I had so much trouble formatting the first post on Kartchner Caverns that I gave up on including all of the photos. That is the reason for this second post. (Why does formatting have to be so hard? I need a guru to walk me through the steps. I know how I want it to look, but Blog Spot has different ideas.)
The top photo shows soda straws. That line down the middle is not a flaw, but a formation. The bottom photo shows the immense size of the Big Room. (See the tiny man in red in the lower half of the photo). It is the the maternity home to a common colony of cave bats.
The following information on the Caverns is from Wikipedia.
The caverns were apparently unknown to man until 1974, when Randy Tufts and Gary Tenen, two amateur spelunkers found a narrow crack in the bottom of a sinkhole, and followed the source of warm, moist air toward what ended up being more than 2½ miles of pristine cave passages. Hoping to protect the cave from vandalism, they kept the location a secret for fourteen years, deciding that the best way to preserve the cavern — which was near a freeway — was to develop it as a tour cave. After gaining the cooperation of the Kartchner Family and working with them for ten years, together they decided that the best way to achieve the goal of protection through development as a tour cave was to approach Arizona State Parks. Tufts and Tenen even blindfolded state parks officials before bringing them to the site.
In 1985, then-Gov. Bruce Babbitt secretly left the state capitol with two bodyguards and spent three hours crawling through the cave's tight passages to reach the cave's showcase chambers, including the Big Room, Echo Passage and Cul-de-sac Passage.
The state spent $28 million on a high-tech system of air-lock doors, misting machines and other gadgetry designed to preserve the cave. Kartchner Caverns opened to the public in 1999.
If you missed 'Kartchner Caverns I' please scroll down for the previous post.