Challenging is not even how to describe this letter! I have too many things to share so I either share them all without giving all the good details or I skip a place or two. What to do . . . what to do . . .
Okay – I’m sharing them all!
Carlsbad Caverns is where I will start since I have a long memory of the caverns and all of the memories are good ones. Also, I have shared a couple of different times here on the blog about the caverns so I’ll link those and not be too wordy about it. But, I do want to share what a wonderful place the caverns are to visit. Even if you can’t do the whole walking tour, if you can only visit the Big Room, it is worth the stop. The caverns are amazing. God’s work on the formations through the drips and drops of water are stunning. I enjoy looking back on the pictures we have taken and remembering the awe in the girls’ voices. Even remembering back to when I was little and I can remember the amazement of the caverns.
The caverns are amazing to visit. The size will cause big eyes and amazed voices in almost anyone. The long trail from the natural mouth of the caverns down into the dark and through it all truly is a tough hike. It is all paved but there are narrow areas, it is dark, and some are wet so they could end up slick. But the lighting they have added is stunning and truly highlights the amazing limestone features of the caverns.
Stick around until dusk and watch the bats come out, if it is at all possible. If you are just going to go for the bats and not do the cavern, there is no cost except the gas to drive out to the site. Listening to the wings and sounds of millions of bats swooping out and circling above – there is just nothing like it. This is one of my all-time favorite places. I would go every year if I could.
Christmas on the Pecos is another fun thing to do in Carlsbad, though this one is on the Pecos River through town and not off at the edge of town like the caverns. Each holiday season, a large number of the homes and places visible from the river decorate with lights. All sorts of fun scenes and sights can be seen. There is a boat launch site and large boats that seat bunches of people line up and take folks up and down the river for a few hours after dark to see the lights.
With over 100 homeowners and corporate sponsors, the light show is spectacular. Gliding along the darkened river and seeing all the sparkling, twinkling Christmas lights is such a joy. When we went, the girls were still fairly young and I can still picture the wonder and joy on their faces. One sight in particular caused one of the girls to squeal “Look at the penguins!” She loved seeing them in lights, sliding down a slide on an igloo (I think!).
This is a nationally known set of holiday lights so if you have the opportunity, definitely go see them. They are so much fun.
Cloudcroft is a small mountain town not too far from where I grew up. It was originally founded as an excursion town with a railroad up the mountain to it from the desert valley below and Alamogordo. It brought goods down the mountain (think logging) from the forests above and brought people up to the cooler weather. A few stayed on and thus the town was born.
Cloudcroft is still an excursion town, though people drive to it now. There are plenty of activities. In the summer, it is still a great place to get away from the heat. You can also find golf, hiking, camping, and more. In the winter, there is hunting, skiing and snow-mobiles. Year-round there is shopping and plenty of artists to visit and restaurants to enjoy.
Accommodations available in the area include The Lodge, a beautiful old historical place. With unique furnishings and a beautiful setting, this is a lovely place to visit.
Unfortunately, I cannot find any pictures of either Cloudcroft or the Cumbres & Toltec that I have the rights to share. Visit their sites to see more about those places.
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railway is another of those long memories that I have. I remember visiting this narrow gauge railway when I was much younger with my family, my grandparents, and my great-grandma. (To be fair, I could be remembering people telling me about visiting because it has been so long since I have gone!) This rail trip runs through the mountains of northern New Mexico. The NM base for this railway is in Chama, NM. It runs up to Antonito, CO. You can ride one way and take a bus back or take a bus up and ride the train back. Sorry – not a bus but a luxury motor coach. 🙂
This is definitely a “bucket list” item as the cost is not cheap. But, oh, I so want to take the girls! The railway was part of the silver mining industry in the late 1800s. When that slowed, there just wasn’t enough business to convert the rails to the larger size so it was slow going for a while. After WWII, there was a small natural gas boom that brought some business and then, well, it was time to disassemble the rails.
Luckily a group of local folks fought to keep some of the rails intact through the most scenic parts of the area. Thus, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railway came about in the 1970s. It is a beautiful trip through the lovely Rocky Mountains, back and forth over the border of NM and CO. What a lovely way to spend a day!
So, there you have them – 4 different place to tackle for the letter C in New Mexico. The richness of the state continues to amaze me!
Lori, At Home.
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Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.
- Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
- Christine @ Life’s Special Necessities
- Kimberly @ Vintage Blue Suitcase
- Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag
- Wendy @ Life On Chickadee Lane
- Yvonne @ The Life We Build
- Jennifer @ A Peace Of Mind
- Kristen @ A Mom’s Quest To Teach
- Kirsten @ DoodleMom Homeschool
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