The Carlsbad Cavern Desert Trail
Here’s the thing . . . I’ve kind of lived a life a little on the edge. We’ve taken chances. We were young, we took risks we didn’t even know we were taking.
The result is that while I am still determined to live my life to the fullest, there are things I won’t do. Jump out of a perfectly good airplane, even with a parachute. Walk out on clear platforms over the Grand Canyon. Go in bat caves. Go into just about any confined space – I just don’t do it. There are things I don’t like doing but I do them, but there are things I just won’t do, and I’ve stopped doing caverns and walking close to the edge in very high places.
So we went to Carlsbad Caverns, visited the visitor center, then took the Desert Drive.
We are here at an awesome time of the year. Things are blooming, and we are awed at the persistence of life. The temperature has hit ninety something (fahrenheit) by 10 in the morning, but these plants are thriving. So thriving that one plant burrowed through two layers of cloth and into AdventureMan’s flesh!
These are old familiar plants, the Prickly Pear. I first saw them when we lived in Tunisia, and they were used as boundary borders, and a formidable boundary marker they are – tall and tough and very prickly. The Tunisians used the prickly pear to make jelly, but they also used the leaves, trimming off all the prickles, peeling off the tough outer skin, pounding the fibrous center into submission and then, I think, breading them and frying them. I love it that something so tough and which grows so persistently can also provide nutrition to hungry people.
I’m just throwing this one in because it cracked me up; the stick looking a little like a snake by the sign:
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