Our morning routine is pretty much the same whether we are on the road or at home. We wake up, turn on the news for background noise to see whose closet the FBI is raiding today and start reading blogs while sipping on our morning beverages (coffee for Barb, Mountain Dew for me). Basically multitasking, to see what is going on in the world via T.V. and text at the same time. After catching up with our blogger friends we will often “go down the rabbit hole” so to speak. After reading the blog of someone I know, I will go down to the comments section and click on a commenter that I do not know. More often than not, commenters have their own blogs. I will then read their blog and again click on a commentor on that blog that I do not know and carry on further down the rabbit hole. Depending on what we have going on that day this could go on for about an hour with twists and turns and tunnels through blogs that I have never read before.
While most of the blogs we read are RV related in nature, going down these rabbit holes have led us to some blogs that we would have never otherwise found or read. Some are quite interesting, and we have made some new virtual friends we would have never met. One from Prince Edward Island is not only interesting but also helped us out a lot last summer. We have found others we enjoy from Fargo, New Jersey and even as far away as New Zealand! There is something about getting a peek into someone else’s life that is interesting. I am not going to name names as I don’t know if they would want me to but give it a try some time, you never know where that path will lead you.
The other rabbit hole we went down this week was similar but different all at the same time. Still the same twists and turns down paths that we did not know what lay around the corner but not in the virtual world this time. The other day, our friends Dale and Ruth had posted on Facebook that they stopped by Colossal Caves just outside of Tucson. Colossal Caves was not even on our radar but after seeing their post and having left Santa Fe a day early, we had time to kill so we stopped by to see the caves.
We wanted to do something a little different than the basic tour so Barb read the different options to me. Let me stop here and confess that I am a little claustrophobic. Okay, maybe more than a little. I can thank my older siblings for this as they used to smother me with a blanket when I was younger until I freaked out. On a scale of 1-10 I would say I am a 7 on the claustrophobic scale. I can take a lot of things but there are some that I start to freak out. I have never totally freaked out as an adult, but I have come close a few times. The most recent when I was taking off a jacket and the zipper stuck. I tried and tried. Then Barb tried but we could not get the jacket off. Then I started to freak out and needed to get the jacket off and I mean NOW! I tore it off my body like a sweatshirt and threw it across the room. The worst I’ve had was an MRI tube where I started hyperventilating but somehow managed to calm myself down and get through it.
I can do, and enjoy caves, but not tight confined spaces. So, when Barb was reading me the description for the “Ladder Tour” which required scrambling on your hands and knees and skinnying through crevices I was a little more than hesitant. But I said I would give it a try.
We arrived at the Visitors Center, got checked in and got fitted for a helmet with headlamp.
At the appointed time, down the rabbit hole we went! Our tour guide, Dalton was awesome! With only 4 in our tour, we were able to ask lots of questions and take our time.
Lots of formations, lots of history, lots of twists and turns. You could get totally lost down there. When we got to the tunnels and crevices, I sent Barb in first.
The hands and knees stuff were not too bad as they were not very long, but a couple of the crevices where you had to go sideways and suck in your gut for several yards started to get to me. “You can do it, you can do it” I kept telling myself. I started to hyperventilate a couple times, but I made it and once through the crevice I was fine.
Same with the ladder portions. Most were no problem at all, but a couple were a little tighter and you had to squeeze through them.
At the lowest point of our tour, we came across come barrels of water that were apparently put there in the 1950's to be used in case of a nuclear war.
Thankfully, I made it through without crying like a little girl. There is another tour that Barb wants to do called the Explorers Tour that requires you to belly crawl through holes and tunnels. That is a hard no, more like a hell no!
In the end I totally loved the Ladder Tour and would do it again.
What other fun did we have this week? Well, we stopped by Chiricahua National Monument and explored the peaks and valleys of the area.
There was one pet friendly hike, so we took that one first. As we were starting, there was a hell of a racket coming from a tree not too far off, so we went to investigate. There were a dozen Coati running up and down and all around these trees. We have never seen these raccoon-like creatures before and here there were a dozen or more! They were tearing the bark off a dead tree; I think trying to get to the bugs and grubs under the bark.
We watched them for about 10 minutes before moving on.
After that hike we went and checked into our site at Bonita Campground before exploring the peaks. Vehicles over 24’ are not allowed up the peak road so we took off our luggage rack and carried up the road.
Once we were at the top, we put the girls in back and went hiking.
Another very cool area, well worth the stop!
The next day we carried on towards Casa Grande where we stopped by the Casa Grande Ruins. We took the ranger led guided tour there. Interesting, but having just been to the Gila Dwellings, it paled in comparison.
