Thursday, February 5, 2015

Throwback: Colossal Cave Mountain Park

I mentioned earlier that I have some pictures and stories of adventures that took place before I was blogging. In order to have a more complete travel index and journal of our adventures, I'm going to do a weekly "Throwback" post, highlighting different adventures we have had.

Today's post took place on November 1, 2013:

Welcome to Colossal Cave Mountain Park! This was actually our 3rd visit to the area, but the first time I had taken any pictures. The first time, we came just to letterbox in the park. The second was when Curtis' dad came down for the first time in September of 2013. 

This particular visit, we came back with the purpose of taking pictures of the park and the cave tour, to help Curtis' sister with a homework assignment on caves!

The map of the park.
Colossal Cave is located on the far Southeast side of Tucson. Of course, if you continue heading East on the I-10, you'll come to Kartchner Caverns. How do the two caves differ? First, Colossal is considered a "dormant" cave - meaning it is dry, and the formations are no longer changing naturally because it has no water source. Kartchner Caverns is alive, or wet. Because of this, Kartchner Caverns is much more "protected" than Colossal Caves. Some examples of this are that you aren't allowed to take pictures in Kartchner Caverns. They also go to great measures to clean off areas that have been touched by humans. 

These caves brought to you by the CCC!
Colossal Caves were discovered before Kartchner Caverns. You can read about their fascinating timeline here. In short, they have been toured much longer than Kartchner Caverns. The path that goes through the caves was built by the CCC.  

Map of the inside of the caves

The entrance!
Both times that we have visited the cave, we went on the main tour that lasts about 50 minutes. There are several other tours offered as well. The tours are offered year-round, and need no prior reservations. (Kartchner requires scheduling ahead of time). 

The beautiful mountain park!

Fun fact: a Sesame Street movie was filmed in here!

Inside the caves!

They call this the witch. Can you see it? Her long nose points the way to the cave's exit.

In "Sesame Street Goes West," they saw this rock and panicked because they thought it looked like a T-Rex.

After Big Bird panicked from above picture, he ran through this wall, which strangely is shaped like the silhouette of a Big Bird...

If you ever want to get married in the cave, here's where you can!

This is called "The Living Room."

And that is Colossal Caves!

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