Dateline San Antonio, Texas. Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider hit the road out of Carlsbad early as promised, took few breaks, and set another mileage record at 482.4. And my reward was to enter a monsoon at the edge of town, ride into it, and all the way to my hotel! Thank goodness Mission Control had the foresight and technology to make the call for a roof over my head. I had planned to tent it, and she changed my mind. So far, once I left the Pacific Coast, what passes for “campgrounds” consists of a small parcel of bare dirt and a picnic table. Thus, Yours Truly would have been “mudding it”.
But back to Carlsbad, New Mexico. Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider was one of only a few ever to visit the actual “Bat Cave”. Not only were there hundreds of thousands of bats, but Cave Swallows and, of course…..Robins. (OK…..you must have at least smiled). Accompanied by only a few hundred of my closest friends I attended the nightly “Bat Flight” at the Carlsbad Caverns. After a very well performed presentation by the United States Parks Service, we quietly watched as thousands of bats flew from deep within the cavern, into the night, and South to the wetlands to feed. You’ll find that the population is listed at one million. In fact the population fluctuates year to year. This year it is at 300,000.
Note: Any electronic device is strictly prohibited because it is not understood how the microwaves, sub-sonic sounds, lights, Etc. affect the bats. Here is a stock photo of what Yours Truly had the privilege to witness. It is my understanding that Mission Control may add more at Cancer Ride America’s FaceBook page.
Some interesting stuff I learned;
*Mexican Freetail bats eat their body weight in bugs each night. This amounts to tons of bugs every night.
*For years they thought this was a female colony that came here to birth and raise their babies. It wasn’t until recently that they did more studies and found it to be 50/50, males and females.
*When a baby is born, it is about the size of your thumb. Mommy preens it, and only 15 minutes later it is already nursing – “right off the bat”……
*The largest bats are in South America, growing to over 3 feet tall and with a wingspan of over 6 feet.
*The Mexican Freetail cannot take flight from the ground. It requires at least 3 feet of airspace under it or it falls to the ground and can’t take off again.
*Much, much more: http://www.rozylowicz.com/retirement/carlsbad/carlsbad-bats.html
Today your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider takes a day off of the road and sees San Antonio. The tin foil hat is working…..so far I am safe.