The Starbucks can at Santa Fe
Every month I try to go on a short trip and go somewhere. When I am adventurous, I go a little farther than normal. I love New Mexico and have been there many times. If I had it my way, I would visit there four times a year. But, the fourteen hour drive is nothing to be taken lightly.
I wanted to see Carlsbad Caverns. I had never been there before, but had read a lot about it. I have been to many caves in different parts of California and Oregon, but Carlsbad Caverns is the best cave system in the Western part of the United States. There is another top notch cavern network in Western Virginia I believe as well.
The hotel & the spirit
I stayed at a Best Western if my memory serves me correctly. This all happened around 2006 or 2007 so it is a distant memory. While going to bed, I noticed a presence. I knew a spirit was there. Not a bad spirit, but one who liked to linger. It is hard to go to sleep when you are being watched. I was slightly upset and didn’t know what to do. Should I call Ghostbusters? I turned the light on in hopes that the spirit would go away. I had to get up early for my cave tour the next day. I don’t know what the spirit did, but I felt a little better with a light on. Spirits don’t like hanging around well lit places as a rule.
So, the next day I had to wake up really early. I got up on time — around 7am or so. I bathed, packed my car, checked out, and then drove to the appointed meet. It was in the middle of nowhere. It was about 15 miles from the main entrance of the cave which is well marked. I was the first person to make it and park. There were picnic tables, so I just hung out. Finally, the small group started arriving one by one. Our leader made sure we all had flashlights all ready. I had backup flashlights too, because I am a prepared camper. We followed our guide down a half mile trail going up and down small rock encrusted hills to the entrance of the cave.
The cave tour
We went in the cave. There was a thick layer of bat feces that had accumulated over hundreds of years. It got to be several feet thick in some places. Bats made this place their home, but were not a problem during the morning. There was a designated path with occassional stairways going down this huge room in the cave. This was no ordinary cave room. It was over 1000 feet long and 200 or more feet across. Down and down we went. It is such an unusual environment and really changes your perspective. After twenty minutes it flattened out and we went through all types of rooms and channels. There was no more bat life once we got to that point.
The lost ranger
Our guide told me how one ranger got lost in the cave when his lantern went out and had to use his cell phone for light to get out of there. He had the cave almost memorized, but there are so many twists and turns, that even if you know the landmarks, it is still very difficult. He had one of us lead the pack to see if he could get us out of that cave without guidance. The guy in front did a fairly good job. There were all types of recognizable shapes and distinguishing marks in the cave. I remember that one rock had some white markings on it for some reason.
It is a constant 57 degrees in almost all caves throughout the world. Bring a jacket or a sweater. You don’t notice how chilly it is until you stop moving. Almost all cave tours include a lights out session. It is pitch black. Your eyes do not adjust. It is just plain blackness. We experienced lights out for a few minutes. It is a different world down there. You would just die slowly and quietly if you got stuck in a cave without light.
Driving through Texas
The cave tour came to an end. We left, and I decided to drive a few miles South into Texas. There was a very politely driven silver Dodge pick up truck behind me. The minute we crossed the Texas line he started tail gaiting me as if to say, “You’re in Texas now boy!” Then, he passed me. I visited Guadalupe National Park for a few minutes just to see what it was. I didn’t have time for a thorough investigation. It was very rocky and dry with spectacular views of patchy colored flat ground for hundreds of miles in any direction. There is a particular look that the ground has in West Texas. It is littered with black leafless bushes that look dead. It is a harsh environment, and merely staying alive seems like a challenge. I drove through the flat terrain. There were mountains in the distance. Many were unusually shaped pointy rock mountains shaped like triangles. I stopped at a cafe that had to import its water from El Paso. Each flush cost them 64 cents according to the sign, so I felt guilty and ordered some food after I went to the bathroom. I drove to El Paso after that. Lots of monster trucks tailgated me there. Maybe they are bigots and didn’t like my California plates on my Toyota. Who knows? El Paso is one of the safest cities in the U.S., but it has a very disturbing vibe. You see those typical El Paso (taco bell) type arches everywhere in the Mexican style architecture. 80% of the population there is Hispanic by the way. I drove a little further and saw lots of border guards with pick up trucks keeping an eye on the river to make sure nobody swam across.
Welcome to New Mexico!
It was a relief to see the Welcome to New Mexico sign in the distance. West Texas is a harsh and uninviting environment. New Mexico is a friendly land of enchantment, mystery and magic. I drove straight up the 25 all the way to Santa Fe. I stayed at a Comfort Inn. Nothing was unusual about this hotel. I watched television and went to bed.
After I went to bed, I heard this loud “Whoosh” sound. I looked in the bathroom. I opened my door to look outside, but there was nobody out there. It sounded like a door had bee quickly shut. But, no door had actually moved. It was very mysterious and peculiar. I shrugged my shoulders and went to bed. The next morning I woke up and it was time for my customary Starbucks double shot. There was a horizontal slit in the can and half of the liquid was missing, yet there was no mess either. Bizarre. The spirit who hovered above me back in Carlsbad had followed me all the way up here. He cut a slit in that can to make his presence known. I talked to my psychic about that incident. She said that spirit was very interested in me. He was a Native American who lived in the 1800’s. He was strangled to death by another Native guy for making trouble. The spirit was fascinated by me because I liked to travel all over the place. When he was alive, he apparently traveled by horse all over the place too.