US Stamps

Carlsbad Caverns postcard mailed from 750 feet underground

Oct 31, 2023, 9 AM
Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico has a mailbox 750 feet underground, and mail sent from there receives a handstamp noting the distance below the surface.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a treasure to say the least. It is located near Carlsbad, N.M., and well worth the journey to see. I visited in September during a short trip to New Mexico for the Pinatas stamp issuance.

After walking down the entrance to the caverns, a series of switchbacks with a descent equivalent to that of a 75-story building, you can walk within the large cave chamber called the Big Room or wander toward the Underground Lunchroom.

The lunchroom has a small spot to purchase some limited food items. There is seating and a gift shop, too. But what stood out to me was a blue mailbox that read “U.S. Mail” and the words “mail drop” over where the United States Postal Service logo would be.

A sign nearby broadcasts the line, “Let us stamp and mail your postcard from 750 feet below!”

At the gift shop counter, postcard stamps were 77¢, just 26¢ over the current forever value of 51¢.

And from what I remember, the postcards were a reasonable price, too, especially considering I was a long distance from the post office.

Shown nearby is a postcard I sent to myself and photographs of the mailbox and gift shop. The clerk put the auxiliary handstamp on my card where the address would normally go, but it made it through the mail okay.

Seeing the mailbox and sending a postcard added to the experience of exploring the majestic caverns that day.

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