walked down to the Natural Entrance and hiked through there.  the alternative is taking the elevator down.

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In the evening all of the bats fly out of the cave in a huge swarm.  They have theater style seating in front of the entrance for people to come watch.  IMG_0325 We hiked down into the cave with our audio guide.  I loved being able to walk around on our own and learn about all of the different formations.  We hiked for about 2.5 hours in the cave.  It was about 50 degrees, quite humid, and very dark , but they have it lit up.  It was super stinky from the bat guano at first, but we got used to it really quickly.

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Then we were off on the next leg of our trip, driving to Santa Fe, NM to visit Brendan’s aunt.  We stopped in Roswell on the way to Santa Fe.  Roswell is the closest town to Area 51, so they have a bunch of alien stuff everywhere.  It was mostly just weird.  We just stopped for a few minutes to take some pictures with our new friends.

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We spent the evening at Brendan’s aunt’s house, which was a beautiful Adobe-style home in Santa Fe.  She made us buffalo tenderloin and salad, which was right up our ally.  We sat outside and watched the desert sunset.  It was wonderful to meet more of the family I am marrying into, and I loved the high dessert!  It was surprisingly cool and crisp.

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