Carlsbad Caverns - New Mexico

---  The human history of Carlsbad Caverns in southeastern New Mexico is just as interesting as its natural history. The early discovery and exploration of the caverns is fascinating (the exploration, in fact, continues to this day), the caves were mined for both gypsum and bat guano, and the largest room in the main cave was used as a fallout shelter in the event of a nuclear war. History on the Move V students will tour the main cave and will also venture off on a private tour of the Lower Cave. The description of that tour is as follows: "Lower Cave is a strenuous tour. National Geographic expedition members in 1924 wrote about the wonders of Lower Cave. Visitors today can see the evidence left behind from these and other explorers. You will descend 10 feet down a flowstone slope by knotted rope and proceed to descend 50 feet down three sets of ladders. This trip is not recommended for anyone with a fear of enclosed spaces, heights, or darkness. Each person must bring closed-fingered gloves and four new AA alkaline batteries. Kneepads are optional, but must not have any hard plastic components. The park provides helmets and headlamps. Participants must wear sturdy, closed-toed tennis shoes or hiking boots. Backpacks are not allowed on this tour."

-- R. Carriker

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