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Underground Ranger: Adventures in Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Other Remarkable Places

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For six exciting years Doug Thompson worked as a park ranger at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. In Underground Ranger he passes along the essence of what he learned on this unusual job and in his related adventures exploring the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert. He overcame his fear of tight spaces and heights, learned to climb rope, and went on to explore many of the deep vertical caves in the Guadalupe Mountains of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico—including Lechuguilla Cave, one of the most spectacular underground wonders of the world. He even became a member of the park’s technical rescue team and made a fifty-story rappel into one of the deepest underground pits in the United States. In visceral detail, Thompson shares the physical and mythical stories of caves and shows what it’s like to experience the extravagant beauty of nature’s underground realm.

After retiring from the National Park Service, Doug Thompson moved to the juniper-piñon hills of Capitan, New Mexico. Visit his Underground Ranger website at www.parkrangerdoug.com.

265 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 28, 2016

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About the author

Doug Thompson

17 books
For over four decades Doug Thompson has been a marine naturalist, ecologist, and award-winning filmmaker, recognized internationally for his natural history expeditions and for being among the first to recognize the intimate “friendly whale” behavior in San Ignacio Lagoon, the migratory breeding grounds of Baja, Mexico.

As Director of Expeditions for The SummerTree Institute, Doug is often found lecturing on the wonders of the natural world or leading wildlife and marine expeditions in local and far off places. He has organized over a hundred long-range natural history excursions for groups ranging from elementary school classes to Fortune 500 leadership teams. As a marine naturalist, he enjoys worldwide authority as an innovator in experiential research with whales and dolphins, sharing richly woven stories of human interaction with the natural world in his lectures. Universities, corporations, and world-class resorts are among the many clients to whom Doug brings a fresh perspective on nature and the environment, offering participants diverse and memorable experiences.

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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
Profile Image for Jennie.
79 reviews
March 26, 2019
Decided to read this because we were going there. It probably would’ve been a little better to read before we went, just so I could more easily put names/ideas to what I was seeing...but it’s still very interesting. I’d like to see more of the park, especially a bat flight...but I doubt I can deal with the caving. It’s always just interesting to see an inside perspective from a Ranger.
132 reviews1 follower
March 11, 2018
Looking forward to a trip to Carlsbad and Guadalupe National Parks after reading Thompson book.
Profile Image for Meredith.
Author 7 books3 followers
September 6, 2021
Between 3 1/2 and 4 stars. Not simply a memoir, this book also gives some good details about Carlsbad caverns and the surrounding area.
119 reviews
December 31, 2016
Such a fun read, not only about caving in Carlsbad, but also a bit of what it is actually like to be a Park Ranger.
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews

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