15 September 2008

Carl's Bad Caverns and other dead mammals

A few years ago, I took my mother, my aunt and my two youngest daughters to New Mexico on a road trip. Our first stop was in Roswell, New Mexico where we visited an exhibition of my mother’s favorite topic ever – Aliens and UFOs.

The International UFO Museum & Research Center in Roswell, NM.


- Where we were privileged to sit in on an alien autopsy. Dead aliens, how freaky is that? We spent hours (and hours) looking over their exhibits (my mom in her own special alien heaven - would that be Mars or Venus?). So much time, in fact, I was beginning to become apathetic toward them. How many wrecked silver discs, little green men and alternative theories can you take in one day, anyway? We spent the night in Roswell, with the plan to drive to Carlsbad the very next day.
It turned out, the 'freakiest' thing about Roswell had nothing to do with little green men, however. That particular moniker was saved for a medium-sized 'blue' man in the early morning hours.
As we were driving out of town, I noticed a taped-off partition in front of a local back with “Do not cross” police yellow ribbon. At the center of this cordoned off area was a mannequin-esque male figure on his back with his arms and feet in the air - knees bent – the position one would take when crawling, but strangely inverted.
(We discovered later an indigent vagabond had frozen to death during the night.)
I remember his left foot was without shoe. And the sock he wore upon it shone a bright white in the rising sun.

Talk about a surreal experience. When you think about people finding bodies, or people seeing death – you don’t think of something as unusual as a body in the front yard of a local bank, frozen stiff and solid with riggormortis, with his legs and arms in the air, and police officers just milling around talking, ignoring the corpse in their presence.
Thank God the girls didn’t see him.

Dead Aliens in a museum have nothing in the freaky-factor compared to a dead man in a bank yard.

The girls and I had talked in length about the Carlsbad Caverns – its origins and explanations - the entire road trip there.


I assumed the Jack & Jo (7 & 9 at the time) kinda knew what to expect in this adventure. I was sure they were as excited as I to see bats escape their caves en masse, stalagmites desperately reaching for the heavens, and stalactites searching for the entrance to hell.

We paid the National Parks fee and followed the signs to the entrance of the caverns… and I heard Marci whisper in sheer wonderment:

“WOW! And, I thought this was gonna be boring…”

It made the whole trip worthwhile, dead man and all.

And you thought life was going to be boring… "Fasten your seat belts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride."
Enjoy & In Joy


James A. Bowders said...

In this bumpy ride that is my life, I hope to never loose the wonderment of a child's vision.

I just need the voices in my head to stop asking “Are we there yet?”

But what do I know?

Sandra Miller Linhart said...

"five more minutes"

and are we ever really "there" yet?

cell92 said...

You will be stronger and better for having navigated successfully along the bumpy road.

Sandra Miller Linhart said...

You are probably correct, however - In my next life, I think I'm gonna take the escalators and moving sidewalks more often. Maybe put a call in to the scooter store??? Just thinkin' out loud.

pass the popcorn, please!