Friday, July 06, 2007

Carlsbad, NM

the roadtrip was originally scheduled to begin at o-dark-thirty on tuesday. but then i decided that i could work a crammed half-day on monday so that we could get a little closer to our tuesday goal (El Paso, or thereabouts) on our first day. Dallas to El Paso is a hella long day, so getting part of the way there on Monday would spare us a Hellacious Tuesday.

Hellacious Tuesday

so the new plan was to leave at noon on monday, ride as far as we could or until we lost the light, and then start at o-dark-thirty on tuesday from a better launching point (which ended up being Abilene). but then, since we our tuesday was going to be easy-peasy instead of hella-hard, we decided to add an extra stop into the trip. and thus, we set our GPS for a waypoint of carlsbad, nm.

Better Tuesday

carlsbad is an unreasonably hot place in the chihuahuan desert (where there are NO dogs, wtf?!?!?) that lets you enter an unreasonably cold place 750 ft below the floor of the chihuahuan desert.

when you arrive at carlsbad caverns national park in an air conditioned car, you have difficulty arriving in the appropriate clothing to enter the cave. when you arrive on a motorcycle, outfitted for riding across the desert, you have no chance.

rose had never been to the caverns, and i had only been once when i was about 12 years old. i remembered a lot of the more lurid details of the place (rocks that look like nekkid bits! teehee!)nekkid bit 1
  but did not remember how cold it was. and it's a deceptive cold, because it's wet. and of course, you enter it from the desert, which is the epitome of dry heat. so at first, it feels all welcoming and cool and refreshing and great. then you notice the goose bumps, then the shivering sets in, and then your jaw locks up and you die huddled on a bench trying to warm yourself on a fluorescent bulb just enough to call for help. srsly. rose claims that she had no such trouble with the atmosphere in the cave, but i think she was just playing tough. damn that butch-girl ethic!

still, once i got back to the surface and thawed out my jaw muscles, i was able to tell rose that i really enjoyed the cave and would love to go back some day for a tour of the parts we didn't get to see. but only if i get to bring my sweater. and lest i make it sound like a bad place to go, the cavern really was quite beautiful. it's a natural marvel and i would love to go back for more. in a sweater. Beautiful Cavern

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