Part 2: Caverns of Sonora, TX


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The Trip

We drove to Sonora from Fort Stockton, TX and then managed to make the 1pm tour at Caverns of Sonora. After the tour, we spent the night in the RV Park that is co located with the Caverns. The accommodations were more than adequate. There were bathrooms with showers and plenty of hot water. A nice respite from the hot, humid air in the cave. The Caverns of Sonora are reputed to be one of the most heavily decorated caves in North America. And, after taking the tour, I believe it.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Caverns of Sonora is in the hill country of central Texas. This is the start of the trail. The trail in the cave descends to about 150 feet below the opening.

This is a great specimen. Cave Bacon.

The stalagmites are reaching for the stalactites. When they join, they are called columns.

This is a large flow. The dark coloring is from dissolved minerals in the seeping groundwater.

A number of the nicer structures in the cave were damaged or stolen in the early years of being open to the public. Above, you can see a broken structure in the upper right of the photo.

They are growing closer with each and every drop. As the seeping groundwater deposits minerals on both the top and the bottom, each grows toward the other.

Many of the descending structures are heavily coated with cave popcorn. Some of the stalactites have turned into "clubs" not unlike the famous "Lion's Tail" in Carlsbad Caverns.

More structures with tinted colors. Note the chocolate brown color and the flow in the center.

Kathleen checks out the structures on the ceiling. The installed lighting provided interesting effects.

Kathleen loves going into caves.

Many of the structures looked like marine coral.

A nice drapery structure. The moisture on the stone was easily visible.

Many of the structures had actively dripping water on them. Caverns of Sonora is a live cave with a number of pools. The dripping water produced interesting ripples in the pools.

Many of the structures are quite long.

This formation is called Applesauce Mountain for obvious reasons.

Great fish tail sample.

The soda straw room. These straws are perhaps a meter long and very fragile.

Helactites growing every direction from the ceiling. Many of the rooms and passages were covered in this type of formation.

A very tall column with heavy popcorn at the bottom.

Another room with heavy popcorn.

Check this one out. It is growing in a spiral. Spirals are quite rare.

There are no rules for the direction of growth. This one reminds me of a jawbone with teeth.

They grow down as well as sideways.

More interesting formations hanging from the ceiling.

Kathleen inspects a very large column.

One of the largest flows in the cave.

Moon milk covers the structure in the photo above.

Bacon with fringe. According to our guide, the fringe was damaged by a worker with a water hose that is used for keeping the structures free of contamination. The water damaged the fringe. Note the nice banding in the bacon.

The crystal room with great fish tails.

WOW. Very busy structures.

I see a figure 8 in this ceiling area. As stated above, spirals are very rare.

A final set of large drapes.

Caverns of Sonora was a first-rate cave. It is known to be the most decorated cave in the United States. The cave is well worth a visit if you are in the area.

We spent the night at the camp ground co located with the cave. The place was clean and quiet and the wind was good to us. Next morning, we rolled out to visit Garner State Park on the Rio Frio.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2010, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.