A place to visit an often bored mind.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Caving, Exploring and Camping--Oh My

How do single parents do it? Really! There must be some secret, some...wise bit of advice? I stand in awe, truly, I do. Why, one might ask... Well, I, me, myself and I had a trip planned with my two wondrous children. There was the well thought out, planned for road trip that didn't happen.

Soooo, with life as it was, we downsized.

Packing takes longer with only one adult doing it. :) Or maybe I'm just too slow. Anyway, we finally pull out of our driveway around 3:30 on a Tuesday afternoon. Stop for bathrooms, fuel, dinner.

Now, in case any are curious, if you drive from Hobbs, NM to Carlsbad, NM, say around midnight, the stars are really cool. My seven y.o and I saw several shooting stars. FYI, even on a Tuesday night the motels are full. FULL. BOOKED. NO VACANCY. This isn't a bustling metropolis, it's not like it's a weekend, or having an end of school thing. Finally at 2 am, I found a room at a mom and pop place. A bed, that was all I cared about. Rather nice bed too. But I digress. (This is where that prior planning would have come in handy). So we get up the next morning, later than I had planned, but come on...I'm tired. I figure, how long can it really take to hike through the Caverns?

So we get to Carlsbad and I say, "Of course we're going to hike down from the natural entrance" (vs. The elevator--where's the fun?). Now, here in Central TX, a mile-mile/half doesn't take that long to trek. Oh, but the difference is darkness, steep slick darkness. Did I mention the bats? It was cool as hell. I have to admit it. It really was. The formations were unbelievable. The kids liked it too. hahaha. Oh and what the hell happened to plain old shoe strings? The kind that TIE for the love of God? Well, the oldest's 'lace' (elastic band thingy) broke as we ate lunch half a mile under ground. Band aids have many, many uses. I assured him he didn't look stupid as the caves were so dark no one could see his shoe/lace/band thing. So I have lots of photos of speleothems or rather stalagmites and stalactites. And for any wondering, guano is used in makeup and several other things. My youngest was impressed with the giant fallen boulder and the fact that spiders lived down in the depths of the world by feeding off each other. :) I've decided that one day I shall take up spulunking. I think it'd be fun.

Then onto the inlaws for lots of visiting and playing with cousins. Next up, meeting up with grandparents so that we can all travel together. Red River, NM is a really neat community btw. Colorado here we come. And oh the lovely, wonderful, spectacular cool, wet weather. I LOVED it. I think everyone else did as well as we were all used to 100+ heat waves. Gotta love TX in August. Again fishing was a big hit (fishing in beaver ponds that is, not the lake--or so I was informed). My oldest wants a tackle box for his birthday. I think I can handle this. :) The youngest didn't care for fishing, liked digging for worms (hey--they're boys), but he refused to kill them on a hook and freed all the previously caught worms thoroughly aggravating his older brother. Fun time had by all. ;)

Then there was the camping experience. OK, so with my imagination, granted, I thought...hmmm...This is kinda creepy, WAY out here in the middle of nowhere. Grandparents and fam were all worried and concerned for me and the boys to go camping. It's trees, river, tent. No big deal, really. Everyone asked me if I had a gun. So anywho.... It gets dark and my youngest freaks. Literally has a panic attack once it got dark. Now this is around ten at night, the fire is finally roaring. We've inhaled several hotdogs and smores, have the sleeping bags and duffel in the tent ready for bedtime and stories.

BTW if you're out in national forrest land on an abandoned camp ground and the clouds have covered the sky---it is DARK. Not just, wait-for-the-eyes-to-adjust-to-the-starlight-dark. DARK. Can't see your hand in front of your face dark. Yeah, so my poor little one is freaking and we're trying to calm him down and he's plastered to my leg, won't budge. Now he's my adventurous one. Nothing is too scary, nothing can't be tried at least once. "If I move, Momma, the bad man might sneak up and snatch me". Hmmm. Perhaps all the 'don't move or a stranger will get you' speeches might have been uttered too often? No, apparently there are mean men that live in the woods. *cue in Deliverance music*

So we tried to get him into the tent. Nuh-huh. I mentioned how the kid wouldn't move right? Well, the tent is red and when I told him that no, a bear isn't going to eat us, he informed me that the bear might think our tent is cherry and be hungry and then try to eat it and if we're inside he'd eat us too. (really, HOW can one argue with that? )

"Anything else?" I asked.
"Yep, the trees."
"The trees?" I looked at the pines spearing up into the darkness on either side of the tent.
"They could fall on us while we're asleep and then we'd be dead."
The tent was quickly tossed into the back of the pickup along with all the other camping paraphenelia and the oldest and I doused the fire from the creek/river.
BTW, if you're ever in the Elk Mountains around Gothic, Colorado--Rustler's Gultch is really a great camping spot. (IF you don't have over imaginative five y.o.) :)
Needless to say when we arrived back at granny and pappy's place everyone was happy to see us. Apparently we were not meant to camp that evening. Poor little guy. I had to laugh.

There was also the ski lift, the waterfalls, more beaver pond fishing and 'gold' digging. (Iron pyrite sure does sparkle).

AND we have a new member in the family. If I get my digital downloaded, I'll upload a photo of Mia. :)

Have a great one!


Blogger Meljprincess said...

Oh wow. Memories. When I lived in Lubbock we used to travel through New Mexico all the time. I've driven the route you speak of. I really enjoyed Carlsbad Caverns.
Sounds like you had a fun yet interesting trip. LOL!

4:21 AM  
Blogger Jaycee said...

Hey, Melissa! Yes, lots of fun. Didn't know you were from Lubbock, I have family up there still. Anywho, FYI--I'm trying to figure out the myspace glitch. ARG. :) Thanks for shouting at me about it.


7:09 AM  
Blogger KimW said...

I remember as a little girl being taught how to put worms on a hook. My dad loved to go fishing. That's one thing that did not continue as I got older. I hate to go fishing and don't like the smell of fish either. haha!

8:21 AM  

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