Thursday, January 20, 2011

Arizona Adventure -Day 2: Kartchner Caverns and Tombstone

I woke up around 7 on Thursday morning after a full 11 hours of sleep! Luke's grandma made a feast for us for breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon, coffee cake, raspberries, toast, was delicious!

Right after breakfast we made the drive to Kartchner Caverns. The caves are actually inside these mountains:
We had a lot of time to kill before our tour of the caverns, so we spent a long time in the gift shop and little museum area. I learned a lot! The cave was discovered by two men who found the entrance through a tiny sinkhole in the ground. They kept the caverns secret for a few years because they were afraid people would ruin them. Eventually they went public and sold the land. And now you can tour it!

After watching an informative video, we headed out to the cave with our tour group by tram. Once inside, there were very strict rules: we weren't allowed to take pictures, and we had to roll our jackets up and tie them around our waists before we entered the cave to prevent lint or loose hair from falling on the rocks. And if we accidentally touched any part of the cave, we would have to tell our tour guide who would mark the area so that it could be thoroughly cleaned later. They are very serious about preserving these caves!

The caves themselves were so amazing! I learned so much. The stalactites, stalagmites, helictites, "soda straws", "cave bacon", "fried eggs," etc, were so neat to look at, and so amazing the way they formed! But since I have no pictures, I won't bore you further by writing more about it ;-)

After the tour, we had fun picking out a few souvenirs in the giftshop: we got a book of pictures of the caverns since we couldn't take any on the tour, an Arizona Christmas ornament (we've decided to start buying Christmas ornaments on vacations...I thought it was a great idea!), a magnet, and a shirt for Luke.

As a side note, Luke and I put money into our "Vacation Envelope" every month, and I love that idea! All the money we spent all week came from that envelope, and it was fun to be able to splurge a little bit on souvenirs, good dining, and fun activities!

When we left the Caverns it was time to head on to Tombstone!

I'm so glad we decided to go to Tombstone. It was just like walking into the Old West!

The shops and restaurants were so much fun! Our first stop was at Big Nose Kate's Saloon for lunch
"We've got Foood!"

I ordered a giant burger covered in grilled onions, green chile, and pepper jack cheese. It was good, but the fries were better

Here is a great picture of our wonderful hosts for the week, Luke's grandparents

And here Luke and I are. Hey look! I'm wearing short sleeves! It wasn't freezing there!

Like I said, the atmosphere was so much fun.
Live music

Luke really enjoyed the "Sarsparilla" (root beer)

After lunch, we roamed the streets and enjoyed the cute shops
A wall of cowboy boots - and that was only half of it

We watched this cool street performer

And had fun looking at all the funny and/or weird signs

Before we left, we toured The Birdcage theater Museum. It was an old theater/bar that has been left exactly like it was when it closed. It was a place where some of the slimier inhabitants of the city would hang out. And supposedly 26 people were killed there, giving it the reputation of being "haunted." I don't know, we didn't see any ghosts while we were there :-P

Can you find the bullet hole in this picture frame? This was one of many in the museum. (according to the website, over 120)
The bar
More of the theater...I won't tell you what these "cribs" were for if you can't guess :-P

The poker table, where the 5-year game of poker was played. When someone was finished playing, they would turn the chair up, and someone would go out into the street and yell for the next poker player.
I won't share anymore pictures from the tour in case you're ever in Tombstone and you want to visit it. I wouldn't want to spoil everything for you. But I really enjoyed it and definitely think it was worth the $10 to get in.

We took a detour on the way home through Texas Canyon. It was a really neat-looking area with rocks piled on top of one another, looking like they were defying gravity. It looked unnatural, but obviously wasn't

When we arrived home, we all just rested for a bit and watched reruns of "Everybody Loves Raymond" before we had a late, delicious dinner of chili and cornbread. I'm surprised any of us were able to eat after our lunch at Big Nose Kate's, but somehow we were ;-)

We spent the rest of the evening making plans for our excursion the next day to Sedona! Also, Luke's grandma let me borrow a book called "The Harvey Girls," and I started reading it that night. It was all about Fred Harvey, the hotels and restaurants he opened in the west, and the classy ladies/girls (as some of them were very young) who worked for him. I will be writing more about this in a few days, but anyway, it was a great read!
I read until I could no longer keep my eyes opened on Thursday night, and then headed to bed since we had a BIG day ahead of us!


Tomorrow I'll be recapping Day 3: our first day in Sedona!


  1. You got me on something I have not seen...the town of Tombstone. I so want to go..I need to make a day trip out of it!!

  2. It looks like you guys had an awesome trip! You got to see so many cool things :) I look forward to seeing the rest of your updates.


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