Somewhere along the way, Wilcox I think, we stopped by to see Rex Allen. The Singing Cowboy who starred in many a western back in the day.
Hi Jim and Barb, not an RV’er but the virtual look-see I love it. I enjoyed reading and looking at all your photos very much. Great post with many interesting places. I am also claustrophobic so kudos to you for doing the cave tour Jim. That Coati was fascinating to me too, but many things in your post I found so. The 3-D printer house building was amazing and I guess we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Thanks for the very interesting read.ReplyDelete
I guess the 3D houses are a concrete/mortar mix and not plastic at all. Very fascinating. Thanks for your comment!Delete
I had never heard of that cave until Ruth mentioned it either. Your hike down sounded fun. I know what you mean about the blogs. It’s part of my entertainment too. I think most if our adult traumas come from our youth. I’m a little claustrophobic too after a neighbor kid talked me into getting into a trunk and sat on it and wouldn’t let me out! Chiricahua is awesome and a place we want to hike more if. How awesome you saw Coatis! I’ve yet to see one! Best part if the camper is fitting into places like Bonita.ReplyDelete
Truth be told, we were probably a little long to go up that road but it was basically empty. I think we passed one or two cars the entire time we were there.Delete
We had not even known Colossal was there before Ruth's post either!
The ladder tour looks awesome, looking forward to trying that when Dale's knee is feeling better. So many cool places to visit here in southern AZ!ReplyDelete
We could totally spend a month in this area just exploring!Delete
Good for you crawling in that cave. I couldn't do it... too claustrophobic for me even if I could crawl lol. Ray would do it though.ReplyDelete
That's funny right there! It was touch and go for a second or two but I made it!Delete
Kudos to you! That would have been a hell no for me right off the bat in those caves! Let alone crawling on your belly through tight spaces in the other one--OMG! I'd be waiting for her in the camper--lol!ReplyDelete
3-D printer houses!? Amazing! And those Coati--what odd looking creatures. They were fascinating.
I'm glad somehow you found me down a rabbit hole! :) :)
The coati look like a cross between a raccoon and a badger. I've never seen anything like them.Delete
Oh my!!! No way could I do that ladder tour. Good for you for completing it. Being claustrophobic myself I could feel it in your description as well as in the jacket incident!!! I often go down that rabbit online now and then, then I wonder where the time has gone. ContessaReplyDelete
I was getting anxious just writing about some of those examples. Glad that is over with.Delete
3D Homes? WOW. Next they will come up with 3D Politicians...or maybe they have already done that with the "3D" standing for "Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest"ReplyDelete
Hilarious! Pretty soon we'll have robot politicians programed to lie to you.Delete
It's like we don't even know you anymore. Spelunking? Stalking other poor innocent people? Not one brewery was mentioned at all. No drunken debauchery at all. It's like reading someone else's blog. Have you started to run for Congress? Love the blog.ReplyDelete
We have turned over a leaf and given up libations such as that.Delete
Next you will be telling me you ride roller coasters, eat ghost peppers and adopted a hairless cat. Flabberghasted is an understatement.Delete
What's wrong with roller coasters or peppers? What are you a 6 year old little boy?Delete
So great to see you all again after a few years! Thank you. I see in Dino's comment above about"debauchery" lol. Let's say publicly we're much more mature than that haha. 3D houses I think are really cool, fyi the security fella divulged that the walls are a proprietary sand,cement mix. Didn't see in pics but there's a fella mixing bags in a hopper on the west side of the printer. Travel safe, hopefully see you again in Q if it works. Cheers. Dave & LeslieReplyDelete
There are no photos so it will be our secret. It was a night I'll probably never forget! At least until I turn 59!Delete
, We enjoyed the cave tour several years ago. I would love to see a Coati…that’s so awesome!
