Our 239 mile trip from Big Bend to Carlsbad was anything but uneventful. Two miles before arriving at the campground our right rear duals blew and also managed to bend the aluminum wheel. It also tore up the right rear jack wiring and who knows what else. Five hours later we managed to make it to the campground.
We are staying at the Carlsbad RV Park & Campground with 50 amp full hookups, including cable, and a lot of wind which they don't charge for. We have decent Verizon coverage and a clear shot to the satellite.
Tuesday found us going to Carlsbad Caverns about 23 miles from the campground. This made my third trip to the caverns - the first in the 50s with my parents, the second with Doris, Misty and Michelle in the late 70s. Many things have changed each time I have come. The first time, the tour was very rudimentary and very little safety precautions. It had only changed slightly when Doris and I came with the girls, carrying one on each hip, though there were many more safety rails. Now there are two unguided tours - one from the natural entrance and one taking the elevator down to the Big Room. We chose to take the elevator down. It was still about a 1½ mile hike around the Big Room which took almost two hours. The formations are really unbelievable and the Park Service does a great job with the lighting and presentation of the entire passage.
Next we made the drive over to Sitting Bull Falls in the Lincoln National Forest about 50 miles from Carlsbad. The falls is fed by a small spring whose flow varies substantially according to season. Not much was flowing when we were there. It was a pretty drive though and we enjoyed the trip very much.
Wednesday was spent trying to get the Mothership fixed. We were able to find a truck repair place where they were very good and managed to get the levelers fixed where the blown tires had torn up the wiring.
Thursday morning we went to the Living Desert and Zoo in Carlsbad. It included a 1.5 mile trail through the park where you see many different desert plants and also many animals that inhabit the area. I included several pictures of some of the unique items. That afternoon was spent trying to get the kitchen slide repaired. We were not as fortunate as we were with the levelers. A link on the unusual chain that is used to open and close the slide had cut a link pin and smashed one of its integral rollers. The small service center here helped a lot but did not have the parts for repair so the rest of the day was spent in an effort to stabilize the slide so it doesn't creep out during travel - hopefully we were successful on that - tomorrow will tell.
Tomorrow we head for Alamogordo, NM and White Sands National Monument.