Got up bright and early, and started my touristy shopping. Got these two neat t-shirts (one of which I'll keep for a sleep shirt, and the other will go to my 7'2" son.) See the teeny little green man finger puppet that'll go on my whatnot shelf?
Next stop, Carlsbad Caverns. THAT ONE CAVE WAS SO ENORMOUS! I did the self-guided walking tour. This behemouth was nearly 60 feet tall! I also outdid myself in the gift shop, especially when it came to the Native American Indian art.
For a quick comparison, I took in Sonoma Caverns. Yes, they're underground, too, but that's the only thing they have in common with Carlsbad. Where you are in this huge underground cave with Carlsbad, Sonoma is right in your face. You follow the guide on a very narrow trail, and try not to touch, hit, or bump into various formations. (You can see the single-person walkway at the lower right.) This one is quite "personal", and I liked it tremendously.
My last stop for the day was at Ft. Lancaster. Although most of what you'll see are the ruins, the place is quite fascinating with regards to its historical significance. I arrived just as they were about to close, but hosts Debbie and Melissa were gracious, and allowed me to roam the place and adjacent museum, answer my questions, and give me some neat feedback for a future book.
Tomorrow is the last leg of my trip, arriving home in time for the Fourth!