Well, Isaac’s MR340 race was postponed this year. The paddling event, which starts in Kansas City, MO and ends in St. Louis, did not pan out due to high waters from recent flooding. Since the Army does not give much wiggle room for leave dates, our family vacation turned into an Oklahoma City visit, a trip to Austin, TX, a hike in the famous Carlsbad Caverns ending in an immensely spectacular bat show.
We were also able to tack on a night in El Paso at the trendy Indigo hotel before heading home.
In OKC, we spent a day at the Omniplex with my best pal Jax and her awesome squad who are conveniently stationed in nearby Ft. Sill, OK. That museum grows every time we visit, and it would take at least two days to see everything. We ate at Empire slice house, had ice cream at Roxy’s and found a splash pad at McKinley park in the Plaza district where the kids ran off some of their bottomless energy.
We also rode the city’s new trolleys around downtown, ate on the 49th floor of the Devon tower, and got hot and sticky in the Myriad gardens. Oklahoma city is maturing and growing into such an exciting metropolis.
Our visit to Austin included a stay at a downtown hotel where we toured the city by foot. VooDoo donuts has a shop in Austin; munching their creations brought back fond memories of traveling in and around Portland. We rode electric scooters and bikes, went to some great restaurants, including Cooper’s Old Time BBQ Pit, and had fun swimming at a swimming hole at a nearby greenbelt. Definitely check out my instagram stories for that clip – doggie heaven is real, and it is in ATX.
I didn’t want to lug around my 5DMarkiii, so I didn’t take any photos there. The lighting at Carlsbad didn’t allow for photography either, using a tripod down there would just feel silly. I did however document some highlights on instagram. Check those out here: Carlsbad Caverns highlights.
Interestingly enough, no digital devices are allowed at all during the bat flights. No cameras, phones off, and be very quiet. This is a directive taken to prevent the bats from migrating elsewhere, and ending the century long tradition of bat flight shows.
Carlsbad Caverns hosts a bat show nightly during the spring-summer at the amphitheater near the cave entrance. The bats swirl out of the cave counter clockwise, fluttering and chirping about as they flock to find water and food.
Someone broke the rules and documented the event previously, and against better judgment I’m sharing it here for anyone whose curiosity has been piqued.
Overall, a wonderful journey to both familiar and unfamiliar places!