Feb 15 - Friends Visiting from the North

Falling way behind blogging again. One of the reasons this happens is that we're too danged busy during the day and by the time we're back in the evening, I'm not motivated to write. That and, like last night... we got back relatively early, but it was so nice outside that I had to soak in the last vestiges of warmth from the setting sun. It's not possible to write on any device with a PC screen in any level of bright light. E-devices are nice, and really can improve productivity... but screen technology still requires hiding from daytime light. And I don't want to sit inside while being outside is one of our main reasons for doing this lifestyle in the first place. End of the daily grumble.

Good friends Jim and Bernie, from our hometown in Wisconsin, are in Arizona for a little mid-winter break from the frozen trauma of the North. We met up with them the last two days. Wednesday we concentrated on the Sabino Canyon area in the Coronado National Forest... hard against the Santa Catalina Mountains on the northeast side of Tucson.

The group chose a 5 mile hike to the Seven Falls in Bear Canyon. It was a fun moderate hike with 7 river crossings (hopping from stone to stone) and 700 feet of elevation gain. The goal was the falls... a series of 7 cascades, that was made more interesting by the recent snow accumulation in the Santa Catalinas which is now melting. With 4 of us each doing 7 river crossings... that's 28 crossings without anyone taking a bath. I think the worst of it was a "foot-soaker" or two.

Ended the day with a darned good meal at a nearby restaurant, Risky Business on Sunrise Blvd.

Then yesterday, Thursday, we met our pale-faced friends at Kartchner Caverns State Park where we spent a good chunk of the day learning about these recently discovered caverns and waiting for our 12:20pm tour of the Throne Room. First found in 1974, there's reason to believe that no man has been inside these caverns before that time. As a result, they are "alive", unmolested, and stunningly beautiful. The two guys who first discovered them and the family who owned the land they're on kept them secret for years. When they realized the size and complexity of the task of keeping the caverns pristine while, at the same time, sharing them with visitors and tourists, they got the State involved. More time passed as the State worked the proposal through the legislature, but in 1988 it all came together and the Park was born. It took more than 10 years more before the Park was dedicated and the facility was ready for the public.

Photography is prohibited inside the caverns but the Park website has more information and some very cool pictures and videos. A handful of our photos from these two days are below, with even more in our online albums.


Slightly Better than Most