A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.





Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Beans Goes Caving

 

Down in the ravine close by are some shallow caves in the limestone cliff.


Beans knows they are down there and wants to go all the time.




While she was exploring I found this prickly pear cactus growing right out of the rock.


That was fun Dad.  Thanks.


Time to move on east some more.




Monday, May 3, 2021

Fort Stanton - Snowy River Cave

 

Between Capitan and Lincoln, New Mexico

After we settled in I got on Google Maps to see where this cave was located.  Seems that we drove right by it when we came in and didn’t even notice.


As you can see, they don’t want anyone going in there.


They are really serious about keeping you out.


And here is why.  It is for the protection of the bats that live within the cave who are vulnerable to White Nose Syndrome.
 

This is a fungus that is deadly to bats.  They become infected with it while hibernating and millions of bats have succumbed to the disease as it spreads to the membrane covering their wings.  It is believed that the fungus can be spread from cave to cave by humans with fungal spores on their clothing.  I whole heartedly support the closing of caves to protect the bats.  I don’t support the closing of showers.  

This cave is quite impressive in that it is over 42 miles long making it the 11th longest cave in the U.S. and the 43rd longest in the world.  Approximately 35 miles have been mapped.  Think about that.  Mapping 35 miles on foot on the ground out of doors.  Now do that underground in the dark.


I like going into caves.  I like coming out of caves even more.


Indian paintbrush


Yellow yarrow


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Cave Canyon

 

We left Valley of Fires for Cave Canyon less than an hour’s drive east.  


It is a nice little campground, only five campsites (just one tenter besides us) and no COVID-19 silliness to contend with.  At 6100 feet in elevation (1860 meters) it is quite pleasant.


We even have wildflowers here.

Annual phlox


Prairie verbena



Saturday, May 1, 2021

The Lava Field

 

We vowed to not grumble too much about the silliness of closed showers while we took the nature walk through the lava field.


The lava oozed out of the ground five thousand years ago.


Kind of amazing these plants can survive out of cracks in the lava.


There are no volcanos or cinder cones.  The ground just split open.



This Juniper tree is five hundred years old.
Mindless morons carved their initials on it.
Just thought you’d like to know.



See The Little House on the Highway up there?
This is on the road from the tent only area where there were only two tenters.
They have to pay $7 and don’t get to take a shower either.


View from my dining room window.
Our next destination is up in those mountains somewhere.