Carlsbad Caverns

We visited Carlsbad Caverns the first week of May. While driving into the park where we could tour the caves, we past a small herd of Big Horn Sheep:

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To access the caves you have to pass through the Visitors’ Center. A replica of a stalagmite and some bats (who inhabit the caves) was on display.
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In the Visitors’ Center a model of the cave was on display:
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We chose the option of a self-guided tour on foot through this entrance:
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Saw some cactus in bloom along the way:
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A wee bit intimidating:
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The 800 foot descent takes 1.25 miles of these hairpin curves:
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Intrepid explorer!
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When we arrived 800 feet underground, we took a break at the lunch room and then continued on to the second self-guided tour of “The Big Room”.
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Thankfully, there was an elevator to return us to the top!

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Tent Rocks

On February 8, 2017, we drove about 50 miles north of our house to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Place your cursor over the picture below and keep clicking the arrow on the right side to go through a slide show of my photos from the trip:

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Jemez Mountains and Valles Caldera National Preserve

First views of mountains:
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We stopped at a fishing access point:
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Dave inspecting the Jemez River:
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More views from the access point:
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Further on, Battleship Rock:
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Continuing to Valles Caldera:
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Lots of snow at the caldera:
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Panoramic picture made from the caldera pictures above:
Valles Caldera Panorama

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Orcas near the San Juan Islands

Port Townsend, Washington:
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Daughter and Granddaughter waiting to board:
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Our whale viewing boat, the Glacier Spirit:
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Most passengers clung to the railing anxiously watching for whales. Whidbey Island in the background:
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Sparkling waters:
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On board was a poster showing the various whales we might see:
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And a map of the San Juan Islands:
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The boat was really churning up the water to get to more likely viewing waters:
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View from the stern:
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First sighting. Can you see it?
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The dorsal fins of adult male orcas are about six feet tall:
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After a lot of long distance viewing, this fellow came right up to the boat beneath where I was standing:
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He was headed back under in an instant:
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Still barely visible under the water:
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More long distance sightings:
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Then, suddenly a second came in for a close encounter:

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My daughter captured this great photo of the second close encounter:
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Then he was underwater again right alongside:
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A great time was had by Grandma, Grandpa and Granddaughter:

Daughter and Son-in-Law:

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Wildflowers Down by the River August 2015

Fading Bee Balm:
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Queen Anne’s Lace:
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Goldenrod:
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Forget Me Not:
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Jewel Weed:
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Joe-Pye Weed:
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Bone Set:

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Turtlehead:
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Flowers Around the House July 2015

Red Cone Flower

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Pink Cone Flower
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Double Orange Day Lily

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Red Day Lily
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Johnson’s Blue Perennial Geranium
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Stella D’Oro Day Lily
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Violet Day Lily
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Red Admiral or Vanessa Atalanta

Vanessa atalanta, Fall Creek Park, Pendelton, IN June 28, 2015:
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