Road trip to the Golden State! Day 5 (From under the Earth to Heaven)

We woke up bright and early today as our plan promised a day of adventure and fun. This was the first day that we were going to see natural wonders (although Vikas and Prashanth strongly argued that what they saw in New Orleans were NATURAL wonders too ;).  Quick showers and a HEARTY breakfast later, we were off towards Carlsbad Caverns National Park: the world’s largest caves, 7500 feet deep!! We were awed even before we got to the caves, such noobs! We were in for a surprise as we made our way down the caves: there was a giant cave entrance with steep walkways together with the smell of damp bat poop a.k.a Guano.

As we passed into complete darkness (that’s a lie, the area was lit pretty well), we wondered what it would feel to be early explorers of the caves without any artificial lights which were keeping us on our paths.

One of the signs read that without any artificial lights, we wouldn’t have been able to see our hands even if we held them right in front of our eyes.

We spend quite some time admiring the “Big room”, which was a ginormous cavity created by fallen rocks inside the caves.

  

Vikas wanted to maintain his tradition of inspecting the bathrooms at all the places. It is almost unbelievable to imagine how arrangements were made for restrooms and lights so far inside the caves where anything could fall and just shake the entire construction apart. To save time, we took the elevators for our way back up. Well amazed by the caverns, we then hit the road to make our way towards White Sands National Monument.

After 3 hours of scenic driving, going up and down the mountains several times, and often wondering if there really was a white desert amidst those mountains, we arrived at White Sands. Once again, we were in for a surprise! At the information center we bought a Sand Sled from the gift shop, really just a big ass Frisbee as Vikas later demonstrated. We were quite excited by then, and started driving into the Dunes. Instantly, the scenery changed all around us. The place was inconspicuously hidden away, almost completely invisible from the road. Surrounded by white sand dunes in all directions on ground and ominous rain filled clouds in the vicinity, the place looked rather surreal.

   

The three of us ran up and sled down the sand dunes like free souls.  Next, we had to try our luck sand sledding. Vikas went first,  *plop* went his butt. (Also checkout the video for Prash and Vikas’ real-time performance: http://youtu.be/JNRZIggGAAc)

  

“It is everything I had imagined heaven would be like minus the seven virgins” – Vikas exclaimed.

We left the sands, and started on our way to Albuquerque. We wanted to have some Mexican food before we left New Mexico, so we found a quaint little place that server “New Mexican” food called Casa De Suenos and had some Enchiladas and Sopapillos. And then a short drive. Sweet dreams y’all!

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