There is not much in the way of organic life, but take a look at this inorganic forest formation. It's just amazing what nature created no? Keep in mind that it takes hundreds and thousands of years for the formations you see to form so please do not harm this beauties.
The early eplorers didn't had the luxury we have today. Back then there were no cut paths so they often had to use head lamps and crawl deep underground to find the beauties awaiting them beneath. Today, you can litteraly walk through most of the worthwhile halls. It has damaged the cave a bit, but not as much as you may believe.
You'll have to expand the picture to see this one... Notice the tiny hollow stalagtites? Yeap, these are known as straws. I've seen them in other caves before. Legend has it that if you where to cut one out you'll be able to use them as a straw since they're hollow (hence the name).
This is for all the Star Treks fans out there... doesn't thise picture remind you of the cute tribbles? In reality, these is a unique cavern formation that was partially formed underwater. In this particular picture, you can witness the diestinctive waterline that forced the change in environment from the ball-like formations that are formed underwater to the other formations above, which are formed above the water line.
Strip Bacon or Indian Chief...
Strip Bacon or Indian Chief headdress
This use to be 'the' icon of the caverns of Sonora. See, the imfamous formation ressembles an Indian Chief headdress, or for other hungry folks it resembles strip bacon. Unfortunately, the formation was forever damaged when a clumsy guide smached a piece off it while cleaning the tourist path. It's a sad lose indeed, a high price for development.
The Caverns of Sonora can boast about this beauty. It's the only natural forming crystal butterfly known in the world. It was formed by two helectites. By the way, there are thousands of helectites in this cavern. A helectite is a formation that defies gravity. Unlike a stalactite (grab 'tight' or you're fall to the ground) and a stalagmite ('mighty' climb from the ground up ahead of you) where gravity is a clear force behind them, helectites defy gravity and just stand out sideways from the walls of the cavern.
At the start of the tour, you will walk through several impresive cavern rooms with corral and popcorn like formations on the wall. More on the popcorn formations later, but for now, take a look at this amazing pic. It almost looks like the coral one encounters while scuba diving in the ocean.
Is it a vase or a couple...
Is it a vase or a couple kissing?
If anything, this tour is about opening your mind and expanding your imagination. So look at all the rocks and formations and try to link a common picture to what you're seeing. On this particular picture, I was reminded to the imfamous picture we've all probably seen. You know, the optical illussions in which the image seems to show two things at the same time. This picture looks like the imfamous vace, or is it a couple kissing?
The early explorers of the cavern used arrows to clearly mark the quickest route out of the cave. Most of this arrows are clearly visible today. So for those of you who are claustrophobic (person with a morbid fear of being closed in a confined space) you can rest assure that the exit is several arrows ahead :).
Sutton County Courthouse
The Sutton County Courthouse was built in 1891, and looks like a cross between a traditional Texas Courthouse and the home from the Addam’s Family. It is one of the more interesting courthouses in the state. There were several Veteran's Monuments, and historical plaques on the courthouse grounds.
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
Caverns of Sonora..
Caverns of Sonora is a wonderful cave, and I love caves! We love caves so much that we took 5 of the cave tours offered when we visited Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Now you will find that the Caverns of the Sonora is not a large cave, as you will only wind though about a 1.5 mile trail (depending on if you take the short or long tour). Also it does not have huge rooms or gigantic formations, but it is definitely the most beautifully decorated cave that we have ever seen to date. In many rooms the walls and floors are covered with cave popcorn and cave corals. In other areas the formations glitter with crystals. Also many of the stalagmites and stalactites are covered with cave corals and crystals. You can see dog-toothed spar, helicites, which grow spikes in many directions, hollow soda straws, cave bacon, and flowstone. The colors varied from bright white to an almost rust color. You will also see a type of thin crystal called “fish tail.” In one of these formations two fish tails came together to form a “butterfly” shape. The following web link will not only give you good information about the cave, but also has great photographs of some of the formations:
- National/State Park
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
Blue Lagoon (a.k.a. Horseshoe...
Blue Lagoon (a.k.a. Horseshoe Lake)
No cavern will be complete without its misterious underground lagoon. The blue lagoon is definitly amazing. None of my pictures makes it justice. It's just crystal clear all through.
I cannot remember the name given to this type of formation. The only thing that comes to mind is that this is the only soft formation of the cavern. I don't know much about the technical aspects, but it sure looks like slime to me.
This is perhaps the best room in the entire cavern. You have to cross this bridge that leads through the majestic Crystal Room, thus why it's call the Crystal Tour. This room is totally made from crystal-like formations. It's an amazing sight!
Inside a whale's mouth :).
Oh what would a kid give to see the inside of a whale... not the true whales, but the ones in cartoons and stories. Imagine Moby Dick, then enter the last segment of the tour. The white coated walls are amazing!