To the top of a Mesa with no trail
Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
60Trip End Jul 31, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Kartchner Caverns State Park
What I did
Climbed a Mesa with no trail
I road my bike to the ranch fence to cut down on some time since we were driving to Arizona this morning. I parked the bike at the fence and pulled a part of it apart to squeeze through (the fence was barbed wire so you had to be careful)
Out next stop was Arizona in Kartchner Caverns State Park which is one hour SE of Tucson. A recently discovered cave was recently opened there. The three hour drive was typical Southwest with vast areas of nothing but scrub brush and dry mountains. We ate lunch at the Arizona welcome center with a frozen Chinese entrée which turned out almost as good at a restaurant – Wanchai Ferry it was called. Around 2:00 we pulled into the park to set up. The park is around 15 years old which is new for state parks and it showed. The RV park sites had a ton of space between them so your not on top of the next camper. The roads were so new that I left tire tracks in it backing up to my space. My back window faced a pretty scene small desert trees and mountains. I wanted to go out and around this afternoon but decided that I’d be pushing it too much
Pretty much it was found by some amateur cavers who squeezed through a sinkhole in the side of the mountain. The cool thing was these guys kept the cave a secret for 14 years while they were exploring the cave. They made sure they did no harm to the cave and took the same paths in and out of the cave. Then they entered into secret negotiations with the state to make it into a State Park. Then the state park service developed the park for the next 10 years to make it what it is today – the most well preserved tourist cave in the world. Most other caves had human vandalism before becoming protected areas.
Back at the RV, Pooh and I decided to hike the 3 mile foothills loop trail around the area. We did not take Quique as she was still tired from climbing the rocks at City of Rocks SP. It was an hour before sunset and stupid me wore my sunglasses on the trail
With no Wi-Fi and being two days behind on the blog we had to find a place to work on the computer out here in Benson, Arizona. Lucky for us there was a McDonalds 8 miles down the road. So we had dinner there and did two hours of computer work. On top of that it was fast. The fun part of this trip happened on the way out of the park and on the way back in. On the way out, the gate would not open up. So we looked all over for a place to use our gate key to open it up. No luck. Pooh went to the entrance gate and found it open but go stabbed in the food by a huge cacti needle – OUCH!!! So we went out that gate. Coming back, our gate key would not open the gate to come back. What the heck!!!! I was so mad. After paying a $20 deposit for the key, it would not work. I could not find an emergency ranger number either. So I called 911. After 15 min. they could only find the National Forest office number (this being a state park I did not think they could help). So I called them and they tried to find a state park ranger. After 30 min. they could not find one. So our last resort was to ride my bike to the camp host. Lucky for me it was almost a full moon which made it easy to see the road and not run into a cactus. Took me a little while but I woke her up from her deep sleep. She now said that this gate had been struck by lightning some time ago. On top of that she noticed our key card had a bite in it. So I road back to the gate with her in her Gator. Turns out that the out gate can be pushed open. How easy. So our little saga of being stuck behind the gate was over. It was now midnight and I was tired after doing two major mountain trails and being stuck behind a gate. I took Quique for a walk and then hit the sack.