Continuing our journey west, we soon realised there really was a lot of nothing in these parts. We stopped in Junction for fuel, supplies and an interesting anecdote from a local as he described accidentally shooting himself through the knee. Back on the road for a whole lot more of nothing, we indulged in our first Dairy Queen experience to keep us entertained. Pumped on sugar, we drove and drove into nothingness - vast expanses of it - until, finally, mountains appeared on the horizon!
We spent the night in Guadalupe Mountains National Park in a glorified carpark (“campsite”) and were treated to a glittering blanket of stars.
The next morning we were delighted to discover something interesting nearby and stopped to explore the Carlsbad Caverns. We took the elevator down 800 feet/230m to the “Big Room”, which is the largest cavern in the western hemisphere. And boy did it live up to its name! We walked around for an hour or so on slippery, dimly lit paths and soaked in its wonder.
Back on the road we were greeted with another few hours of nothingness, until once again mountains loomed on the horizon. We found camp at Valley of Fires Recreation Area, which is atop an ancient lava field. After a sunset stroll through the intriguing landscape, we were treated to another phenomenal starry night. We watched the stars, listened to Kings of Leon and contemplated life.