Sunday, April 18, 2010

FR 609, Exploring The Cave With Bruce and Judy

Nice run! Yesterday we Jeeped FR 609 with our friends from Casa Grande, Bruce and Judy. It was a perfect day, the weather cooperated by giving us light breezes and moderate temperatures. Wild flowers and cacti were blooming, adding nice color to the already pretty trail.

It's always fun to show people places they haven't seen before so we thoroughly enjoy showing Bruce and Judy the cave and the trail leading from SR 288 all the way through and coming out at Punkin Center on the west side of Roosevelt Lake.

We don't ordinarily go out on weekends because some of the trails can get a bit crowded with loads of people coming up from Phoenix to enjoy the better temperatures in the mountains. Yesterday was no exception, the cave on FR 609 resembled a blue light special at K-Mart, with lots of city people crawling around the cave, oohing and aahing in the damp, spooky interior. It was fun hearing them talk about self-respecting snake would ever be found in such an uninviting, cold interior but we didn't tell them, instead we agreed that caution should be used, yep, ya never know when a rattler might be lurking under the rocks deep inside the cave....

The cave had been living quarters for ancient Indians at one time, you can still see some evidence of their presence. Few cave drawings remain, but looking closely, you can still find a few faint images. The fire pit still holds a few charred bits of wood and the ceiling above it still shows the smokey stains left behind by generations of cooking. The remains of stone walls are still present, making it easy to imagine what life was like for the cave dwellers.
The next time we go back to the cave, we'll be sure to go during the week to avoid the crowds of city weekenders.

Hedgehog cactus in full bloom

Our two red Jeeps

The cave entrance

Me, Growlph, Judy and Bruce

Ralph, Judy, Growlph and Bruce

A city feller stepping carefully to avoid stepping on snakes

Stacked stone walls left by the ancients tell a story of what life was like
for the early cave dwellers

Judy and Bruce inside the cave

The smokey ceiling above an ancient fire pit