Kartchner Caverns: How Two Cavers Discovered and Saved One of the Wonders of the Natural World

Kartchner Caverns: How Two Cavers Discovered and Saved One of the Wonders of the Natural World

by Neil Miller
     
 

It was all routine even if hundreds of pounds of earth were pressing down on their heads, even though the ceiling might potentially collapse at any moment, even if they were surrounded by a sea of darkness and had no idea what lay in front of them. Award-winning author Neil Miller soon tells us that what lay in front of amateur spelunkers Randy Tufts and Gary Tenen

Overview

It was all routine even if hundreds of pounds of earth were pressing down on their heads, even though the ceiling might potentially collapse at any moment, even if they were surrounded by a sea of darkness and had no idea what lay in front of them. Award-winning author Neil Miller soon tells us that what lay in front of amateur spelunkers Randy Tufts and Gary Tenen was anything but routine. These young men had crawled into a virgin cave, a landscape untouched and unseen for hundreds of thousands of years. In cave terminology, this underground oasis was “living”—water still seeped down the limestone walls, depositing minerals that slowly built up into stunningly beautiful formations. In a time when countless caves had been destroyed by vandals and looters who had defaced the walls and had broken formations, this pristine discovery was every caver’s dream. While duplicating that moment might seem difficult, this fascinating account of the fight to preserve Kartchner Caverns lends us the same sense of awe and urgency. In an arresting tale spanning the twenty-five-year period in which Tufts and Tenen struggled to protect their find, Miller skillfully weaves together personal interviews, biographical information, political maneuvering, and geological facts. Presented in full color with dazzling photographs showcasing the natural wonder of the caverns, this is an invitation to take in the mysterious, stunning beauty of a cave as if discovering it for the first time. The triumph of the conservationists and the opening of Kartchner Caverns as a state park are known to anyone who has visited the caves as a tourist. But this narrative offers a chance to go beyond the guidebooks with its revealing look at this unspoiled natural wonder and the science of cave conservation. With as much depth and colorful detail as the caverns themselves, this page-turning account will captivate anyone interested in caves and the preservation of natural wonders.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Publication of this book is made possible in part by a generous contribution from the Friends of Kartchner Caverns.""One comes away from Miller's page-turner with a reverence, almost an unalloyed love for Tenen, Tufts, and the Kartchner family that owned the land under which the young spelunkers discovered the cave." —Tucson Weekly“This fascinating new book provides both exciting new details and breathtaking images in full color”— Tucson Citizen

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816525164
Publisher:
University of Arizona Press
Publication date:
04/17/2008
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
1,179,646
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.84(h) x 0.54(d)

Meet the Author

Neil Miller teaches journalism and nonfiction writing at Tufts University. He is a former staff writer at the Boston Phoenix and is the award-winning author of four books, including In Search of Gay America: Women and Men in a Time of Change.

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