Thursday, September 23, 2010

carlsbad caverns & she loses it

Good Morning Friends...from TEXAS!!! That's right, through my wanderings & unexpected adventures, I have finally made it to the Great State of TEXAS, Yeeeeee Hawwwww!!!

Carlsbad Caverns National Park was unbelievable. The idea of traveling 750 ft below the surface of the earth on an elevator that takes like a minute, is simply CRAZY!!

Now, I had mentioned to the gal I bought my ticket from & the elevator operator, that I am a should I say it, CLAUSTROPHOBIC! They assured me that once in the huge rooms I would feel completely comfortable & not to worry & so I didn't.

The one thing I just had not really thought out very well, was the fact that it's PITCH BLACK down there. I guess I thought they'd have a skylight or something, but you'd think the fact that they were selling helmets with lights on the front would have given me my 1st clue...but no, I missed that.

Initially the grandeur of the place was all I could think about & as brave as a little girl scout, I set out on one of the paths heading back into the bowels of the cavern.

Now, it was unfortunate that I didn't know how dark it was down there, as I had only worn my sunglasses in & my regular glasses were in the car 750 ft above me...not a lot of help, right! But I continued my hike half blind & was still enjoying it at this time. Now picture this, I'm alone, no one is near me, I can see no one & they tell you not to talk down there for the enjoyment of the other guests, so it's completely this is starting to get a little creepy.

Still making the most of my handicapped situation, I come upon the Hall of Giants. OK, I am unknowingly starting to lose it here, but all I can think is...these look so very phallic to me. They look like enormous penis's, as I shoot away giggling ever so softly as to not offend the other guests.

Then I come upon tell me what you think this is! It's gotta be some kind of a hoax, right! Some frat boys came down here & made this out of sand just to see if they could dupe all the tired, blind & gullible tourists

By the time I got to Fairyland I'm thinking to myself "OK, I've seen enough amazing rock. This is really awesome & I truly appreciate the natural beauty & geology that went into making these wondrous sites...but I think I'm done now. Thanks everyone, adios!"

Awwww, not so easy my friends. You see I had started on a one way hike in which you had to finish the hike to come full circle back to the beginning & I have no idea where I'm at on the hike. Do I have another mile to go, 5 miles, 20 miles, how the hell do you get out of here? Now I'm starting to panic, sweat flowing from my pores like a river. Finally I can barely see the figure of a couple ahead of me on the trail. I run up to them & ask, trying to remain calm, "How far are we from the end, do you know where we're at on the hike"? The old lady says "I think we're probably about 1/2 way through it". OMG, I've been down here for an hour. That means I have another hour to go, can't do air! I say to her "I just really need to get out of here, I'm feeling a little nervous, sweat pouring from my face. She then says to me "Well just hope the power doesn't go off, ha, ha!" What the power could go off, oh shit...I should have bought one of those damn helmets with the flashlight on top. A zillion curse words fly through my brain, but thank god my mouth wasn't working at that moment.

I now start to jog on the path & try to convince myself to stay sane. Sing to your self I thought. ABCDEFG...what's the next line? Thinking about screaming for help, but it's too soon for those kind of theatrics. I see the slight outline of another couple on the path ahead, I yell out.."HOW FAR TO THE EXIT???" There foreign, no speaka da english. Now my mind actually cracks & I think things like, why would anyone even come down here...I've seen this very same thing on the mine ride at Knott's Berry Farm or I'll just live here, I'll become like a mole & sit down & just stay forever, or maybe if I take a nap on the path someone will think I've died & call for shirt & pants & hat are soaking!!! In the distance I can just make out the figure of a person walking towards me, hey they're going the wrong way, I see the outline of a hat. As the figure becomes clearer to me I realize it's a RANGER, thank GOD, I'm saved!!! She walks over to me & asks if I'm alright, I tell her NO & how far away is the exit?? She says, "Your just 5 minutes from it, I'll walk you over there". An angel has appeared to me dressed like a Park Ranger. She asks me questions to keep my mind occupied as we walk together to the elevator. I ride in silence the 750 ft up to the surface of the earth, exit the elevator & bolt to the car breathing in the fresh, cool air. I change my shirt, right there in the middle of the parking lot. In the safety of my own car I think, what made you even imagine that you could do that???
Nothing came to me....LOL!
Today I'm headed to San Anton & The Alamo, what's a crazy girl to do?
Miss you & really wish you were here yesterday!!!


Robin said...

Glad you made it out without a total meltdown! It is a long way down, pretty dark and somewhat creepy. On my way out I kept thinking, I hope this elevator doesn't break down!! Have fun in San Antonio.

