I didn’t get any writing done over the long holiday weekend, but I did have an excellent time. Saturday, CWB and I went to Bearizona. We arrived just as it was opening and so missed most of the crowd. The drive through wasn’t long, but you could drive through as many times as you wanted – which was cool. We only went through once. The walking zoo part had nice enclosures and I think all of the animals were rescued, including the bears. There was a male black jaguar, set near the restaurant so that people could sit and watch it while they ate. Although his enclosure was huge, he seemed anxious and unhappy. I hope they get him a friend or something. The gift shop building was under construction. The clerk told us they were making a group area for parties and the like and would be building a hotel in the future. So – big plans for them. I got some good pictures.
Then we went to the Grand Canyon Caverns, which is off old Route 66 between Seligman and Peach Springs. Strangest cave/cavern I’ve ever been in. You take an elevator down 22 stories and it opens into a large space that is dry and dusty. It didn’t smell like a cave – which has that mineral smell with a hint of water. It had no animal life. No spiders, no bats, no nada. The US government turned it into a fallout shelter and stocked a bunch of water and food; enough for 2000 people for 2 weeks. I’m not sure that’d be enough for radioactivity to pass, but I guess it’s better than nothing. Two weeks of safety and then death in a dry cave or out on the blasted surface. I hope we never need to find out.
We got into a discussion of a cave versus a cavern. I recalled from some cave tour that I’d taken that one or the other has a continuous ceiling. I can’t remember which now. But, they called it a cavern even though there were no formations. The guide told us that was because the blasting that the early owners did caused all of the stalactites and stalagmites to be crushed. The cave did have a lot of “cave popcorn” and patch of “snowballs.” Lots of gypsum. It also had a theater area and a bedroom – $800 a night to spend the night in the cave. The guide said they couldn’t have concerts there because there was only one exit, but it could have private parties. Which made me think of a place I saw on PBS – a concert in a cave. CWB and I agreed that we’d be interested in going to that.
Later that day we went to my nephew’s house and had a cook out with my niece, her fiance, his child, and their father, whom I hadn’t seen in several years. It was good. Sunday was tourist recovery day, and Monday I went to Phoenix to visit folks. Busy busy weekend.