I still don't know how to pronounce Coati. I thought it was coat-e but someone else pronounced it totally differently.Delete
Love how you drove out of the cold and snow to have adventures. Long may you continue to do so. The coati are new to me! Thank you for showing them!ReplyDelete
We finally saw 60F today! Hopefully our days ahead will be that or higher!Delete
Well RATS!! My house is about 5 miles from Colossal Cave. You drove right by it getting there!! As to the ladder tour ... maybe, possibly ... but the adventure tour ... no way in Heqq!!! The Chiricahuas are really cool to visit. You can see why they chose that area. Now you are heading to Yuma about the time I'll be leaving. Maybe I can catch you before I have to take off back to Colossal Cave. Enjoy the area ... lots to see and lots of beer!!ReplyDelete
We leave here on the 30th and head to Organ Pipe for 2 days then to Yuma. Will we cross paths?!?Delete
I can be very claustrophobic also. Strange that I choose to live in a small space.ReplyDelete
Confined spaces only bother me when I am not in control of my immediate departure so something like a boat cabin would not bother me.Delete
What a busy few days you folks have had. Interesting find in the Coati, The cave experience was well told, I would have passed, but I’m glad you did it. The jacket experience I totally understand. I have found that concentrating on one point or the view ahead helps me keep calmer. I did read about debauchery so maybe Dino isn’t wearing his glasses. I do agree about no brewery visit though, I was surprised! Lol keep having fun! Stay safe.ReplyDelete
We'll have to make up for the lack of breweries this week. We wanted to go to our favorite brewpub in the area, The Thirsty Donkey, but it is permanently closed!Delete
We’ll have to add that cave to our list of caves already visited. How lucky to see those coati’s…never saw any when we were there. Maybe they only come out when there’s snow. 🤣 Hope Dave and Leslie didn’t wear you out for our annual Beer Tasting event.ReplyDelete
Oh no, we saved ourselves for the beer tasting!Delete
What a journey you are on! I've never heard of Coati but they really are interesting looking creatures and I would have been very startled to encounter them on my walk! Hats off to you for the caves! You're a brave soul and I'm glad it went well.ReplyDelete
Yes, blogging brings us all sorts of encounters, often many in person. I wanted to thank you for coming by Marmelade Gypsy and leaving a lovely comment. It's nice to "meet" you!
We kept the dogs in when we saw those. With a dozen and some obvious young ones we did not know how protective the mothers were going to be.Delete
Well done, you, for making that cave tour. I used to love going underground but now the very thought of it scares me.ReplyDelete
Keep enjoying those rabbit holes! :) xx
Ah, you could do it! I am betting you guys have lots of fun caves down there!Delete
I, too, ended up with a long list of blogs I follow using the same method. Just go see who's in the comments to see who might be interesting to follow. I've always found the blogging community to be a nice group of people, just sharing their lives and making friends with strangers they might not meet otherwise. Good stuff.ReplyDelete
Now that you are over there, there is probably a whole new set of blogs that will be interesting to follow!Delete
Small spaces give me the willies too but I try to put my big girl pants on once in awhile. I have to balance the confinement fear with the fear of missing something good!ReplyDelete
My thoughts exactly! I was a bit nervous going in not knowing what to expect but it was fine.Delete
Interesting about the 3D houses. The Chiricahua National Monument is beautiful maybe this will be our year to make a second stop there. The Colossal Cave looks beautiful but no way no how My brain would be trying to keep me calm and whispering it is okay just breath you will survive while my knees would be screaming are you crazy...lolReplyDelete
They have other tours there that are not nearly as confining. Definitely worth the stop!Delete
Just the pics affected my breathing :-) So glad you got to the Chiracahuas and saw some great wildlife. Casa Grande is such a mixed experience with awesome history in a very weird location. I too have taken a few many-branched tours through new blogs and found fun new experiences. So glad your travels brought us together and that you're having a great time.ReplyDelete
Just writing about that jacket situation got me all anxious again! Had the weather been warmer we would have stayed, hiking and exploring more. But we made the most of it, moving on and meeting new people!Delete
You were in our neck of the woods when you visited the Chiricahua's! Glad you got to see the coatimundi! And I (Janna) too suffer from claustrophobia--full blown panic attack on an airplane when I had to sit in a window seat. Enjoy your travels!ReplyDelete
Your ears must have been ringing as your names came up more than once this week! Sounds like we have a lot in common with all of our house building projects.Delete
This looks like such an incredible trip.. those tunnels look really cool.ReplyDelete
I too go down the blogger rabbit hole sometimes.. you never know what you might find.
I bet you and your family would love a cave tour like that. You seem to be the adventurous type.Delete
i have been down that rabbit hole you describe in your first paragraph!! had i not found you, and i am not sure which of us found the other, i would not be seeing the world on the road with you!!ReplyDelete
the cave tour is a "never in my lifetime" so thanks for sharing the pictures. after seeing them, i don't really have to go now anyway!! a house from a 3D printer is that really a thing?? really??
Who knew? But yes, it's really a thing. I can see it being the new way to build houses in the future.Delete
What a sweet photo of Dakota, Zoey, and Barb with the Rex Allen:) Glad the girls were able to do a few hikes. You are one brave man to do that cave tour. I, too, am claustrophobic after trying to ride to the top of the St. Louis Arch. I can do basic caves now but not those tight spaces!!! Glad you made it. Aren't the Chiricahuas amazing! I am hoping the weather holds for a revisit while we are in Benson.ReplyDelete
The elevator in the arch gets me more anxious than the tour. Just the thought of being stuck in a crowded box gives me the hebbie jebbies!Delete