Friday, August 15, 2008
CARLSBAD CAVERNS: AMERICA'S STALAGMITE DELIGHT
It's the dog days of summer, a season when in less oil-troubled times American families would pile into station wagons with fake wood paneling, or perhaps one of those massive molester vans that took two people to slide the door shut. Invariably some little kid's finger would get caught. You'd travel for days. Your only entertainment would be AM radio crooners such as Rita Coolidge, Jim Croce and James Taylor, a Jumbo Word Scramble Book and a nubby #2 pencil.
You'd subsist on warm Kool Aid and soggy sandwiches. The hot August weather was a safety blessing, because no one used seat belts and your sweaty thighs would stick to the vinyl, thus keeping you in place. Your destination was usually one of three places:
1. The Grand Canyon
2. Mount Rushmore
3. Yosemite National Park
As I lived in Hawaii until I was 8, and my mom was a loony Finnish divorcee who couldn't drive, this was not my life. I have never been to the Grand Canyon, but I hear it's a big deal. Or rather, it takes so fucking long to get there that it pretty much has to be a big deal just to justify all the time you've spent getting there. Nor have I been to Mount Rushmore or Yosemite National Park.
But I know from pals and films that these are all vacation friendly-national treasures. Perfect for wholesome family fun. And perhaps I should see them before trying to bump one of them off the Top 10 list in favor of another destination. But fuck it. I'm nominating this place:
Seriously--these caverns are cool. We visited them while driving across the country in a U-Haul after hightailing it out of CNN. These caverns in New Mexico were easily the coolest thing I saw over the whole trip. Look at the above picture. Yeah, I know you can see George Washington's face carved into the side of a rock at Mount Rushmore, but can you see a stalagmite in the shape of a tit?