Charlene said...

I am laughing my A_ _ OFF! YOU are a stictch!!!! We are gonna have a blast!!! I'm off to send you an email so we can make arrangements to meet on Sunday! HUGS! Charlene

Linda in New Mexico said...

I know exactly what you are talking about. I took 36 teenagers there and 2 of them had the freak out (that is a dance done in Carlsbad Caverns), just about where your angel appeared. Believe it or else...that's why they built that elevator shaft there. Many, many folks can't handle the light deprevation, sunglasses huh?, for any longer than that. So sorry that you had a freak out, but you're in good of our former Presidents of the US did too. Have a great time in Tejas. The Olde Bagg

trash talk said...

I am rolling! I shouldn't 'cause I feel the same way about escalators...but girl...I can't help it! Oh mylanta...who knew there was a porn show down there! I cannot...let me emphasize that...CANNOT wait to meet you. You are my people!
P.S. Don't pi$$ on the Alamo a la Ozzy and get thrown in jail before I get to meet you!

Alice said...

Oh no, I'm sorry you had that experience. I just loved the caverns, but also had hubby and kids with me as a distraction. I hope you can take home something positive about the tour at least.

Texas--ye haw!

Susan deGeneres said...

Well, at least now when people ask you "What's the craziest thing you ever did to get a park stamp?" you'll have a great story to tell them. Good luck on your next leg.

Karen said...

I can imagine how that could all happen. There is no darkness like Carlsbad Caverns!! I wish I had known you were going there. If you visit my blog, "Ladybug Creek" and go to July 28, 2010 you can read about Carlsbad Caverns and my father and grandfather's experience there.
I have been twice and it makes me very edgy. Probably will not go again.
Great post!
Ladybug Creek

Lynn Richards said...

Oh, Lord, susie!!! THIS is why I love you. As I was reading your post I thought, I would like pictures of clouds better...then I got to the part where you are 1/2 way down....and all I could think of was my new mantra by Ann Lamott:
"I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish."
Thank goodness you are in texas...

Burlap Luxe said...

Wow! what an experience!!
Way to scary for me! can you say...

all in all what a beautiful trip.

she dreams big! said...

Stick to shopping Susie! That is why you are there, remember? It is just too pretty above ground to ever want to go below!

Okay, I'm done laughing now.

Angela said...

Oh my, I am hyperventilating just listening to your account of this. I've always thought people who went in places like that on purpose were nuts!! The Alamo will be much better! Only get ready for it to be a miniature version of what you had in your's very small and sitting in the middle of downtown is strange. Have fun!

Pretty Things said...

Oh my gosh! I'm not sure I could take that tour as cool as it would be to say I'd done it. 1) Claustrophobic, and 2) Scared of the dark. You're a brave woman!

Lucy - By the Hill said...

No, no, no, not me! Nevah!!Way too creepy but you sure made it a funny trip for us reading about yours!
I laughed out loud at your comments on the HALL OF GIANTS......yes!!!hahahahaha...who wouldn't think the same thing!
Oh you are funny!
You're gonna love the's above ground!

Anonymous said...

lol, I am claustraphobic too and I never went down to the caverns. You are brave! Enjoy some good food in San Antone!

Diane said...

Glad you made it outta the cavern, and are in TEXAS! Girl, you made me almost fall off my chair! See ya soon.......

moose2bear said...

I'm coming to your shop when you get home! I want to hear your story again with your hand animation!!!!! I am laughing my A__ __ off. I can just imagine. I am in Washington now. I love Oregon and Wash. These states are so clean I can't believe it. Wish CA folks took care of our state! seee you soon....Boy have I found great finds in the antique stores here!

Gracie's Cottage said...

I had to keep reading to see how you got out, but oh my, I was sweatin' with you. People who aren't claustrophobic have NO idea what it's like to be crushed by the darkness and be unable to I have to calm myself down!!!

Have FUN on the rest of your trip!


Elizabeth Maxson said...

In those situations, that is when I tell myself, "hey, I will never see these people again...." and make a scene to get the hell out of whatever situation I am in....yup...I really do tell myself that....and yup, I really do make a scene....not pretty.

Thanks for the laugh!

Jann said...

I have been "perusing" your posts and pics about your trip--I love it all and am living vicariously through you right now! And thank you so much for delivering my friend Carol Anne's giveaway goodies to her in person--she was sooooo thrilled, and you are a doll to have done that--I admire you so much for driving all that way alone--don't think I could have done that! These photos of the caverns are stunning!