Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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White Sands, Black Wings Whites City, NM, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 10:03pm

The day started with a trip back out to White Sands, to see what it looks like in the light of day. The bright white dune fields are quite dramatic, and there are a lot of cool patterns formed by the sand and the plants.

I stopped by a motorcycle shop and got a new radiator cap. My old one had become indented and was no longer letting the coolant system maintain a vacuum. I talked to the guy at the shop about routes a little, and he told me that I was in for a fun trip across the mountains and then several hours of boredom. That about sums up the day's riding.

I headed east, first to Roswell, where I visited the UFO museum, then down to Carlsbad. The museum is interesting. They have a lot of photos and signed affidavits related to the "Roswell Incident", when an alien spaceship crashed near Roswell and was immediately covered up by the US government. Or when parts of a device designed by the US military to fool radar were found. It was kind of interesting in a what-will-people-believe sense, but not very impressive otherwise.

Much more impressive was the flight of bats leaving Carlsbad Caverns at sunset. There were thousands and thousands swirling around the cave entrance and flying off in waves. It was a still night, but the beating of their wings made a susurration like the wind through the trees. I think I saw more bats in Austin when I took a sunset cruise on the river, but it was more impressive to see them swirling out of a single opening and passing overhead than coming out of passages throughout a bridge and flying along the bridge.

I'm camped just outside Carlsbad Caverns National Park (there are no campgrounds inside). It took a surprising amount of persuasion to convince the guy who's handling registrations for the campground that it was okay for him to put me in an RV space, even though I have a motorcycle and a tent, rather than an RV. I thought that the reasoning "I want to plug in my laptop, and I'm willing to pay the RV rate" would suffice, but the whole idea really bothered him ("It makes no sense!"). Eventually, he relented, though.

There are some bats feasting on bugs near the campground entrance's streetlamp.

Hopefully I'll get to go into the Caverns tomorrow.


MM (Anonymously) Thursday, 20 September 2012 9:43am

Any day you can legitimately use "susurration" in a sentence is a good day.