"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Spelunking we will go

Actually, spelunking we have gone!

On Saturday morning, we had 93 geocache finds to our credit. By the end of the day, we had over a hundred, and had logged the experience of exploring a nearly mile-long, pitch black, underground cave, created more than half a million years ago from flowing lava.

We had wanted to go to the lava tube ever since we heard about it, and thought it was a fitting way to to celebrate our 100th find. The cave was in the middle of the woods, just a short little walk from where we parked.

One minute we were in the woods, and the next we were at what looked like a big rock foundation.

The cave was cool, damp, and dark. We could smell it before we even entered... a sort of earthy, dirty smell that I actually didn't find at all unpleasant. The climb down was slow going while carrying a 25 pound toddler, but once it leveled off I was able to wear her (and she even walked herself in some of the less rocky areas)

The darkness and stillness of the cave was not like anything I'd ever experienced. Complete and total silence that you could feel in your soul, and taste in your stomach. There were a lot of people sharing the tunnel with us that day, but when we were alone on a bend we'd shut off our headlights for a second to appreciate the blackness. I didn't know how the kids would like that, but they kept asking for more! It took us around an hour to make it to the end, where a few members of our party explored some of the tiny crevices...

We took our time heading back, and stopped to appreciate the swirls and splashdowns created by the lava so long ago.

We were tired and sore from the trek (Hello thigh muscles, nice to feel you!!) but we all agreed it was well worth it, and is a trip we're looking forward to repeating in the future.

And because life is about stopping to smell the roses, or in our case, stopping to spot the wildlife, I'd be remiss not to mention that we were lucky enough to see a bobcat in the wild on the way there. We pulled over, but not in time to get a picture. We did however, snap some pictures of the bulls we passed on the way out. :)


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