Yes… I am still in my spot… a couple other campers have joined me, they don’t have a tent or room in their SUV and are going to sleep outside… Brrr… those were the days… when shivering from the cold we were invincible to the elements. A nice walk along the mountain’s trail this morning, Spirit is hooked on those walks now and have to calm him down a bit, at the same time I am trying to train him to pull me up the hills! Don’t you go thinking now that I am being cruel!… just a slight pull… sometimes!
Cavern Tours… every day at 1:30pm at the Ranger’s office… Nice guy, funny with a dry sense of humor… my kind of humor. Others have pulled in from other camps and we are about a dozen taking the walk alongside the edge of the Mountain, half a mile at the most with many stops explaining the History of how this Preserve came about.
Jack Mitchell is the main person to remember, owner of a silver mine and other businesses, seems that he went broke at one time and having already discovered the caverns, him and his wife decided to live here… renting rooms, cooking dinner… for $1 a day, they survived here for about 20 years. At some point as they decided to sell it to the State, an unfortunate accident, trying to repair a car, put an end to his life and the sale accelerated by his wife’s doings, now a widow, went through which became the Mitchell Caverns… So now you know the story… right?
Originally the Native Indians used them for gatherings and also for storing food. As we walked through them, the passages unlike in the past were now wider… The law not allowing the use of dynamite had not passed yet, the State today could not have done this project finished just a few years ago.
I had not expected such beautiful Caverns… with such stalactites and stalagmites, an intricate maze of corridors, lights… and even a couple of doors to preserve the ambient temperature of some parts that were starting to dry out too fast due to a wind tunnel.
It was fun, it was interesting… Entertaining, and the others joined into the jokes, the history of it…
Definitely a Tour not to be missed if you are in the area… worth its $4!… and more.
We return on the same path after a couple hours… Time to mellow out… write a bit… cook a bit and read… enjoy the neighbors fire… not all at the same time!
Enjoy the pictures… I have so many that it took a while to sort out the best ones as I realized that it was not as easy as I thought taking pictures in a Cavern.
Tomorrow will be roaming around the area… my hiking weekend has been canceled… but I am still glad that I have come up all the way up here to see all this, and will return after my backtracking to Arizona…
Ara & Spirit