We spent the night at Kartchner Caverns State Park and due to the winds, it was sort of like being on a boat as the campers swayed in the 25 mile an hour winds. We took a tour of the caverns themselves this morning and they are fantastic! The colors are amazing and the information on the tour about the formations in the caverns was very interesting. The caverns were discovered in 1974 , when cavers Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts found a narrow crack in the bottom of a sinkhole, and followed the source of warm, moist air toward what ended up being more than 2.5 miles (4.0 km) of pristine cave passages. Hoping to protect the cave from vandalism, they kept the location a secret for fourteen years, deciding that the best way to preserve the cavern — which was near a freeway — was to develop it as a tour cave. After gaining the cooperation of the Kartchner family and working with them for ten years, together they decided that the best way to achieve the goal of protection through development as a tour cave was to approach Arizona State Parks. The discovery of the cave was finally made public in 1988 when the landowners sold the area to the state for development as a park and show cavern.
The wind picked up while we were in the caverns, but it did not stop the four of us from completing today’s plan. We braved the 40 mile an hour winds (sustained winds, gusts to 60 mph) to drive our high profile vehicles to Bisbee for our next adventure. That was fun. Larry and Don did a great job. Hopefully the winds will die down soon.