Editor's Note 

Caving and life

This past weekend I found myself at Peppersauce Cave with my love taking the first entrance of the cave thinking it was the right one—the one we read about and researched before leaving late Sunday afternoon.

After 20 minutes in, crawling through a narrow area on my stomach, reaching and pushing through the oddest of places, we decided to head out, realizing that this wasn't going to end anytime soon—no large cave room was in our future if we continued this route.

Back outside, covered in dirt and lots of scrapes, we sat for a moment wondering what went wrong. We realized that just above us was the right entrance, or the one we wanted all along and our day progressed to large rooms and several of the cave's lakes we saw on a map.

On our way out, we explored a few more areas and then we found ourselves lost, going in circles cursing the arrows on the walls that we were told lead to the exit. Momentary panic and a few more scrapes, we finally realized we were looking at the way out wrong all along.

I admit there were a few times, being a novice at this whole cave thing, that I cursed, sitting on a rock, my knee bleeding and my arms sore from moving myself up and around and over.

It was close to 7 p.m., I guessed. There were sunflower seeds and corn nuts in the pack and only a few swallows of water left. However, there, obviously marked, was the way out—the "rabbit hole" I had entered hours earlier, crawling on my back because my knees had had enough.

On the drive down into Oracle we talked about doing this again and which areas we wanted to explore next. But it's not hard when you're in a cave trying to go up huge rocks into a new level or stuck trying to figure out how to keep moving to have dozens of life and newspaper metaphors run into your head.

I was thinking about all the current challenges ahead in life and family. Is there a right way and wrong way to do things? Expectations can drive one insane, unless you finally realize that other's perceptions don't matter. Do you go into this particular area of life head first, or feet first? I have no idea. I guess, right now, I'm grateful someone is nearby able to me a push up or at least look at my cut up knees with a little bit of sympathy.

— Mari Herreras, mherreras@tucsonweekly.com

More by Mari Herreras

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