New Mexico and Arizona
New Mexico and Arizona
Carlsbad Caverns - April 25th
I had visited Carlsbad Caverns in my Trek America days, but it was new to Kris. We wanted to see the bat flight from the caves and we drove out the evening we arrived, but we didn't see anything. It may have been too early in the year.
Next day we went back to see the actual caverns. You enter the caves down a steep ramp. It gets very dark at the bottom. It's 750 feet from the top to the bottom.
Looking back up
Once you are in the dark, there is a low level of lighting, which makes photography tricky.
It's hard to get a sense of scale, but at the bottom left of the picture above is a figure reading a display.
Finally and thankfully, we took the elevator back to the Visitors Center. It's a long way down - it would have been a VERY long way up !
Las Cruces NM and Tucson, AZ - April 26 and 27
Las Cruces was another overnight stop stop along the way, but not particularly interesting. Enroute to Tucson we stopped at Tombstone which is a bit touristy and looks like a film set, but it does have real history.
Tombstone Main Street
We went to a "gunfight" in Old Tombstone. The "gunfight" was more comedy and farce than a serious staged gunfight, but it was amusing.
Kris had her picture taken with the gunfighters
We stopped on the way out of town at "Boot Hill" which is a genuine graveyard. It fell into disrepair, but was restored in the 1940's . Some of the graves may not be exactly historically accurate, but it was an interesting spot.
Saguaro National Park
Next stop on our way to Tucson was the Saguaro National Park. It was raining when we arrived, but fortunately the rain soon stopped. The Saguaro cactus can be found all over this part of Arizona - we saw them used as part of a landscape planting surrounded by smaller colorful cacti. As they are often cut down and destroyed it was heartening to see a park dedicated to their preservation.
Unusually, the Saguaro were in bloom as were some of the other cacti. It must have been raining for several days for them to bloom like this.
We arrived in Tucson and went grocery shopping. As we came out of the store It was raining and as we drove away, we saw a wonderful double rainbow. Just had to take a picture.
Lake Havasu - April 28
Our last stop in Arizona (at least on this first part of our trip) was Lake Havasu. Lake Havasu is a resort town created in the desert as a playground for tourists. As a draw, the developer bought London Bridge (or at least the outer stone layer) and rebuilt it across the lake.
I had been here once before, but this was the first time Kris had seen it. It's a working bridge and you can drive over it, which we did.
To be honest, the bridge was really the only thing of interest and unless you are going boating or fishing, there really wasn't a lot to do! One night was enough and then on to Las Vegas.