Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kartchner Caverns- November 15

This "live" cave was discovered in 1974 by two men. They and the owners of the property kept it a secret for about fourteen years. Their concern was for the wide variety of unique minerals and formations present in the cave. Once they did move forward to develop it for public viewing they first checked with owners of similar caverns to learn the best ways to develop the cave while at the same time protecting its unique features. They needed to keep the moisture coming into the cave,as that is necessary for the formations to continue growing. Any visitors coming into the cave are misted lightly to replace any moisture they take out,and there are several steel doors to go through before one enters the main rooms. Consequently the air inside is very humid,average temperature is 70 degrees. The most awesome feature of this cave is a massive column over 58 feet tall,called the Kubla Khan. At first when the owners were keeping the existence of the cave a secret, its code name was Xanadu. So it seemed only fitting to give the column that name. Outside the cave is a hummingbird garden. I did snap a photo of one hummingbird in mid-air. It is in the picture with the cactus,and possibly if you enlarge the picture you may see it. The other picture is of some mountains we saw coming home at sunset. The day had been rainy and cool. The warmth of the cave had actually felt good!

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