Saturday, December 12, 2015

Tripping Along The Road

Recently we took a road trip to the Karchner Caverns not far from Tucson.  It's an interesting drive where the signs warning of dust appear only minutes before the dust.  It rises up in a curtain along the edge of the stark desert mountains and blankets the fields in a fog of dust.  We get past the dust and the scenery seems to flip every ten miles or so from rolling hills to rough foothills and desert cactus to fields of cotton and back again.

Finally we arrive at Karchner Caves.  The caves were discovered not that long ago in what looks to me to be more a large hill than a mountain.  As the tour began outside the caves, I didn't expect much as the tour guide kept encouraging audience participation like you do in grade school but as the tour progressed her off key humour became just part of the entertainment of the tour, and was eclipsed by the cave.  We only had time to see one but it was gorgeous.  The park was adamant at protecting them and we could take nothing in, unfortunately not even a phone or camera, nothing.  So there are no pictures, except this at the entrance, which we took as we were leaving and as you can see, that didn't turn out.  The caves though were well worth the visit.  Unlike the Mulu Caves in Malaysia where my latest book Suspect Witness is set, these caves had a tour guide, a concrete path and lights that worked!  So there was a lot more to see.  The stalagmites and stalactites were gorgeous, and with the inclusion of a guide, we learned a lot.  But with no pictures you'll have to take my word for it.

Then it was off to Tombstone.  We debated going there, we'd rather have gone to Bisbee but it was
already early afternoon.  So knowing that Tombstone would be a tourist attraction that we'd only spend a few hours at, we headed there.  Bisbee is a longer trip, probably a full day and one we'll have to make for another day, or year.  Our vacation time is rapidly running out!

But on to fun stuff.  In Tombstone I got a chance to try to
fire a pistol and plug holes into my target.  It was a messy "kill" as the poor man took six shots to the chest area but none hit the heart.  "Is he dead?" I ask the shop owner who had given me instructions on how to cock and fire.  "Yep," he replies and I smile and hand him his pistol as I glance one more time at my one-dimensional foe.

From there we headed over to Tombstone Cemetery.  The graves are neatly piled with rocks, some
are unknown and others have names and stories behind them.  It's definitely a cemetery built for tourists but they claim it's real, and maybe it is.  It's definitely worth a stroll through.

On the way back we were stopped by a Border Patrol checkpoint.  The author in me was intrigued and was anticipating what they might ask or do - would they search our truck, demand our passports - all of this would be great info for further blogs, stories, who knows.  So we stopped, DH rolled down the window and the questions started:

"Are you American?"  Border Patrol asks.
"No.  Canadian."  DH replies.
"Go ahead."  Border Patrol responds and steps back waving us forward.

"That's it?" I ask as we leave the check point behind.  I suspect only an author would want just a bit more drama in her day.

Meantime it's time to head for home for a well earned Margarita and maybe a hot tub - life isn't so bad here on the road.


No comments: