Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Hike on Kartchner Foothills Trail Loop, Benson, Arizona

After arriving at our campsite at Kartchner Caverns State Park in Arizona, we set up camp, and took off for a hike on the Foothills Trail Loop.  Here's the trail head.

This is an picture of a Javelina (member of the Peccary family), which looks a lot like a wild pig.  Good luck finding him in this picture...I think he's right there...see...right there.  Dr. McDonald said they are good eating.

A dry wash (creek).

Nothing says "I love you" like a romantic heart-shaped prickly pear cactus.  Actually, it says "I love you, but if you get too close I'm going to mess you up something fierce."  Now on sale at Hallmark :-)

Prickly pear cactus with Sophie for scale.  It was hard to keep her from getting too close.

A sign said this called a pestal rock used by native Americans to grind grain and other foods.  They wore fairly deep holes in the rock.  The one to the right is about eight inches deep and eight inches in diameter.

Everything was prickery.

I mean REAL prickery

One viewer commented that they wanted to see a group photo of the team.  Here we are :-)


Stickery, prickery, sharp, needley.

Karin and Sophie coming up the trail.

Pointy, jaggedy

This is a view from the ridge of one of the dry washes.  I wish I could see one with water in it.  In any event, you can see that there is more and greener vegetation there.

Even the rocks were sharp.  The geology under us was more karst, and in fact, there is a limestone cave.  This didn't really look like karst to me.  It was pretty sharp.  Maybe one of you geologists recognize it.

Open spaces.

Copper ore, which I'll talk more about when I tell you about my visit to the Asarco Mission open pit mine.

Back at the campsite.  It was surprisingly cold, and hot chocolate was the hit of the evening.


  1. Do you know the mineral that made up the copper ore? I have some chrysocolla but that is more green than that color. Also a lady came up to the Environmental science booth at the accepted student fair today said she loves your blog.

    1. That's cool she's looking! Thanks for doing the booth again. Not sure what the make up of the ore is. There's one street in the town where washing machine sized chunks are used as the median divider. Cool, but you tend to look at the samples and not the street!

  2. Also can you get me a sample? (-:

    1. Oddly enough, at the mine tour, they did give out samples. Kinda like getting chocolate when you tour a chocolate factory, I guess. You'll have to fight Mrs. Dr. V for it :-)