1 October 2019 – Brooding clouds and rain are welcome after the heat of Sante Fe.  We chill for the day at a free campsite in Fort Sumner by the lake.

2 Oct 2019 – Up early to head to Carlsbad Caverns.  So glad we returned to visit as it was closed in Jan 2019 on our last pass through.  We spend about 4 hours at the caves, starting with the walk down 79 stories into the cave along switchbacks. We take a tour through the gorgeous Kings Palace and Queens Chambers and then take a self-guided tour through the Big Room.  Fantastic cave formations and features to view.  We stay on into the evening for the Bat Flight – thousands and thousands of bats swirl out of the cave entrance like a tornado.  They rise up and then fly away into the night.  Quite a sight to see and the end to a great day.

3 Oct 2019 – Up through the mountains and to White Sands National Monument – white gypsum sands that cover 275 sq miles and are visible from space.  Brooding skies contrast against the white sands and we see lots of lightning and an awesome rainbow.

4 Oct 2019 – Torrential downpours clear just long enough for us to stop at Three Rivers petroglyphs.  There are 21,000 petroglyphs here and many are easily seen on a short hike.  We carry on to Gran Quivira – large pueblo ruins from the 1600s.  These ruins look very much like Machu Picchu ruins. 

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