Follow the Sun - a western sabbatical! travel blog

Gilbert Ray Park view from campsite

Pyrrhuloxia Cardinal in an almost blooming Ocotilla

Saguaro Forest = can you tell we love them?

Basin near our campground Gilbert Ray

Sunset from Gates Pass vantage point

We started the day with a visit to Kartchner Caverns State Park. The cavern was really awesome. It is a living cave as compared to Carlsbad which is dead. The state park is very protective of the environment in the cave - we had to enter through four air lock doors to protect the humidity in the cave. They only allow 700 visitors per day and they must go on a guided tour by a state park personnel. We really enjoyed the cave because it was so different from Carlsbad.

We hurried back to our campground in Benson, hooked-up the HHR and headed west to the other side of Tucson to Gilbert Ray Park. We are so glad Stephen and Brenda told us about this gem of a park. It is next to Saguaro National Park West so we are camped in the middle of the saguaros. We enjoyed watching the cardinals, Gambrel Quails, Thrashers and doves as we sat in the shade of the motorhome after arriving. As evening begin to settle in, we rode our bikes 10 miles through the park. I saw a snake, I think it was a rattler on the road, didn't get close enough to check it out but a motorist had just told us there was a rattler on the road up ahead.

We drove to nearby Gates Pass to watch the sunset and we were very surprised by the number of folks that were there to see the sun set over the basin. It was very beautiful as you can see in the photo. Tomorrow we plan to leave early, after one last bike ride through the park, for Yuma and then on to San Diego - we're movin' on!

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