Monday, December 26, 2011
In addition to climbing outside on cliffs, I spent a considerable time exploring caves. Although Arizona is not know for its caves, there are still some interesting and remarkable caves to explore. Unfortunately, there is one major problem, caves are dark. You can usually only take pictures when it is light. You would wait a long time for enough light to take a picture in a cave. So you have to bring in your own light source or use a light source installed in the cave. This happens to be what is called a "show cave" in California. A show cave is one where trails and lights have been installed for visitors. Only a small percentage of all the caves in the world are open to the public. Most caves are known only to a very few persistent and experienced cavers (sometimes called spelunkers). I have been in both types. Every time I see a cave open to the public, I try to take a tour. Some like Carlsbad Caverns National Park are spectacular, others are pretty but not so nice. Some of the caves that are "open" to the public have been entirely trashed and all the formations removed by vandals. All in all it is much more difficult to explore a cave than climb a cliff. Imagine climbing a cliff when it is dark and very wet outside, that is what most caves are like.