We descended through forests...
We head for Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Click on the link which gives you more detail.
On the road back to Artesia I got thinking about the flag. We have seen the Star-Spangled Banner proudly flying outside people homes and business along our route.
Earlier in the day when we were at Cloudcroft I read the panel with the Pledge of Allegiance below and shortly afterwards I listened to the Mannheim steamroller's evocative piece 'Star spangled banner' under my helmet.
That got me thinking about how significant the star spangled banner is to Americans. Everyday children say the pledge of allegiance in school. The flag is a powerful symbol and the words are potent.
In New Zealand we periodically have a debate about the design of our flag but we don't have a strong historical tradition about the symbolism of the flag. It is easy to talk about the design but much harder to address the deep meaning of nationhood.
I wonder if some of the recent rhetoric in New Zealand about the flag and about our servicemen fighting for the flag might reflect American influence. My father was a WW11 serviceman and I don't recall any reference to fighting for the flag but I can remember the words 'for king and country.'
We have seen extraordinary landforms today. I am so glad that my driver and guide has done such through research and brought me to White Sands and to the Carlsbad Caverns.
We had not visited New Mexico before and we are so glad that we have. We have learned a lot about history, science, geography and unpredictable weather.
Our hearts as bursting with the joy of new friendships.