The Intrepid Travelers

Rosy, Joe, Patrice, Dennis, Voncile, Frances Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 10, 2005



Recent Explorations of a Limestone Cave in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico Reveal a Natural Wonder of the First Magnitude

By Willis T. Lee

Now comes the announcement of a remarkable cavern among the eastern foothills of the Guadalupe Mountain, in southeastern New Mexico -- the Carlsbad Cavern, so named for the little town almost thirty miles to the northwest.

The less scenic part has been know locally for many years as a bat cave and a source of guano. Recently explorers traversed several miles of its halls and chanbers, and some parts of it were found to have such startling magnificence that, on October 23, 1923, by proclamation of President Coolidge, it was set aside as the Carlsbad National Monument.

January, 1924 issue of the National Geographic Magazine

1924 Photo Posted by Picasa

This 50 foot high balcony named the "Jumping Off Place," overlooks the Southern entance to Lower Cave. Lower Cave is an undeveloped section of Carlsbad Caverns consisting of more than one mile of surveyed passages. Lower Cave and other undeveloped passages are being preserved in their natural state for scientific study. New passages and rooms are still being discovered.

Looking Down at the Wire Ladder into Lower Cave Posted by Picasa

The wire ladder below was installed in 1924 during a six-minth exploration and survey sponsored by the National Geographic Society. Built by Jim White, a cave guide, the ladder descends 90 feet into Lower Cave. Explorers felt uneasy dangling in this dark pit on the swaying ladder.

Its value established by explorers and scientists, Carlsbad Cavern became a National Park in 1930.

The Wire Ladder Posted by Picasa

We are going down there later today!


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