Spring Break with the Carlson's

The Carlson family, friends from Marysville Washington, flew to El Paso and rented an RV for Spring Break.  Together, we visited Juarez Mexico, Hueco Tanks State Park in Texas, the Carlsbad Caverns, the Roswell UFO Museum and Research Facility, Smokey the Bear State Park, Three Rivers Petroglyphs, and White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.

The RVs are the things that we use to travel with.  This is on the road to Hueco Tanks State Park in Texas.  

by Jake Carlson

This is my birthday cake 2 days after my birthday.  It was so sweet that I only took 4 little bites.  I had trick candles on my cake. 

by Jake Carlson

Here's Mat Carlson.  He either wants to help his bother blow out the candles or can't wait to sink his teeth into Jake's birthday cake
This looks like a good way to get run over.  What could Jake be doing?
What?  The Easter Bunny's been to El Paso!  Here, in Texas, it's more likely to be an Easter Jack Rabbit. 
In this picture the boys, (left to right, Mitch, Jake, Mat, Max), are standing in front of a yucca plant on North Mountain at Hueco Tanks State Park 25 miles east of El Paso, Texas.  There are estimated to be 3,000 pictographs, (rock paintings) in this Texas State Park. 
Here Jake is pointing at a dry mud hole.  As the water evaporates small animals like frogs, salamanders, shrimp and turtles bury themselves in the mud and hibernate until the next rain comes. 
We climbed to the top of the mountain.  This area of the country is very windy during March and April.  The winds were blowing about 30 to 40 miles per hour making this exciting but a little scary.  Looking down from where Mitch is sitting,  you can see straight down to the valley floor.
There are a lot of small caves and crevices in these mountains.  Hueco is Spanish for "hollow". 
This is one of many paintings we saw. A ranger told us that this one isn't an original.
One of the most interesting things we saw at Hueco Tanks were the names and dates that stage coach passengers had carved in the caves and on the rocks.  The Butterfield Stage Line had a station at Hueco Tanks where they stopped for water and rest.  The remains of the old station are still here.
Traveling on to New Mexico, we camped next to a guy that travels throughout New Mexico giving kids rides at local carnivals in his Monster Truck.  He started the engine for the kids -- it was REALLY LOUD!
This is the opening of the Natural Entrance to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico.
Here I am looking at the largest column in the cavern. 
The kids all earned Junior Ranger patches at Carlsbad Cavern.  All National Parks have this program and we highly recommend it.  The kids (and adults) really learn a lot about the park.
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