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Kartchner Caverns & Tombstone

Benson, Arizona: We spent the day driving a circular route through the desert. Our first stop was Kartchner Caverns State Park. As many of you may know, My Driver has a degree in Geology and is very keen on visiting anything cave-related. Luckily for these caves, they were discovered (in 1974) by geologists - so the caves were excruciatingly protected during exploration.

The owners of the land, the Kartchner Family, agreed to give the land to the State of Arizona and a series of walk-ways were built so the public could enter the caverns without damaging the interior. Tours are $22.95 and are guided. (If possible, make your tour reservation in advance, as they sell-out.) Visitors are driven to the entrance of the cave in a tram and enter the caves through a series of sealed vaults, which keep the atmosphere in the cave from being contaminated. The temperature in the cave remains around 71 degrees and the humidity is 99%! There are two large caves available to tour. One is open year-round, the other is closed during bat mating season (spring).

The caves are simply amazing, but no cameras are allowed. No cell phones. No purses. No backpacks. No nothing. Tours are wheelchair accessible! Here is a good video (with music) of the caverns for your viewing pleasure from the State of Arizona website:

After spending hours touring through the museum and enjoying a very interesting cave tour - with a very good tour guide - we checked-out the campground at the state park (very nice) and headed towards Tombstone. This was actually our fourth visit to Tombstone and we really didn't do too much except have a mediocre lunch. (We were hungry and it was food.) If you want to learn more about Tombstone, read this very long entry I wrote several years ago - with many photos - about the interesting history of Tombstone.

If not, here are a few photos from today:

Tombstone, Arizona

Carriages for hire in touristy Tombstone

Inside one of the many saloons in Tombstone, Arizona

Tombstone street scene (you can't see it, but the driver is wearing a headset with a microphone)

Never a good idea

This sign is posted outside nearly every business in Arizona

Then we headed back to Benson and arrived to our camper just as darkness fell - a very long day! In case you are worried about my recent accident, my thumb is doing okay. Just a little pain. However - allow me to kvetch a bit, will you? - where I received the tetanus injection hurts like the dickens. But only when I move my arm. We are staying in tonight. Where would we possibly go? The rest of the beef barley soup is on the menu. Until my next update, I remain, your spelunking correspondent.

RV Park:  Butterfield RV Resort - full hook-up sites. 30/50 amp. Cable. Free wifi. Pool, hot tub, meeting room, store, ice, nice dog run. Most sites cannot access satellite due to trees. We paid $36.