Friday, October 10, 2008

Carlsbad Trip - Staying with the Twitchells

Dorine, Kiley, and I are spending part of a long weekend in Carlsbad, New Mexico with Chad and JoAnn Twitchell, friends of ours who lived in our ward before moving down here about five years ago. (Chad took a position down here in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant [WIPP] program, which Sandia National Laboratories manages.) Chad and JoAnn currently have four of their six kids at home -- Kate is married and living in Utah with her husband Justin, and Paul is in Albuquerque attending UNM -- although it is anticipated that Curtis will start serving a church mission before the end of the year, leaving only Holly, Sophie, and Kenny at home. I very much like Chad and JoAnn's home (see photo), which simply oozes 1950s-era charm, and in many ways I envy their being able to have a simpler, small-town lifestyle. Dorine, Kiley, and I took our usual jaunt down to Carlsbad Caverns this afternoon and toured the Caverns, starting at the natural entrance (see other photo). I always enjoy the awe-inspiring walk through the cave, although it's pretty obvious that it only gets a fraction of the tourist traffic that it had, say, fifty or sixty years ago. The drive down here is much more pleasant now that U.S. 285 is a four-lane divided highway all the way from the Clines Corners exit off I-40. We'll hang out most of tomorrow with the Twitchells before driving back, but it looks like we will not stay a third night as I'd hoped.