Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Day 4 - Alex's 5 State Summer Vacation

Song:  Learning To Fly

Group:  Pink Floyd

In the morning of day 4...
we made our way from Las Cruces to White Sands, NM...
and on to Artesia to rent our hotel room.

As we had a few hours before the evening flight of the bats
out of Carlsbad Caverns...
Alex took a swim in the hotel pool.

We then went to see the flight of the bats.

We had just left Las Cruces...
and are on the other side of the mountains...
and not too far from White Sands.

The roads in White Sands are hard packed and grated white sand (pure gypsum).

We stopped at one of the dunes
and decided to climb one...
to see what we could see.

Alex taking some photos with his iPhone.

On our way out of the park we stopped at the visitors center.

We then made our way to Artesia.

It is a town about 1.5 hours from Carlsbad Caverns.

We wanted to be near...
but not too near...
as all of the hotels nearest to the caverns were low in quality...
and high in price...
a very bad combination  :)

Some of the typical scenery on the way to Artesia.

My wife used Alex's iPad to search for highly rated hotels
and restaurants as we drove from location to location.

Alex had the pool all to himself.

Alex on his way back to our room after his swim.

We then got ready for our short trip to see the evening flight of the bats
at Carlsbad Caverns.

We sat at the amphitheater as we awaited the flight of the bats out of the caverns
on their way to feed (on flying insects).

A park ranger kept us entertained while we waited for the bats to emerge.

There was no photography allowed during the actual bat flight...
as any lights would disturb them.

As it turned out...
the bats didn't emerge until it was too dark to see them spiraling out of the cave.

We did see many fly overhead as they were silhouetted by the evening sky...
and we could hear them flutter their wings as they flew overhead.

We then returned to Artesia to eat a late dinner...
and then went to bed.

In the morning...
we returned to Carlsbad Caverns to walk the full underground route.

This will comprise the next article.


  1. Those shots of the dunes at White Sands are really cool! Makes it look like you were the only ones there! I take it that it wasn't too crowded, or was it?

    So was it worthwhile to see the bats? Sounds like it may have been a bit of a letdown not to be able to see them as they flew out of the caverns.

  2. The park is large enough so that you could easily be alone. It wasn't crowded anyways. The only thing that had slowed me down was a road grater smoothing out the road near the beginning.

    I had seen a large difference between the last time I was here in 1995 and this time. Before, not only did the bats emerge when there was plenty of light, they were far more numerous. There is a bat virus which is killing many of them. Just to be there in the Bat Amphitheater and listening to the Park Ranger give her talk for some 45 minutes was greatly entertaining. She was informative and funny. When the bats flew overhead, the fluttering of their wings made it worthwhile. If you go there, give yourself two days. One for the evening bat flight, and the next day to see the caverns in full. Stay in Artesia. The hotels are far superior to the ones in Carlsbad...and cheaper.


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