DEC 1, 2015 – When I woke up, a group of cows had assembled around the fireplace where I had made a campfire the night before. I drove to nearby Carlsbad Caverns and stopped for coffee in White’s City, which I quickly regretted because the beverage was almost free of taste. The caverns were comparable to other places I had seen, such as the Magura cave in Bulgaria, the Postojna caves in Slovenia, or the Vallorbe caves in Switzerland. The most notable difference was that the Americans had not failed to equip their caves with flushed toilets, a gift shop, a restaurant, and an elevator. Conveniently the elevator was out of service, so I only had to share the caves with people capable of hiking the 1.2 miles long trail from the Natural Entrance to the big hall, and mastering the “strenuous climb” of 900 feet (240 meters) – with NO restrooms along the way – to get back up. The size of the natural rooms was very impressive, one of them being the largest in the Western hemisphere. The dim lights created a mysterious atmosphere, but made it hard to take good photos. I discovered that HDR creates an interesting if not very natural effect.