Things don’t always go as planned when traveling (of course) so it is that we find ourselves still in Arizona, when we’re supposed to be several hundred miles into Texas by now! How the heck did that happen?
Yesterday – the second day of our trip – we arrived in Tucson bright and early. I called a friend of mine and we met him at a wonderful local cafe called Beyond Bread. I highly recommend that you stop if you’re in Tucson, as their sandwiches, coffee, and treats are fantastic – especially the cheesecake brownies!
After picking up some useful tips from my friend Dan, we found internet and power in a local bookstore and caught up on business for a couple of hours. It was our plan to go through Saguaro National Park and then take a tour of Kartchner Caverns, but we ended up leaving Tucson at 4pm so were much too late to do either.
As we cruised down Interstate 10 we saw several signs for the Caverns, and as it was 5:30 we decided to stop and grab some dinner off the cavern exit. We both LOVE caves, and we broke down and decided to spend the night at Kartchner and take a tour in the morning.
Boy am I glad we did! The campground was nearly empty, save for some very large insects. The bathroom had tarantulas, scorpions, and my favorite – monster crickets!
We took the time to completely reorganize and downsize the contents of our car, as later in the week we need to fit my mom in the backseat, and there was simply no way that was going to happen. Kathy was a bit resistant, but finally saw my point and we managed to remove about 100 pounds worth of stuff that we’ll be dropping at the next goodwill. I’m sure someone else will find them useful.
At exactly 8am I called the Kartchner Caverns reservation line and was greeted by a very sleepy sounding operator. I made our reservations for 9:40am, and after a brief breakfast we broke down camp and headed to the visitor center and the cave tour.
The caverns were absolutely wonderful! There are 2 tours offered, but 1 was closed due to bats, so we took the tour that was available. Kartchner Caverns are the best preserved caves we’ve toured. Almost every stalactite and stalagmite was in perfect condition. We saw thousands of soda straws, cave bacon, pillars, and then the very impressive throne room – which is a massive pillar that’s 58 feet tall and comprised of the most impressive colors and cave formations I’ve seen.
Unfortunately no cameras are allowed in the caves, so I’m only able to show you pics from outside. You can see more pics on the Kartchner Caverns State Park website.
We now need to get on the road and on our way to Texas. Something tells me we’ll be driving late tonight!