I stayed in Tucson again today – I felt too tired to go anywhere else. My friend Bill very kindly sent me a list of interesting things to do in Tucson, so, of course, I ended up doing none of them. Serendipity took me instead to Collossal Cave, which, I was very disappointed to discover later, isn’t the eponymous cave in the first ever adventure game. That’s in Kentucky. But it was interesting nonetheless, because I hadn’t been in an American cave before. That sounds silly, but they are a bit different, especially out here in the desert. For one thing it was a steady 70F inside, which is a good bit warmer than British caves. The guide didn’t know which geological period the cave was formed in, but thought it was probably Jurassic or Cretaceous. All British caves are Lower Carboniferous, of course, but the Carboniferous is different in the US – there are two seperate periods, Missisippian and Pennsylvanian, if I remember right. And it was a “dead” cave – the water table had lowered too much after the last Ice Age for stalactites to continue to form. There were some helictites, but they were hard and brown, completely unlike the delicate milky things I’ve seen in “living” caves. So it was all very interesting in an academic sort of way, and I got a feel for how American spelunking differs from British caving, too.
But my biggest treat of the day was hanging out with the two ladies in the gift shop, who were a delight. They spent ages looking for pictures to show me of various desert animals I’d never heard of.
Bill also recommended a better motel, which is nice. It’s cheaper than many of the budget motels I’ve stayed in and yet everything works; even the internet at long last. I spent several hours yesterday in the baking heat trying to steal other people’s wi-fi. I’ve just had a nice swim (the spa, incidentally, is only one degree warmer than today’s air temperature) and there are a couple of beers cooling in the fridge, so I’m set. I’ll probably do some more work on my novel. I may even stay here another night.
32° 9’48.91″N, 110°54’54.22″W
Today’s sensations: I’ve taken to joking with beggars now, telling them that I’m homeless too and maybe we should work together. Except of course I have enough money to live on for a year or more, while they don’t even know where their next meal is coming from (unless they laugh at my jokes, that is). All this angst I’m going through and yet really I’m incredibly lucky in so many ways. I’m ashamed of myself. On the other hand I can see a bit more clearly how quickly and unexpectedly the sands can run out for people, turning a perfectly normal person into a tramp. If I didn’t have some cash in the bank life would be pretty precarious.