This morning we woke up to a camper being shaken by the wind and
the sound of snow beating the sides.
The temps were below freezing and as soon as it became light I went out for
some quick pictures.
That's REAL Snow on those Montana Mountains.
By 0900 the sun was out and although cold and windy
the snow had started to disappear.
Soon we walked over to the visitor center for our reserved spot on a tour
of the "Big Room"
The Big Room is only open for several months a year.
It is on sort of a time-share. 1/2 the year it is populated with Cave Bats
and the other 1/2 the bats go elsewhere to hibernate and the humans get to use
Since these caverns have been only recently discovered and have been protected since
day 1 - they contain all of the amazing and delicate formations that one should
find in a limestone cave.
The shot below is called cave bacon. Can you guess why?
These fine crystal like structures are called helictites.
These fine formations are called soda straws because the water flows thru the
hollow inside and the minerals harden around.
This is a wider view shot of the Big Room
The rules of the cave were very strict. We were even misted down with water
as we went thru one of the 6 air locks to get inside. The mist is to dampen down
our clothing to prevent any lint in the air which could introduce contaminants
to the pristine cave ecosystem.
No photography was allowed either so the photos I posted were ones
I found of the caverns posted on the internet.
Inside the caves it was a warm 71 degrees and 99% humidity.
Leaving thru the final air lock you can imagine how it felt hitting the
cold dry air. We were further chilled by the evaporative
cooling as our clothes instantly dried.
Now - and most importantly....
TODAY IS THE OFFICIAL START OF LOVE WEEK
Love week (really 10 days) kicks off today with Kates Birthday,
then is followed by Christmas..
and finishes off on the 29th with our anniversary.
This year will mark 22 wonderful years!
For Kates Birthday dinner I was lucky to find a place about 20 miles from
here in Sierra Vista called The German Cafe.
It was written up in several publications and was voted one of the best
places to eat by Arizona Highways.
It is a small out of the way place with only 7 or 8 tables.
We arrived at 4:15pm ready to eat and were the first ones there.
Kate and I are HUGE fans of German Cooking so a more perfect place
to celebrate her birthday I could not have found.
We started off with a couple of Dunklebiers...
A toast to us,
und dann einen Toast auf unsere guten Freunde Marcel und Michaela.
Kate had the Jagerschnitzel
And I had the Onion Rahm Schnitzel
Both were served with Red Cabbage, warm German Potato Salad, and
we also ordered a couple of Potato Pancakes each.
The food was delicious, authentic, and homemade.
I especially know that the Potato Pancakes where the real deal because our
friend Margaret from NY is Austrian and once she taught how to make them
from scratch and these were just like them.
Authentic, Delicious German Cooking about 20 miles from Mexico
in Southern Arizona.
YUM YUM YUM!
We grabbed a couple of slices of homemade Rum Cake to go and will
enjoy them in a couple of minutes after the Doods get Fed.
We made it back to camp just as it was getting dark.
Well if the world does end on Saturday at least we'll be going out
after an excellent meal.