Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Walking the Big Room

"More than 300 known caves lie beneath the surface of the Chihuahuan Desert and Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico and west Texas. The Carlsbad Caverns National Park contains 113 of these caves, two of which—Carlsbad Caverns and Lechuguilla Cave—are among the largest and most magnificent underground formations in the world" (gorp.com/parks-guide/carlsbad-caverns).

Emerging from the elevator 750 feet below the surface, I entered the Big Room of Carlsbad Cavern.

Identifying a space in a cavern 75 stories below ground level as the "Big Room" would seem to be the result of a marketing team's recommendation.

However, in the case of this Cavern, the name may even misrepresent its size.

A fourteen acre space with a one-mile paved trail that takes over an hour to stroll around deserves a more respectful moniker--Immense or Enormous seem more fitting.

Nevertheless, the room is made for photographers with a tripod, and with a modest off-season stream of visitors, I could take advantage of the park's photography (with tripod) policy and set up along the walkway without blocking the passageway.

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