Imagine a black funnel of living, flying bats erupting from an enormous cave, spiraling into the air in search of insects to consume. Well, imagine is what I had to do since the bats were not present while I was there. They are there for the summer months only...because apparently they are smarter than I and must have a finger on the pulse of weatherchannel.com.
Yet the trip was still amazing and it was fun to try and imagine such a sight. The enormity and beauty of the caverns themselves are beyond my ability to paint a verbal picture and my little camera could not even come close to capturing the detail of the formations. This is simply one place that you will all need to visit. And I recommend the summer months...that's when I will try to make a trip back. The one thing that kept popping into my head while I hiked down into the cave...imagine being the person to first explore these caves. They are seemingly endless, reaching into the darkness for miles and miles. Simply amazing.
As evening approached, though, I needed a place to camp for the night. After researching some options, I decide on going with an old (abandoned?) BLM campground nearby. It was free to stay, which has been a major factor for many of my decisions. The one concern I had was the person who wrote about this place on the internet mentioned that although 4WD was not necessary, a high vehicle clearance was. Well, my RV sits pretty high off the ground and I have very little reservations about giving it a try (some may question my intelligence at this point...and you people would be correct in this questioning). It started out decent enough...slow going, but steady progress. Conditions deteriorated rather quickly...inversely proportional to my speed. It took me 45 minutes to go the last mile to the campground. Large ruts in the road and a narrow path surrounded by cacti and trees contributed to the turtle pace I was maintaining. Damage Toll Taken: side mirror bent from tree, part of the siding on the RV was damaged, mud everywhere. Once I arrived, though, I felt very safe. Mostly because in my mind all I could think was "who in the hell would come out on this road??" Not a soul was seen during my stay.
I certainly could have spent more time at this campground since there were several caves nearby that you could explore (several miles worth of caves), though everywhere mentioned that proper equipment and at least 3 people should explore these caves. Thus, no exploration for
me. Next time...