Day 4- Carlsbad Caverns

Day 4: Carlsbad Caverns

D-O-P-E Dopey’s what we wanna be, this is the Dopeys and we are taking over the blog for the next four days! Writing the blog all the way from New Mexico is Hannah Smith, Caroline Hill, Meredith Shank, Tyler Tudor, Rachel James, Emma Brockman, Hunter Cloninger, Cooper Jenkins, Max Francesco, Lauren Snyder, Crandall King and Katherine Fortier.

We started today bright and early at Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas. We drove many hours today through Texas and New Mexico and witnessed beautiful views of the scenery. We ate a delicious breakfast consisting of Little Bite muffins and bananas while we were on the road. We made our usual every two hour stops at the amazing Flying J’s where we loaded up on snacks and pizza and met nice truckers. We continued our journey with a well-balanced lunch of sub sandwiches, chips and great value Oreos. During our long drive folks on the bus played games including Mafia, Never Have I Ever and Go Fish, and of course people slept as much as they could. We’re also pretty sure they sang “Dixieland Delight” at least 20 times. Miss America sang their hearts out to country music, throwbacks and everything in between. Carolina Girl jammed out to music and made fun of Monte/Kenny, who is always down to make everyone laugh. Both vans screamed at the top of their lungs while listening to the awesome music. On our drive, everyone was amazed at seeing what seemed like the real Radiator Springs from the movie Cars. The New Mexico desert stretched on for what seemed like forever, but was still a sight to be seen, as it’s just so different from the usual North Carolina scenery.

van selfies

We drove a little further, into White’s City (population approximately 9) and then up the mountain to the breathtaking Carlsbad Caverns. The view from the top was stunning enough, looking out over miles and miles of empty desert, but it was nothing compared to the inside. We hiked down into the largest limestone cave in America and saw rock formations such as Lions Tail, Bottomless Pit (not actually bottomless), Hall of Giants, Soda Straw stalactites, Mirror Lake and countless massive calcite columns. But our favorite part was the amazing smell the bats produced for the cavern. Counselor William sadly got a gift on his shoulder from a bat flying overhead. We went through narrow passages with rocks right above us, then directly into massive rooms bigger than football fields. Our cave journey ended with an elevator ride 800 feet up to the surface. After stocking up on stickers, postcards and much more from the gift shop, we reflected as we drove back down the mountain and listened to heartfelt music, to enhance the breathtaking views of New Mexico. 

Counselor William with his bat guano

Cassidy R. at the caverns

Group photo before heading in

About an hour out from where we are sleeping tonight, Anna Mason had to use the bathroom so badly we pulled over to the side of the road where Hannah and Morgan held up a blanket so Anna could relieve herself right off the highway.

After about another hour, we arrived in Roswell, New Mexico, UFO capital of the US. Aliens greeted us from all sides as we rode into downtown, waving from restaurants, gas stations, car washes, and more. We made our way to the ever-present Wal-Mart for the cooks to stock up for the next few days, and plenty of people made a stop at the McDonald’s for much needed greasy fast food.

Tonight we are happily staying at the New Mexico Military Institute, which we learned all about from Lieutenant General Cunningham. There haven’t been alien sightings yet, but we are still hopeful and on the lookout. The cooks are preparing a lovely meal of chicken and cheese quesadillas, which we are very excited for.

Tomorrow we are looking forward to spend the day driving through the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, but the real treat will be in the evening when we arrive at the Grand Canyon. We’ll write to you tomorrow- stay tuned for a DOPE blog experience.

More photos to come!