The Carter Family Trip Log!
Scroll down to read the entries for all of our main stops!
Or, Click on a link below to go to that entry!
|Name and Map of Location:||Entry to Log|
We had a nice weekend in Santa Fe with cousin Katy and her husband Reece and all of the Cornelius and Whitcomb clan. We went to a cool museum, played in a park, and danced the night away under the New Mexico full moon at the wedding celebration. We saw rabbits, hunted for coyote, and saw a cowboy riding his horse down the street!
Driving to Carlsbad and Whites City was really neat. It was the flattest land we had ever seen, and we determined that we could see land and mountains that were 120-150 miles away. Carlsbad Caverns is one of the coolest places on earth! It all began 250 million years ago with the creation of a 400 mile long reef in an inland sea that covered all of this area. Soon the sea evaporated leaving the rock reef. When the Guadalupe mountains were formed, the rainwater seeped into the ground forming sulfuric acid which dissolved the limestone and created these huge caverns. The stalactites and stalagmites began appearing more than 500,000 years ago! These giant chambers underground are impossible to describe, so make your travel plans now. We were totally amazed at the height and width, with some sections of the cave as tall as 20 stories, and one big cave room is as big as 14 football fields. We played in the water park at the hotel, and tonight we are going to watch millions of bats exit the caves for their nightly adventures!|
- Update: We went and saw the bats, and it was amazing! There were approximately 300,000-500,000 bats exiting the cave over a 30-minute period. They would swirl out in a column, then fly off into the sky. On Tuesday, we went back to the Caverns and hiked down through the natural entrance to the cave where the bats
had exited. We hiked down into the earth about 750 feet, and were amazed for a second day by the enormous size of this place. A great place to visit!
From Carlsbad, we went through an amazing desert corner of Texas to get to El Paso and eventually Las Cruces, NM. We looked over into Mexico! We stopped by the Byrd's house to say hello, and saw their three-legged cat! From there, we travelled 4 hours to Tucson.
Arriving in Tucson at midnight, we found out the house we were staying in had an A/C problem, and with the temp at 108 during the day, it was not possible for us to stay there. So....we went looking for hotels at midnight, and found 5 that were completely booked. The sixth one was a charm, and we settled in for some sleep. Today, we are redefining our plans for the next few days due to the heat and the A/C problems at the house. We will have dinner with our friends the Samuels tonight just outside Tucson. More to come!
- Update: We have fixed our plans, and are now staying in Phoenix for a night with Pauline's sister Connie and her husband Dave. On our way to Phoenix, we stopped at the Tucson Mountain Park, and had a great view of the surrounding land. We also drove through dust storms and past a brush fire. Should be 105 with 9% humidity today...major fire risk. We are going to take it easy today, and maybe go see a movie.
Words can't describe the amazing Grand Canyon! We had a room right on the edge of the rim, and could see the Canyon from our room. We hiked along the rim of the Canyon for about 2 miles, stopping to see the various overlooks. The Canyon is between 11 and 15 miles wide at different points, and it was exciting to be able to see down to the bottom where the Colorado River runs like a green snake. We saw deer, Condors, bighorn sheep, and lots of other amazing things in the wild. When it was time to leave after day two, we found it hard to take our eyes off the Canyon! The colors are amazing, and the view is hypnotizing. Worth the trip to see this.
Because we were late in leaving the Grand Canyon (couldn't take our eyes off it, remember?), we decided to skip the trip to Page and the Glenn Canyon Dam, and instead headed straight to Cortez by way of the Four Corners. See Cortez entry.
Four Corners is famous as the only place in the US where four states share a common border. So, we had fun standing on the Four Corners spot touching all four states at the same time (Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah). We saw a lot of Navajo Native Americans, and some beautiful countryside. We drove by the southern end of Monument Valley, and saw incredible natural sculptures. In Cortez, we had a great Father's Day dinner, saw a beautiful sunset, and capped off the best Father's Day anyone could ask for. Tomorrow, we are off to Mesa Verde cliff dwellings.
- UPDATE: Mesa Verde was great! We toured cliff dwellings from 800-1100 AD, and saw some amazing sights. HOT weather, but we did see a big deer that crossed right in front of our car, as well as Elk, and lots of rabbits.
In Farmington, we stayed with Pauline's Dad and his wife Eleanor while we rested for a day. We did tour ex-Governor Bolack's farm and museum, and saw hundreds of stuffed animals from Africa that he shot on safari. From there we toured Chaco Canyon (more Native American ruins from 1200 years ago), and headed to Santa Fe for two nights. We are in Santa Fe now. Dad (Steve) went to Los Alamos to tour the nuclear research lab and museum where the first atomic bomb
was developed and tested, while the kids and Pauline went to Santa Fe's children's museum with their cousin Sophie. One more night here and then we head down towards Albuquerque on Friday.
We spent the day with our friends near Albuquerque as we prepare to head home tomorrow. We plan to have dinner with Pauline's sister Carol tonight, then we fly out in the morning for Charlotte!
- UPDATE: We are at home now!