Day 7 - 7/21/99

Carlsbad, NM

Oklahoma City, OK

Total Miles: 2396 Miles Today: 582


     This morning we swam out of bed.  I cannot remember a time when I have been so hot or so cramped.  The car was pretty comfortable, with our big inflatable mattress, but the combination of the outside temperature (80+), the sleeping bag, and NO Airflow meant that we ROASTED.  In the middle of the night Rex got up and cracked open the back gate on the car which helped a little, but since there was no wind, there was little airflow from the front of the car to the back.  We sweated.  Especially with Little Miss Space Heater sprawled about.  Little Mr. Space Heater no doubt contributed just as much.
     We also discovered some minor bugs with our plan to block the windows with blankets.  To that end, we have purchased some sheets at a thrift shop and some Velcro.  Tonight we are staying at a hotel, but tomorrow we will try Car = Bed v2.0  new and improved with our experience.
Journal_Day_07_Cavern_Entrance.jpg (9990 bytes)      We had no explicit plans for today except to visit the Carlsbad Caverns.  We left the RV park by 10 A.M. and drove the 23 miles to the Caverns.   As we were pulling into the parking lot we noted a bunch of license plates from different states.  Our brains started ticking . . . humm . . . License Plates->Digital Camera->Web Page->HEY!  We Jumped out of the car and proceeded to take pictures of 25 different state's license plates plus Ontario, Canada!   We were so stoked that we had found so many different plates (Which can be found in the Pictures section) that Dodi forgot to bring her hip pack and therefor her wallet.  This would almost put us out of business later when the camera started to run out of batteries (The spares being in Dodi's pack.)

Journal_Day_07_Chandiler.jpg (9996 bytes)      Once we finished taking pictures, we bought a ticket and walked through both trails that didn't require extra money.  The "Natural Entrance" was a disappointment for Rex who was expecting something more spectacular.   Dodi, however, was pretty excited.  It was a one mile hike to the other trail and the exit. We figured that since we paid for both trails we might as well take the second loop as well.  Boy, it sure was worth it.  The "Big Room" loop had a bunch of really impressive formations that were awe inspiring.Journal_Day_07_Lions_Tail.jpg (14468 bytes)  We took a LOT of pictures but only a few turned out.  There was too little light - It turns out that the camera could take low light pictures, but you needed to hold the camera steadier than Rex was able.  We couldn't see the blurring on the little LCD screen on the camera so we kept taking blurred pictures.  Luckily some of them did turn out and they're pretty cool (As you can see.)

     We finished up the Caverns at about 1 P.M. and went to get some food.  We stopped at a thrift shop and got some sheets to cover the windows and Wal-Mart to get some Velcro and Scissors to cut up the sheets.  We then plotted our course for New York, NY. 

Journal_Day_07_New_Room.jpg (6641 bytes)     We don't have any plans to stop at any sights on the way to New York, so we just needed to pick places to stop to sleep.   We figured that we'd like to drive until 10 PM - That left us with about 7 hours driving time, so we set the ambitious goal of Oklahoma City.  At about 520 miles away, this seemed like an obtainable goal.  What we did not take into account though was the the fact that the highway that Streets picked for us was a highway, meaning it had cross streets and stop lights and all manner of towns such that we were not able to keep up our standard cruising speed of 75-80 MPH and instead were subject to intermittent periods of 35 MPH.  Ugh, who wants that.  We are staying at another EconoLodge - Cheap = good.

     We rolled in about 12:30 - The room, unlike our previous EconoLodge room, is pretty night looking.  We plan on sleeping in.

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