Park Ranch Gypsum Caves

A Visit to Two Gypsum Caves in the Gypsum Plain of New Mexico, South of Carlsbad

In Three Parts, Each With Multiple Pages

Part 2:      Cave A

Page 2-2:  Deeper into the cave

Guess I was fascinated at that bench a bit too long, here comes someone checking on me where we hit the first water on the cave floor:

According to the literature perused before writing this, the hydrogen sulfide gas came into the rock through the strain-cracks that can be seen everywhere in these caves.  The caves follow the cracks, because the cracks is where the acid-producing gas came in to help water dissolve the rock around it:

I like that texture on the left wall in the above photo.  Now we move into a whiter gypsum that I suspect has been reprecipitated after water has moved through and drying began again::

They are coming back for me again, bless their hearts, but I was again fascinated by the rock texture here as well as by this black organic mess probably oozing up, with a Boy Scout trail marker on it.  Yes, scouts do this sort of stuff here.

The turning never seems to stop for long, there are only a few straight section:

More fascinating rock fabric, more dawdling, and here comes someone checking on me again, bless them all!

Another scout trail-marker, and an interesting curve where I stayed below ( my escort walked the rim on the right as the Boy-Scout trail-marker suggests).  I had to bend myself considerably to make it through.  Next time I follow my guide!

I just loved that wall rock fabric!  Here is more, closer up and with some discoloration, and looking like a serpent's face:

For the next while the wall texture just fascinated me and slowed me way down to the chagrin of my guides.  The next photo shows evidence for organic matter from deep below, with its sulfur loading, still coming into the cave, but extremely slowly:

Ah, these fascinating walls just don't stop!

Time to move to the next page.

PART 1:   Introduction

Page 1-1:  General introduction to the Gypsum Plain and its karst features

Page 1-2:  A look around before heading into the caves  

Part 2:      Cave A

Page 2-1:  Moving into the cave

Page 2-2:  Deeper into the cave YOU ARE HERE

Page 2-3:  A good place to stop and return NEXT

Part 3:      Cave B

Page 3-1:  Looking around before entering the cave and coming to a good place to turn around

Page 3-2:  Interesting rock fabrics along the way

Page 3-3:  Merging with other underground streams before the exit

The Vincent Online-Guide to Spelunking Opportunities near Carlsbad

Another set of Gypsum-Plain pages: The Black River

Carlsbad Caverns:  Photos or a Movie (page has links to four movies, one is about Carlsbad Caverns, and has instructions for use)

What made this place the way it is today?  Looking back at the Permian.

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