A Tale Of Two Parks

The Guadalupe Mountains National Park was without question, majestic. Awe inspiring.

But rising out of an endless desert toward the horizon, it also held a heaviness for me. I was glad to have seen it, but felt as if staying for too long would not serve me energetically.

It felt almost as if there was some sort of karmic timer, tick ticking away the few moments before my welcome would be considered overstayed...

Carlsbad Caverns, just a handful of miles to the north on the other hand, welcomed me completely into her loving embrace.

No clock ticking.

Quite the opposite. I found myself in the middle of a sweet New Mexico desert quicksand that I was most willing to have swallow me up, bit by bit.

Riding Black Betty up the highway, the desert floor providing launch to the cavern walls, this place welcomed me with an energy that is far better experienced than written about.

It doesn't matter the writer's talent. Any mere words attempting to describe this place would still fall well short. 

Eventually I arrived at the famed Carlsbad Cave and Bat Amphitheater.

To be there to watch the bats take flight into the New Mexico night sky and once done, descend on Black Betty back to the Blue Beast through the dark stillness was like a moment from a dream I didn’t even know I’d had.

The bats continued to pour from the dark recesses of the cave so very far below, fading into an ever darkening night sky that no longer allowed me to do anything but hear the occasional “whoosh” as one darted by in hot pursuit of its insect of choice.

As I stood there, I remembered the park ranger who had told me about a non-advertised free camping spot for travelers like myself who have NO interest in RV parks.

Just 4 miles south of Whites City, the gateway to Carlsbad Caverns, and not far from the north Texas border...

Nestled among the oil jacks and free range cattle, under the blanket of a night sky glittering with a hundred thousand stars, and the smallest sliver of pristine white moon...I enjoyed one of the most peaceful nights of sleep in my eventually all too short existence.

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