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 2-3:  A good place to stop and return

This turn seems to go on for a long way (started on the last page already)!

But then oops!  It stops, and things get a bit more difficult, I tried the lower road in this next photo but around the next bend would not have made it through.  Even a skinny adult wouldn't make it through.

With someone giving me some reassurance and a hand I took the high road and made it through this narrow neck:

A few steps later I saw another place where a narrow dropoff would again have stopped me because of my size and because I don't bounce well on rock:

Then for just a few years it was easy again, and I returned to being fascinated by the rock fabric:

The very next turn, however, the channel split and the upper channel is the one that continues passable for people in good shape.  I had some difficulty envisioning myself going to the upper tube in the next photo the same way the Vincents all did by simple pushing off the opposite wall and taking a leap of faith:

The kind person watching me struggle with my options suggested that if I wished to go back at this point, she would guide me out.  I took hr up on that offer and promised no pictures on the way out.  In the meantime the Vincent sin slipped and fell and decided he had also had enough.  So three of us went back, me last, of course.  Did I keep my promise of no photos on the way out:  not really:

Seeing the same thing from the opposite side makes it look different, of course:

And toward the very end I was asked to "shoot" a cave cricket, so I did:

And, at long last, sunlight again!

But we don't go up, instead we turn left and go down to the next cave opening directly below the one we just exited from.

When we make the down-turn, we are in Part 3.

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

Page 2-3:  A good place to stop and return YOU ARE HERE

Part 3:      Cave B

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

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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