167. The Unsurprising Bounty of National Parks

The Unsurprising Bounty of National Parks: There are so many National Parks and Monuments in the Western United States that it’s difficult to avoid running into one. And why would you want to avoid them? If it has a national conservation designation, with scant budgetary funding allocated to protect it, chances are good that it’s got something special.

We planned on spending a good two weeks bouncing around Southern New Mexico, exploring the National Parks and Monuments there. This meant a whirlwind tour of the “Big Room” of Carlsbad Caverns, the blinding gypsum dunes of White Sands, the gasping dry heights of the Guadalupe Mountains (actually in Texas too), the mysterious Gila Cliff Dwellings and the sandstone bluffs and jet black tumult of the El Malpais lava fields. Time after time, these places exceeded our lofty expectations. By the time we leave New Mexico, we will have seen maybe a tenth of the natural wonders on offer here. More than enough reason to come back.

Pictures say more: The VW parked at White Sands National Monument; Approaching the Guadalupe Mountains; Inside Carlsbad; The offseason snackbar and giftshop at the bottom of Carlsbad; Amy and Cleo at White Sands and; Tour group at the Gila Cliff Dwellings.


 

  1. John & Natalie says:

    I certainly hope you are enjoying your time in NM.

  2. John & Natalie says:

    I certainly hope you are enjoying your time in NM.

  3. John & Natalie says:

    I certainly hope you are enjoying your time in NM.

  4. John & Natalie says:

    I certainly hope you are enjoying your time in NM.

  5. John & Natalie says:

    I certainly hope you are enjoying your time in NM.

  6. The Chez says:

    Sloan, that’s the NEW Mexico. NEW Mexico, dude…..

  7. The Chez says:

    Oh, and why are there no gun holes in that Smokey the Bear sign? What’s wrong with you? You’re not upholding your right as an American!

  8. Kate says:

    Do they still serve Fried Chicken in Carlsbad Caverns?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Where’s the ball in the Amy and Cleo photo?

  10. Sloan says:

    No fried chicken in the Carlsbad Caverns in the off season, only appropriately cold sandwiches.

    The ball is a golf ball and it’s right there.