Doug & Lou’s Exceptional Adventure: Boot Hill, Kartchener Caverns and More

January 23rd - We decided to move on out of Tombstone but stopped for breakfast in a cute little restaurant before heading out of town. This tall man walked in and when the waitress asked him how he was doing, he replied “Just Peachy”! He reminded me of my dear Uncle Roy who used to use that phrase so well.

In these little places it is always fun to eavesdrop on the next table……this conversation was a real gem:

The owner, who was discussing how she needed to put a new floor in the kitchen was wondering aloud about what to do because the floor was so uneven.

Uncle Roy: “Well, I had a guy come in and put some kind of cement leveller on my floor….it worked real well….but you wouldn’t want to do that yourself because it’s pretty tricky to work with.”

Owner: “I’ll get in touch with you to get that guy’s number then. Sounds like that stuff might work on this floor….”

Uncle Roy: “Well, just call the County Jail”

Owner: “What? He’s in Jail?”

Uncle Roy: “Yup, he’s been in for awhile now”

Owner: “Oh, is he the guy who shot ….?”

Uncle Roy: “Yup,…..up to no good, that guy! Did a nice job on my floor, though!”

That was our morning smile! We stopped at Boot Hill on our way out of town. Apparently the name Boot Hill comes from the fact that all the people in the graveyard died with their boots on.

Entrance to Boot Hill
Poor old George!

We headed over to the Amarind Museum but discovered it was closed on Monday! Oh well, the scenery en route was amazing. The Foundation is a museum of sorts where they do research and it is located in the Texas Valley.

Texas Valley is full of these wonderful rocks

Okay then……no Amerind Museum but you can check out what we missed right here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amerind_Foundation

Our next stop for the day was the Kartchner Caverns. Touted as the BEST Cave in the entire U.S. we were pretty pumped to go underground again! Alas……just like Sally had told us, we needed reservations! No problem! Kartchner Caverns is a State Park with lovely campgrounds, so we booked a site, made a reservation to see the Cavern the next morning at 8:45 and spent some time in the Main Building looking at some interesting exhibits about the property.

Two Sloths vying for attention!

The bigger sloth… (well at least some of his bones)…. was found in the Cavern. He is very very old…..and that was a long, long time ago so no worries, Louise! He doesn’t live there now!

We set up camp and went for a 2.5 mile hike.

The sky was blue …. soon after these photos it was NOT!

For most of the night there were strong winds……winds that actually were rocking our poor little rig, as rain pelted and whipped at the windows. …. but by morning, the sky was blue again and all was well.

January 24th — We had to set an alarm so we wouldn’t miss our tour of the Cavern! No purses, no water, no cameras, no binoculars, no flashlights, no food, no gum…………Okay then…..no toilets either!!

Had a quick breakie in the van and headed over for the tour. Yes, it was well worth waiting to see it. Unlike the Carlsbad Caverns, which were pretty spectacular even if they were dimly lit, the Big Room at Kartchner is amazingly clean looking much the same as when they were discovered. Great care has gone into ensuring that these caves will remain pristine. The tour was an hour long and very interesting. I have no photos!!! Google ‘Kartchner Caverns’ images and you’ll find some images taken by people who were allowed to photograph in there! BEAUTIFUL!

By 10:30 a.m. we were ‘On The Road Again’. Gave a quick call to the KOA Campground in Tucson and luckily got their last site for tonight and tomorrow. There is much left to see in Tucson!

We headed to OLD TUCSON, which is a film set used for lots and lots of the old dusters many of us have seen. We liked this better than Tombstone, but there are definitely similarities.

Pretty authentic looking old buildings that are actually still used for film sets
I warned him that I had had ENOUGH!!
Nice place, but I wouldn’t want to live here!

I turned a corner in one of the buildings and look who I found!!!…a much younger and better looking….

Not again!

We blew the doors off that old town and travelled a few more miles to the Arizona-Sonara Desert Museum. What a lovely place to spend an afternoon! The museum is out of doors, and the cool air was a bonus …. I can’t imagine clambering around there in normal Arizona temperatures. There was a demonstration of Birds of Prey going on, and I happily snapped these photos while the birds were obligingly flitting from one tree to another.

Barn Owl and Harrison Hawk

The cacti in Arizona are amazing to look at.

The tall ones are Saguaro (saw-ware-o)

Some grow a crown, but these are uncommon.

Crested Saguaro

There were animals in the Desert Museum as well. I was happy to see the little ocelot because he reminds me of our beautiful statue (Monty) at the cottage…..yeah….the one our kids say they are going to bury with us because they don’t like it!!

Coyote and Baby Ocelot

and then, to top of our day, we got to touch Stingrays!! Oh, they are so smooth and silky to feel as they swim by.

Cute little guys, eh?

More adventures in Tucson tomorrow. We certainly don’t let any grass grow under our feet!! It is almost 10 p.m. here and Doug is sawing logs! We were up early and it has been a long day. Jammie time!! Goodnight All!