Fred’s Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Dante’s Realm

The Grand Canyon with a roof on it.

Humorist Will Rogers describing Carlsbad Caverns

While Laura was visiting our niece, Kelsey, in Amsterdam, I took a trip of my own through New Mexico and then made my way up to Chicago. I am referring to this excursion as my Toura Obscura, and will put up a post on it shortly. One of the things that I did was to return to Carlsbad Caverns National Park (we also visited the park in March of this year) and spent two days deep in the caverns photographing one of the most extraordinary sights that one will ever see. Since the elevator into the caverns is not working, you have to walk a 1 1/4-mile trail that winds down into the earth and leads you to a what is called the Big Room, and as noted by Will Rogers in the quote above, this room is big, really big. I have read that 10 football fields could fit in it, but after walking around it a number of times, I think that underestimates its immense size. But it is not just the vastness of the area that makes it spectacular, but also the incredible calcium-carbonate formations that fill the chamber. The many shapes and sizes look otherworldly, and the park service has done a wonderful job of accentuating them with soft lighting.

Of course, what goes down must come back up, and while I certainly did not have to travel through Dante’s nine levels of hell to reach the surface, it was still a heck of a hike to the entrance of the cave, and one challenging cardio workout.

Images from my visit to Carlsbad Caverns NP are below.

Click on photos to open gallery in Flickr –

The Underworld

Black and White