A Trip to Tucson to Visit My Sister

My sister and her husband, who live in New Jersey, had been planning to visit the Tucson area for a rock and gem show and so once we figured out the dates they’d be there we arranged to see them on our days off from building with Habitat. I swear I had a countdown going that week I was so excited to see her.

After meeting them at their hotel we started by exploring a bit of Tucson Mountain Park, Kurt and Tina looking for evidence of turquoise and other interesting rocks in a wash. I attempted to help locate traces of turquoise but to no avail. We then did some straight up touristing, taking photos of the cactus and rocky outcroppings while we walked around a bit at an overlook to the west. After driving around and getting some eats we called it a day. We met the next morning for brunch and started out at Colossal Cave Mountain Park, a dry karst (limestone) cave system that extends for 22 miles. The cave system was used by prehistoric Native Americans and then as place to farm guano before being converted to a tourist attraction. We arrived to go on a hour long tour but found out there was a waiting list so with a couple hours to spare we drove ten miles north to check out the eastern section of Saguaro National Park. Tina and I were excited to take more photos of saguaros (of course) but we also got to check out a neat section called Javelina Rocks that we hadn’t stopped at on our previous trip.

Before we knew it it was time to return to Colossal Cave. The tour was really, really comprehensive, detailing the history and uses of the cave, and the renovation by the Civilian Conservation Core in the 1930s as well as the natural features and their formation. I’ve been on a few cave tours but this was was pretty great in both the narrative and the amount of the cave you get to see on the tour. Kurt added his own information for us, telling us about some of the geology that the tour guide didn’t cover. Sadly we had to drive back to Las Cruces that afternoon, but it was a real treat being able to meet Tina and Kurt in Tucson.

Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tina looking through a wash, Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tina looking through a wash, Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tina taking photos, Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tina taking photos, Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tina and I, Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tina and I, Tucson Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tina and Kurt looking at rocks, Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tina and Kurt looking at rocks, Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Abby and Tom, Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Abby and Tom, Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tina, Kurt, and Tom walking around Javelina Rocks, Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tina, Kurt, and Tom walking around Javelina Rocks, Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Javelina Rocks, Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Javelina Rocks, Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Javelina Rocks, Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Javelina Rocks, Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Draperies, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Draperies, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tina, Kurt, and Tom walking ahead of me, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tina, Kurt, and Tom walking ahead of me, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

View from Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

View from Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tina and I, Colassal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona

Tina and I, Colassal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, Arizona