05 July 2006 Wednesday

We found a nice BLM campsite by a stream… and it’s free!  Our favorite kind!

We did a cave tour of Lehman’s Cave this morning.  I was impressed that they had an airlock in place around 1940, shortly after the cave was commercialized.  This is a living cave that still has water and minerals dripping thru it.  When caves like this are commercialized, a larger opening is created, changing the humidity levels so much that the cave dries out and “dies”, or the formations stop growing.  Carlsbad Caverns is an example of a cave that was “killed” by commercial use.  Lehman’s Cave is a very highly decorated cave, meaning it has lots of formations.  It is also a living cave, meaning it’s formations are still growing.  In the beginning of it’s tourism life 100 years ago, the cave had damage due to visitors being allowed to take “souvenirs” with them.  There is evidence of the cave formations continuing to grow on these broken areas.  

After the cave tour, we checked out some pictographs, but they were quite worn, we couldn’t see much.  We also did a scenic drive up to Wheeler Peak overlook.  We’ll do this hike tomorrow, we don’t have time today.

We went into the town of Baker and had dinner at one of the two restaurants in town.  T&D’s is a restaurant, bar and grocery store all in one.  We picked up a loaf of bread for our PB&J’s tomorrow.  We went back to our campsite from last night.  We had the place all to ourselves.

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