September 29, 2015 – Caverns of Sonora, Texas

I was excited to be out in the middle of nowhere last night and went outside to look at the stars. Duh! That full moon washed them all out.

We had dozens of deer around us again this morning.

Today was cavern tour day.  It was outstanding.  I used to think, “seen one cavern, you’ve seen ’em all”, but not anymore.  This was unlike any other we’ve ever seen. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.

I saw a lot of these in Arizona, but didn’t get a picture of one.  It is Ocatilla, a native of Arizona. Paul Brindle told me that is looks dead (like a bundle of sticks) until it gets enough water and leafs out. Striking, eh?

b Ocotillo

Here is a closeup of the leaves.

b02 Ocotillo Leaves Closeup

Here is our tour guide at the entrance to the cavern. There were only four of us on the noon tour. The other couple was from Sweden.

b03 Entrance to Cavern

This is a picture of what the original cavern entrance looked like.

b04 Orignial Entrance

At the beginning, it was cool, but not beautiful.  I thought about being disappointed.

b05 Beginning of Tour

Things got better, and better.

b06

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b12

The guide said these “straws” are hollow.

b13

We were up close and personal with the formations as much of the cavern path was very narrow.

b14

Unlike other caverns, much of the rock was nodular-y, rather than smooth.

b15

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This is looking up from the last formation. Smooth at the top and nodules at the bottom.

b17

Some spaces were more brown and others were pure white.

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This was an odd, smooth section.

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The cavern is famous for its horizontal formations, not vertical like stalagmites and stalactites.  I forgot the name.  The tour guide said they are formed by pressure on the walls. Some are smooth.  This is a real close up, probably less than a foot long.

b22 Closeup

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The Swedish woman said it looks like cauliflower.

Another difference.  This cavern is not cool.  The temperature is 72 degrees, but with 98% humidity, it feels like 85.

This is their web site: Caverns of Sonora

 

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