Saturday, October 25, 2008

25 Oct – Carlsbad, New Mexico

I followed Texas 167 to New Mexico today and the oil wells made an appearance big time. Seems this is the Andrews oil field and has been pumping oil since the late 1920's. The sign, erected in 1985, says most of the oil had gone by the late 1960's but for all that most of the wells were pumping and there were oil tankers delivering the product to refineries in the area. The general area is flat and the land used mostly for cropping. What is not cropped is fenced for cattle. There are mile upon mile of fence with split log posts and battens of a local scrub much like Manuka. Sadly the road side and rest areas are littered with years of rubbish.
Two towns were of interest. One was full of large pickup trucks for him and large SUV's for her. No sissy small cars and MPV's here. The other was mostly trashed, even the gas stations were closed down. Strangely, there were two oil refinery's in town.
I spent the afternoon at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. I was uncertain about visiting a 'cave' after all I have been through Waitomo and the caverns in Takaka but I am glad I went. The caves are spectacular and it was time well spent – all for $6. And at sun down you could get to see the bats leave the cave in their thousands.

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