Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Spelunking Experiences

One of the cave entrances to the labyrinth of tunnels!

Robert and Jonathan gearing up.

The door in the wall

Down we go!

On the second day of our hiking trip with the boy scouts, we went to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. The campground is very nice with lots of trails -walking, biking, and hiking. Sunday afternoon was our scheduled cave tour- 3 hours of crawling through the underground. Mark and Jonathan were not so sure about the tour. Raeley, Robert, and I couldn't wait, however.

My experiences with caving have not been very extensive. I remember when I was a little girl, my parent brought my sister and I on a cave tour where we walked down a long dark passage that was freezing cold into a humongous, open, mysterious room where our lights eerily shown off the walls and if you went further back there was a glowing steam and other rooms. Fascinating, but the skeletons in the corner of a room freaked me out. It was based on a story of some people who got lost down there.

Fast forward too many years to measure by a guess. Raeley was about 3 and as cute as a button and Robert was maybe half a year old. We met Mark's parents in Arkansas near P J State Park. We spent a couple of hours there. Martha and Mitchell played with the kiddies while Mark and I went climbing around the entrances of the caves. We only had a flashlight each and I started on in. "Um, Kristie... I think we are supposed to have more than just a flashlight before we start venturing into the caves." started Mark. Hmm, it hadn't crossed my mind. I thought the darkness was part of the thrill (thinking back to my childhood experience). "We could get lost in there." he continued. "Oh, we won't go far enough to get lost!" I exclaimed. A couple of yards in the darkness and a tight squeeze later, we turned tail out of there. That short jaunt whet my appetite for more. I always imagined that one day we would be walking through some lush forest and just happen across a cave on one of our outdoor excursions, much like the little girl in the Secret Garden when she spies the gate. We could then return with the gear to conquer and explore. I have never really run across a big hole in the ground or on a hillside to be much more than that, a hole.

That weekend was a much more realistic way to become introduced to spelunking.

-- Post From My iPhone


Kimberly said...

The other day I asked mom about where they took us in a cave. She has no memory of that experience. I AM SO GLAD YOU CLEARED THAT UP! I had forgotten the skeletons, but have had this recurrent dream about being lost in a cave... hmmm.... (just kidding!) There are caves to visit around Branson when we go in March. Any suggestions on which ones? Are the guided tours good or should we buy flashlights and wander on our own? Do you like string a rope around so you know where you've been? I know breadcrumbs won't work...

Kimberly said...

Oh, and of course I love the pics! I am so glad the kids are having this experience! Did you leave any geo-caches?

Denise said...

First of all, what is spelunking? Secondly, I do have pictures of Dad in a cave and on the same trip I have pics of ya'll (when you got ice cream on the ladies jacket???) which means you were at the cave - Mammoth Cave to be exact!! (I think)

Denise said...

Well, maybe I should review my pics but I am pretty sure I am right!