We worked out of Carlsbad the next day and headed to our next park, Carlsbad Caverns. Mark and I explored the visitors center and made our reservations to tour the cavern the following morning. Then we chose to attend the Night Bat program.
It was spectacular. We got to learn all about the bats from a ranger before they started leaving the cavern. Then we sat until it got so dark we couldn’t see them as we watched them fly in a large spiral above our heads on the way to hunt for their favorite food, moths!
It was something I don’t think we will ever see again and I am so thankful I got to see those bats and observe some more amazing wildlife in the desert.
The next day we had the first entry time to tour the cavern. It was spectacular. Since the first group was rather small we got to enjoy the silence and the natural sounds of water within the cavern as we walked the pathway. The formations and information boards taught me more about caverns than I ever thought I would know.
As we finished up our walk through a large group of loud people entered the Caverns, just in time for us to leave! We drove to the Library in Carlsbad and Mark had an interview with CISCO for a Spring internship (He got it! No surprise there).
We grabbed some much needed showers and I did some yoga at a nearby Anytime fitness before heading to Lincoln National Forest to spend the night.
Lincoln National Forest is one of our favorite BLM camping spots. It is outside of Cloudcroft, NM in an amazing green forest! It was chilly and dark, but we found a spot easily. Mark and I woke up to wonderful forest views before heading down to the Alamogordo Library.
White Sands National Park
After work we went to White Sands National Park. It was our second time experiencing the amazing white dunes in the middle of a completely different landscape. We walked the boardwalk path with Ares and many people complimented his yellow shoes.
Then we drove further down the scenic drive to a picnic area to make dinner and watch the sunset. It was spectacular to feel the cool sand and watch the amazing colors of the sunset. Ares enjoyed chasing Mark around the sand dunes as darkness fell and we headed to our camp spot for the evening.
We found a nice, but crowded, BLM spot at Dog Canyon Dispersed Camping. The next day we had an amazing and life changing experience at the World’s Largest Pistachio!
We got to tour the pistachio farm, sample pistachios, sample pistachio wine, and had an amazing conversation about the local community and economy with our amazing tour guide.
It was so refreshing to see a local establishment doing so well. We bought a bottle of wine to bring with us to share with friends in Portland and moved forward.
Our next stop was in Las Cruces, NM at a Starbucks where we got coffee and worked until it was very dark outside. We had more driving ahead of us and I drove on our faithful favorite road of interstate 10 all the day to Texas Canyon, Arizona. It is a really gorgeous rest area that we stop at every time we go in and out of southern AZ. We parked up for the night and ended our days in New Mexico.