Friday, January 2, 2009

Kirtschner Caverns/Stuffed

Upon arriving at the caverns at 8:30 am, the place was already packed full of people.
You go into a main building, purchase your tickets and then wait. We had an hour and a half wait - the tours had already filled up that fast.
So, we looked at the abudant amounts of exhibits, had a coffee and watched a short film on how the caverns were found.

Seems 2 cave hunters had been in that area and found a - whatever kind of hole it is, it's an opening into the ground that tells the cavers that there's something there worth exploring. They had squeezed their way in there only to find the first point totally trashed and had been spray painted with graffiti. Long story short - they came back some 7 years later, squeezed their way through 400 feet of tunnel/opening that was no wider than their bodies (a VERY tight squeeze, in other words) to find a room.

The rest is history. They found so much awesome stalagtite and other types of formations in there that hadn't been touched by man, that they kept the place a secret for 14 years. They were afraid people would find out about it, go in there and trash the place. Which is what people mostly do nowadays. It's ridiculous.

Anyway - it was absolutely breath-taking. Just to get into the place you had to go what amounts to a large door that resembles the kind you would find in a walk-in freezer at a restaurant or something. They do that to keep the humidity in the caverns. Once inside, they shut that door and then open another one just like it. The steps that they take and took when considering how to make it accesible to people without killing it was absolutely incredible. You aren't even allowed to take pictures in there because apparently the flashes - enough of them over time - causes things to change somehow. I dunno, it was kind of a bummer I couldn't take photos, but darn the tour was one of the best I have ever seen or taken.

The man that was giving the tour was SO knowledgable and was pointing out things all over the place. I mean, really, words just don't do this place justice. You can't explain a place like this, you have to show it in photos or film. The only thing I might be able to do is find photos online that the officials have taken and then give a little appreciation of the place through that. It's a world-class destination, people literally are coming from all over the world to see these caverns. I would have to say that it would be a trip well worth it.

Regardless, it was a great time. But, between stuffing myself this morning at the Continental breakfast and the giant dinner my folks just made me - I don't think I'll need to eat for days. Literally. Gain 5 pounds on this trip, easily.

When we got back from the trip, Millie served a HUGE afternoon dinner and then we sat and talked for quite a while. Millie is quite the talker. After quite a while, I realized that my dad was looking rather worn out from all the walking this morning and he had already suggested that we might go to the hotel and then in the morning, they would come get us, take us for breakfast and then we would head home. I took the clue - my dad is getting much older than I realized and age is definitely having it's effects on his body. Didn't want to push him, so I figured we would graciously leave and give him a chance to go take a nice nap. I feel like doing the same, but not because of the walking. I literally feel like I've just gotten done eating Thanksgiving dinner.

I certainly have no regrets coming down here and visiting. Plus, Mary called yet again to put me at ease about the dogs, the house and whatever might be going on over there. Having that comfort, I have no problem staying overnight and leaving in the morning. Caleb is having fun swimming in the heated pool and working out in the gym at this inn. My dad prayed with him this morning about his grandfather's passing.

I haven't spent so much time underground - in decades. You can get the sense of being - squeezed - considering at one point there's 470 feet worth of limestone above your ahead. The Kirtschner Caverns are not underground, but more, they are formed inside a giant rock - that of limestone or granite. It's just absolutely amazing the entire story of how it was found and how it came to be an Arizona State Park, basically, that the state has taken stewardship of it and definitely are preserving it.

Well, I'm gonna go take a nap.
ben
I just don't have the time to get around to everyone's journal right now. I don't know about later today. Sorry about that.
I'm still trying to figure out how to navigate full 3 different blogging sites because I am triplicating my journal entries and I want to know how to use all 3 sites. That is, undoubtedly, going to take quite some time.
Anyway, maybe c'ya later.

Monday

Marriot has a pretty good Continental breakfast going here.
Bananas, yogurt, waffle machine, bagels, boiled eggs, all kinds of cereals, coffees, all kinds of bread and all kinds of jellies, jams, even peanut butter. Even a Jimmy Dean egg/sausage biscuit with bacon! I stuffed myself too much, I think.
So, today's venture is suppoed to be a trip to - some sort of caverns, the name of which eludes me. It's not too far a drive up the road from Sierra Vista, pretty much the same as taking the trek over to Tombstone yesterday. Apparently these caverns are popular, cause' there were no reservations available but walk up tickets might be available.
I'm living in a little bit to head back to dad's house and then we'll leave from there. Caleb seems to be doing okay today, but I know this is weighing on his mind, the death of his mother's father. I'm imagining that when he reconnects with his mother, that will probably when some open emotion will occur. Of course, my dad's a full-fledged minister, so there may be some words today as well, who knows.
Of course, when I leave home, the thing I always start missing are my doggies! Lol - sounds pathetic, I know. I am a little worried about Prince's tail - just that I'm hoping Ken is actually dealing with it. It doesn't take much time to re-dress the wound, but - I don't know how motivated he is. More-so that he's shoving those pills down his throat.
Anyway, just a short entry.
Hope everyone has a grand day : )
ben