Dec 26, 2008
We knew the weather will be bad but we had booked tickets and paid for a tour inside the caves there more than a month ago, so we went ahead. Unfortunately, the weather forecast was OFF! After we past Tucson, it started to snow. Since we moved to US, we havenít driven in snow so itís a bit scary. At least even itís blowing snow, the visibility was not too bad and by the time we arrived the Kartchner Caverns State Park, thereís a sunny break. Still, the wind was blowing really hard plus there was still occasional rain. We arrived 2 hours earlier than our scheduled tour so we ate our lunch there and stayed inside the Discovery Center. There are many trails in the state park but nobody in their right minds would try. Nothing was allowed into the caves except yours truly plus the clothes you have on. The park rangers are trying very hard to protect all those stalactites, stalagmites, etc. So not just no pictures or videos inside, they donít want anybody left behind anything inside.
Hereís the website of the park. http://www.azstateparks.com/parks/KACA/index.html
Since I canít take any pictures inside, thereís a photo gallery with some pictures inside.
I took a picture from the parking area when thereís a little break in the weather with a rainbow above the Discovery Center.
By the time our tour was over and we left the warm and humid (around 72įF/22įC and over 98% relative humidity), the storm we drove thru on our way arrived and thereís blowing snow. Itís really too much so we just checked into our motel room and didnít go anywhere afterward.
Dec 27, 2008
The weather improved the next morning with partly cloudy sky. Unfortunately, our van is not equipped for this kind of weather. With the blowing snow and rain, the water sipped into the doors locks. Since the weather went below freezing overnight, the driver side door and both power sliding doors were frozen and could not open. At least the passenger side and the trunk were good. Hubby started the car and let it running. After a while, the driver side door was defrosted but the power sliding doors were still stuck. This became a big problem because thatís the only way the dog can get inside his crate. We had to fold down the back seat of the van and to remove the captain seat behind the driver side to put his crate right behind the driver with the crateís door open to the sliding door of the van. The other door was right behind the driver seat. I had asked hubby to move the car to the other side of the parking lot where thereís sunshine to help defrosting the doors but he said they should be OK after the car ran for awhile.
Of course, after almost an hour, the doors were still stuck. I asked hubby again and this time, he reluctantly moved the car since he knew I would do it if he didnít.
Itís good that he had the sense of parking the car where the driverís side faced the sun. So after another 15 minutes without running the car,
the sliding door on one side could be open so Brutus could get into his crate but my son had to climb to his seat behind me through the front passenger seat.
Since the worst weather was over, we decided to further explore southern Arizona and drove to Tombstone where the famous OK Corral is located. Tombstone is about 25 miles from Benson, where we stayed the night so we arrived really early. So early that most of the shops were closed.
Anyway, we were not really interested in watching the ďre-enactmentĒ of the gun fight in the exact location of the OK Corral, we stayed for about 30 minutes, took a few pictures and left.
Next stop was further south to Bisbee, another old town. This one was the result of a copper mine nearby. Itís quite different from Tombstone or most little towns in USA. The buildings were pretty European looks and so were the streets, narrow, winding and steep. Again, we stayed for a very short time, took pictures and left.
We decided itís time to go home and headed back to I-10. My son wanted to have fillet-O-fish sandwich and chicken nuggets from McDonald and I knew thereís one by the intersection of AZ-90 and I-10. Since the towns we visited were close to the border with Mexico, lots of the freeways are blocked by border patrol to check of illegal immigrants and drugs. This took a little extra time and we were hungry and I had gallons of coffee that morning (I had hard time sleeping for 2 nights already)
We arrived home in mid-afternoon and noticed right away the damages done to the outdoor plants. *sigh* There was no freeze warning before we left yesterday. Since some of the roads we travelled were covered with snow and were sprinkled with salt and gravels, I decided to wash the car to prevent the salt from eating up the body/undercarriage. I was half way through washing when I noticed the water on our driveway started turning to slush.
Also, my wet toes started freezing. Thatís when I noticed itís really cold outside. I hurried to finish the cleaning and had hubby moved the car back inside the garage and brushed off as much water from the driveway as possible. Still, part of the driveway was still covered with ice.
I went inside the house and used lukewarm water to soak up my feet and after changing water a few times, my toes finally felt normal. I took a heater to the garage before I started towel dry the car. By the time itís over, I was tired and cranky but I still had lots of laundry.
So this is my HELL of a trip after Christmas
Here's the link to the pictures I took, including both Tombstone and Bisbee.