Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Friday, December 6, 2013

Finishing up in Arizona

Monday we arrived at Kartchner Caverns State Park south of Benson AZ, after our 11 days in Phoenix it was nice to get back to a state park with lots of room. We rode the bikes down to the visitor center, there they have a great display and movie about the discovery of the cave and lots of info on caverns. We made reservations for the two tours they offer, one tour is not available all year long. They give the Throne Room back to the bats when they come here in mid April. The caverns weren't discovered until 1974 and didn't open to the public till the late 90's, so unlike many caves where the formations have been damaged this one is in pristine shape. They have gone to great lengths to preserve the cavern using a variety of methods, air locks to prevent the humidity levels from changing, no wild cave tours, every night they hose down the pathway and they even have a mister as you enter the caverns to try and keep skin and other human particles on the humans.

 Tuesday we took a ride to Tombstone, don't know what we were expecting but for us it was just a tad too commercialized, we spent an hour walking the streets and getting hawked at by all of the folks dressed up, from the different gun fighters to the tours they all were trying to get folks to part with their $$'s and come see their show or ride their stage coaches or trolleys. I know some folks have really enjoyed it but it just wasn't our cup of tea, so after an hour we headed home. Since it was the nicest of the days so we would be there we took a hike along the Foothills trail, a nice 3 mile hike gave us some wonderful views of the Dragoon Mountains and the valley below.


Wednesday we took a tour of the Big Room, no pictures since they don't allow cameras, while we've seen nicer caves (in our opinion) the one really noticeable thing about these caves is the lack of damage to the formations by humans. The Big Room is only open part of the year due to the bats taking it back, this is the first cave that we've seen do this, what a great concept after all the bats were there long before humans were. Wednesday the weather started turning cooler and the winds really kicked up so the afternoon was spent at home getting some of the everyday chores done.

Baby mule deer who visited us between rain showers

 Thursday we toured the Throne Room, again no pictures but another enjoyable cave to visit. This cave had the biggest column (when a stalactite meet a stalagmite it forms a column) we'd ever seen. The afternoon turned rainy and cold (40's) so I got started on the Christmas cards and our Christmas letter. I'm having a difficult time remembering it's almost Christmas, no decorations out and the warmer temps are throwing my internal clock off.

Today we left AZ and headed east on I-10, we are just over the Texas border in a park behind the local Camping World. It's got inexpensive laundry so getting that done, the location is great and we've made reservations for tomorrow night 250 miles down the road. We will be in Texas for more than 2 months, the longest I've stayed in the state since I moved north in 1971, hopefully this cold front won't affect us too much.

We really enjoyed our 3 weeks in Arizona and look forward to coming back another year, still so much to see and do there. We will be on the move for the next few days, heading slowly to the Gulf Coast, our reservations start on 12/16 so we have 10 days or so to get there, we do have a few ideas on things to do along the way, if the weather cooperates.

Until next time...


  1. I'm very impressed with the caverns Bat first attitude. That alone will put this place on my list. I'm with you, I'd rather play hiker than tourist. I think we'll pass on tombstone. I'm learning a lot from the places you go and really appreciate it. Hope you miss the big Sunday freeze everyone is worried about. We're finally warm here on the Florida Atlantic Coast. Safe travels.

  2. Enjoy Texas and say hello to Aransas Pass for us. The cold front should be gone soon and if it's not come on over to Florida! It's been in the 80's :)

  3. Glad you enjoyed Arizona. We love spending our winters here. While on the Gulf Coast, check out the wildlife refuges and South Padre Island. It is very commercial, but the birding center is wonderful. You will see wonderful birds all along the coast.

  4. The Gulf Coast!!!! The best of both worlds...perfect spot for the holidays! We are still in Foley...well Mobile! We have a new coming soon! Crazy couple of weeks...settling soon in Gulf Shores for the winter...might not make it to SW this year. Plenty to see here... Love the birds!!!

  5. Nice to hear you have enjoyed your trip well...


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