|I had gone to Carlsbad last year and went into the Caverns. This year the elevator that brings you down and up out of the Caverns was not operating. I had done the walk down and remembered saying, "I'm sure glad I don't have to walk up." So..I opted to not do the caverns this year.
We did go to the Carlsbad Desert Zoo and Gardens. It is really done well and a good time was had by all. I had never seen blooms on the Yuccas like they had there.
Our next stop was Sitting Bull Falls, which I had never been to and was told it was a "must see". The falls is a 50 mile drive, but is definitely worth it. Sitting Bull Falls is fed by natural springs up in the canyon, and falls 150 feet into a pool, then disappears underground and reappears further down the canyon or joins the Pecos Valley underground water supply. The park has cabanas to have lunch, and it is a short hike to the fall.
The Carlsbad leg of the trip would not be complete without a trip to Artesia, which is about 36 mile north of Carlsbad. The town was named for it's artesian springs, but oil is what keeps it going now. Through many of the town's benefactors, a history of the west is portrayed in bronzes throughout the town. The last one is of giant books, which we would all recognize. The fifteen stacked books in the statue are influential literary classics of our past. On top of the books are four present day students who were chosen from a “My Favorite Book” essay contest held within the Artesia public school system.
As you walk down Mainstreet you will come upon an area between two stores that will catch your eye. It is called Heritage Walkway. Heritage Walkway took shape after a building fire left the lot vacant circa 1962. In 1976, the Artesia Junior Women’s Club created two murals, with the assistance of a local art teacher, in celebration of our country’s bicentennial year. The Artesia Garden Club maintained the Walkway for years until the work became too much for the club’s members. In 1999, Artesia MainStreet began renovating the area, including the installation of the water fountain series and thousands of hand-crafted tiles created by ceramics artists. The murals and tiles within the Walkway represent the community’s heritage.