At the end of the first episode, Winter Break road trip 1: Flagstaff to Phoenix to White Sands, your intrepid blogger had survived a minor dust storm, depressing country music (is there any other kind?), and a drive across a missile range. Yeah, your intrepid blogger knows how to take a vacation.
After spending an uneventful night in Alamogordo (is there such a thing as an eventful night in Alamogordo? Well, maybe – depending on what’s being tested at the missile range), we drove over the mountains and through the desert to
grandma’s house Carlsbad Caverns.
Cloudcroft, NM: Cloudcroft is a cute mountain village at over 8000′ elevation. It was also a convenient bathroom stop after we’d overcaffeinated in Alamogordo. We stopped at the Dusty Boots Cafe, where we were “welcomed” by the following:
I have a snarky sense of humor, and I’m not easily deterred when my bladder is full, so in we went. Inside we found clean bathrooms, friendly staff–and the owner’s collection of mammy jars. My husband and I are as white as the snow currently piled up on my driveway, and we were cringing. Pro tip for restaurant owners: décor is for making *all* of your customers feel welcome, not for advertising your racism.
Carlsbad Caverns: If you haven’t been to Carlsbad Caverns, go. Go now. Seriously, go. It is the most spectacular cave I’ve ever visited, and I’ve visited quite a few. I’ve included a few pictures below, but as a rule, pictures taken inside caves really don’t do justice to the formations or to the overall experience of being 800 feet underground.
We got to the cavern later than planned and managed to snag tickets on the last tour of the day. We emerged from the magical underworld at sunset.
Join me later this week for episode 3, in which your intrepid blogger goes alien hunting in Roswell. Spoiler alert: the only thing that got probed was my wallet.