Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Junior Rangers

We had some visitors in town for our days off and of course we just had to take them to the caverns. We saw lots of rangers there on their days off, Noelle and I amongst them. J.T. and Alaric brought the blue "caving helmets" that Noelle had bought them for their birthdays. We stopped for a quick photo at the sign outside the visitor center,
At Caverns Sign
picked up some tickets, and then headed down the trail to the natural entrance.
Running the Entrance Trail
After our orientation from Ranger Foz we were on our way headed down into the dark abyss.
JT at Entrance
The boys were both really excited, Alaric more excited about pretending to be a race car than the cavern itself.  

We headed down, down, down past Bat Cave and through the Twilight Zone. We passed Devil's Spring and the Whale's Mouth, went through the Devil's Den and were soon at the Witches Fingers. I think J.T. was impressed by the tall, skinny stalagmites.
Near Witches Fingers
We took a photo there and then headed deeper into the cave, past Iceberg Rock and down to the Big Room.

The boys were hungry at this point and so we headed up the elevator to get some snacks out of the car. We ate in some shade outside the visitor center. Then J.T. and Alaric filled out their junior Ranger books. Alaric didn't care to receive his badge but J.T. was excited to get his badge and take the pledge with Ranger Ellen.
Taking the Pledge
Proud Junior  Ranger and Mom
With full bellies and a shiny new badge we headed back down the elevator to the Big Room. We walked around the Big Room and gawked at the Bottomless Pit and Jumping Off Place before heading back to the surface and to check out the touch table.
Touch Table
We then headed out to the rental car. The tired junior rangers fell asleep in the car on the drive back to Carlsbad.       
Napping in Car

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