We left Big Bend on January 13th heading for Carlsbad, New Mexico. On our way out of Big Bend we had problems with the truck and our check engine light came on. We made our way to Marathon and stopped there to check the readings on the truck. It was reading that the “MAP” sensor was malfunctioning. We headed from Marathon to Fort Stockton, Texas to a Ford Dealer to see about a new part. Steve was able to reset the problem and we headed north of Carlsbad on Hwy. 285 to Brantley Lake State Park where we checked in for two nights at $14.00 per night. It was a lovely park overlooking Brantley Lake. Nice big sites with a cement eating area. Obviously this area had got a lot of snow in the past week or so because of it’s high elevations and El Nino as there was snow on the ground in spots. Yet the weather was lovely with readings in the low to mid teens.
Brantley Lake State Park
We were up and on our way to the Carlsbad Caverns just outside of Carlsbad in the Guadalupe Mountains by 9:30 the next morning. The entrance fee for the National Park was $20.00 for both of us. After checking their website we were aware that the elevators taking you back to the surface were broken so we would be exploring the caves by walking down and walking back up the 750 foot descent. The hidden treasure and beauty of the more than 119 caves all formed by sulphuric acid dissolving the surrounding limestone leaving behind caverns of all sizes was magnificent and a must see. It took us more than 3 hours to explore the cave, the descent was not too bad but the climb up was difficult. Lots of breaks were needed and make sure you have lots of water!!!
Carlsbad was an amazing stop on our journey!!