Saturday, April 5, 2008

Cave Exploring on FR 609

Finally! We found the cave we'd been told about on FR609. I guess the fifth time was a charm. We went to look again for it this morning, having been given further vague directions on its location. "After the cattle guard, near a big Black Walnut Tree" yeah right, we didn't hold out a lot of hope but since the day was beautiful and the wildflowers are in full bloom, we didn't think the trip would be wasted even if we couldn't find the cave. Fortunately, we met a Warden from Arizona Game & Fish along FR609. He stopped to chat with us for a while, and we asked him if he knew of a cave in the area. "Why sure, as a matter of fact, I just found it today," he told us. He'd seen a vague trail leading through the scrub brush and decided to follow it and just happened upon the cave. Luckily for us, we came across him, because the directions we'd been give were way off (by about 5 miles) He told us to look for his footprints and even showed us the distinctive pattern on the soles of his boots. Sure enough, we were able to spot his prints and they led us directly to the cave.
The cave is fairly big, it eventually narrowed to a tunnel that we didn't follow today. By the time we'd found it, we were rather short on time so we explored it briefly on this trip, but we're planning to return and check it out a bit more to see how far it goes.
There weren't any critters in the cave, if there are bats present, they're probably deeper into the cave's tunnel. Along FR609, we spotted two huge flocks of wild turkeys, at least forty of them crossing the road in front of the Jeep. Other than the turkeys and a couple of deer, no other critters were spotted today. It's just as well, now that the temperatures are warming up, the rattlers are soon to follow.