Monday, May 18, 2015

2015 Tucson: Colossal Cave (5/18/2015)

Monday, May 18, 2015 (continued)
Time for lunch! Our first choice, El Guero Canelo, seemed to now be an empty lot.
El Charro Café complex at 311 N Court Street
We split a Sonoran hot dog (yes, there is a tasty hot dog under there!)
and a Carne seca enchilada,
after sampling carne seca for which El Charro is known
El Charro Café interior
El Charro Café figures
El Charro Café Eye Chart
("read" the letters)
Hook from which the seasoned beef
is hung to dry into jerky
After lunch we retrieved the car and drove southwest to Colossal Cave Mountain Park.
Tamiko with saguaro skeleton lamp post
Civilian Conservation Corps/CCC statue (2008);
from 1934-1935 CCC workers improved the walkways &
installed lights in the cave, and built the visitor center
When compared to Kartchner Caverns, Colossal Cave is a dry cave, thus is no longer growing. The pathways were so narrow that people had touched the walls, and they were all shiny and "dead". Even if water was to seep through again, these formations would not grow.
Colossal Cave Crystal Room msybe
The native populations would not have ventured far into the cave, but legend has it that bandits have escaped capture by entering the cave, and the owner had a living room here for those hot days outside. For many years starting in 1905, bat guano was harvested from the cave.
Colossal Cave Silent Waterfall
The park also had a "ranch"/Posta del Quemada with various activities.
Karen with the Cowboy (1996, by Buck McCain)
Karen took a 5-minute horseback ride
The ride was through an area
that is set up for a Halloween event
The ranch had a sluice for panning for gold
The CCC Museum that was already closed
Water-pumping windmill
We crossed many a cattle guard during the whole trip
Leaving the Colossal Cave Mountain Park, I mistakenly turned left on E Colossal Cave Road and the constant dips and hills through open ranch land were unfamiliar. We turned around and found we should have waited for the road to merge with E Colossal Cave Road in the other direction!
Wearing sandals, I often got pebbles or little sticks stuck under my feet, and would have to brush them out. This time the prickery thing did not seem to brush off my foot, so I took off my sandal to find a cactus spine stuck through the sole! Karen tried to pry it out, but it just broke off. I drove home with one sandal on. Fortunately I was going to throw away this particular pair of sandals anyway!
We drove back to Ginger's for another home-cooked meal of turkey sausages with a multi-grain rice dish and broccoli. Time to catch up on each other's lives.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Karen, Candace, Ginger, and Tamiko (photo by Linda)
After breakfast we drove towards the airport, stopping for gas before returning the rental car. Karen and I traveled together for the first two legs of the air journey. We had seats together for the Tucson to Salt Lake City flight, but the weather did not cooperate for views of the Grand Canyon. The edges of the Great Salt Lake looked marshy green.
View of mountains in Salt Lake City
It was the wet spring season in Salt Lake City.
Snow on the mountains near Salt Lake City
Although we were on the same flight, they changed Karen's seat on the leg from Salt Lake City to Atlanta. Once in Atlanta, we had to hurry to Karen's gate for her flight to Buffalo, so we didn't say a proper goodbye. I had more than an hour before my flight to Cleveland.

End of 2015 Tucson.

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