SMITH FAMILY NEWSLETTER
June was a busy month! We crossed 4 states, made 7 stops, and traveled 1,601 miles. We started out with a short visit with Kevin & Brenda in Boerne, TX. New Mexico was next, where we visited the Bat Caves in Carlsbad. Still in NM, we visited Elephant Butte, the site of our 400 Rally in the Fall. Touring just got better as we moved north to Santa Fe, NM, the Land of Enchantment! Still moving north, we climbed to 6,000 feet to Colorado Springs, CO. Here we stayed at the USAF Academy famcamp. We ended the month in Cheyenne, WY at the Terry Bison Ranch and got up close and personal with some Buffalo! These stops gave us a real taste of the West and some great adventures!!
Yes, the top right picture is of a BAT, and so is the picture at the very top of the page, with tens of thousands flying in the night sky!
OUR FAMILY IN BOERNE, TX
We watched the bats from the amphitheater two nights in a row. An amazing sight!! There was a microphone on the inside of the cave, so we all knew when they were on the move. As they emerged from the cave, they circled up in a counter clockwise motion., like a cloud of smoke. The departure could take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 1/2 hrs. There are many species of bats in the cave, but most are the Mexican Free-Tailed Bats. They have a seasonal migrational pattern. The females give birth here in Carlsbad. They are capable of flying up to 65 miles in distance in one night before returning at dawn. We also toured the caves and thought the Great Room was the largest we had ever seen. This was in a different location from where the bats reside. We walked down through the natural opening, 750 feet down. At that level there was a food concession, gift shop, picnic tables and rest rooms! Going down the walk, which took about 90 minutes, was quite steep and there was no question, we took the elevator back to the surface.