Our last stop before settling into our spot in Mesa, Arizona was at Kartchner Caverns State Park, near Benson Arizona. We’d reached Benson before noon and could easily have continued on to Mesa that day, but I’d picked up a brochure about the Caverns at the last KOA, and we were actually two days ahead of schedule, so took the opportunity to investigate. This is a state park with full-hook-up for RVs and can accommodate large rigs in the spacious sites. We booked a site and signed up for the 1:30 tour of the caverns. While we waited we enjoyed a sandwich and shared a piece of home-made pie with ice-cream purchased from the deli.
The tour of these live, limestone caves was incredible! Unfortunately no pictures were allowed to be taken of the intricate stalagmites and stalactites, to help preserve the site, and to keep tours from getting bogged down waiting for many people to get their shots. The story about how these caverns were discovered and kept secret for over a decade is part of the tour, and very interesting. You can also read about it on the website. By the time the tour was over and we’d looked through the museum and the gift shop in the Discovery Centre, the deli was closed so we were forced to search through our now nearly bare cupboards and fridge to find some dinner. It was either that or unload the bike to ride the ten miles into Benson. It was a beautiful spot to be, nestled between mountains and away from the sounds of traffic and train whistles that we’d had most of the trip. We watched out the window for a while, hoping to catch a glimpse of some critters that might be foraging at night, but no such luck.
After a great night’s sleep, we left at 9:00 the next morning, and pulled into Mesa Regal at 1:00 pm. It was nice to be greeted by many of our friends from last year who too were just returning. There was a happy reunion on the patio at Happy Hour.