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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Inspired by… dripping water

 

While normally a source of annoyance, today I’ll show you how dripping water can also be a source of beauty.

 

Last week we visited the Natural Bridge Caverns near San Antonio, TX.  While not normally a fan of dark, underground places, I had toured Kartchner Caverns in southern Arizona and was not anticipating closed in spaces.

 

Entering the caverns is like entering another world.  Unless you have been in one before (I'd love to hear about it!), you see nothing, not.a.thing that is familiar.  These are not rocks, people!

You are surrounded by such beauty you quickly forget you are 180ft below the surface… um, well, that is until you start climbing back up, to the surface.

 

Entrance

This is a picture of the "natural" bridge spanning the sinkhole which opened up the entrance to the cavern.  You can learn all about the history, and the family that still owns and operates the tours of the cavern when you visit!

 

Going_Down_Into_the_Cave

Going down, down, way down. (that's funny, I didn't feel queasy at the time) Good grief! What was I thinking going 180ft down into the earth!?!

First_Room_2

Oh, yeah... to see this.

This is the first "room" we entered.

First_Room

It's really hard to give you a perspective of the size in these photos.  The stalagmite on the left is probably 10feet tall-ish.  You could have easily fit a 2-3 bedroom house in this "room".

Formation_Ceiling

This was the ceiling we passed under on our way into the "room" pictured above.  See the droplets of water on the end of the soda straw formations in the dark area of the photo?  We were "dropped on" quite frequently during the tour.

Formation

Here is a stunning drapery or curtain formation.

Formation_Soda_Straws

More soda straws.

Formation_2

This is an example of flow stone.  At least the dripping hump-like formations in the center are... there are some other formations going on here as well.

Formation_Multi

Flow stone and soda straws.

Formation_Mushroom

This looks like flow stone to me, however, it was coming from the ground up, so I could be totally wrong about that! Keep in mind I am -by no stretch of the imagination- a cave expert.  Even calling me a novice would be going too far! 

You can find lots of great info on the web though! and some of the sites I referenced are linked in this post.

Formation_Bacon

 

This is my favorite formation!! Love, love, love the Cave Bacon.  Yup! That's really what they call it!  Can you guess why?  Do you have a favorite formation?

Formation_Bacon_2

May I have some eggs with that, please?

Large_Room

Here's another "room".  Lot's going on here!  You can see a drapery/curtain formation hanging, center left.  A few little soda straws.  Stalagmite's, all over... the column on the right is formed when a stalagmite (floor up) meets a stalactite (ceiling down).

Again, it's hard to get a grasp of the scale from the picture.  We actually walked up, to the left and around in back of this, up into that black hole. (It wasn't scary at the time, I promise)

There was a lot more to see.  More rooms, an emerald "sea" (which my camera flat out refused to take a picture of), bat guano, etc.  If you're really adventurous, there is another tour that takes you into undeveloped parts of the cave. {shudder}

My mom just turned 70, is healthy and active and was able to do this tour with no problem.  It's about 70 degrees in the cave with 99% humidity... it was a nice respite from our 102 degree drought weather here in Texas.

So if you live in Texas, or are visiting soon..

Come on Down!

Way Down!

I'd love to hear about your caving adventures!

 

Blessings,

 

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and then, she {snapped}

7 comments:

  1. Love the shots! It's beautiful! I'd love to go in a cave like that.

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  2. Thanks for the cave tour, I've never been in one! Your pictures are amazing!
    Debbie

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  3. What an interesting tour! 70 degrees sounds pretty nice. Thanks for visiting my blog; I thought I was the only one who still said "what a riot".

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  4. Wow, that looks awesome! We went diving in a cenote (underwater sinkhole) in Mexico and surfaced in some cave rooms with stalagmites that took our breath away. A bit creepy, but awesome at the same time. :)

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  5. If you ever get a chance to "adventure tour" (or whatever they call their small guided tour repelling down the original shaft and completely off the beat/normal path )I highly highly recommend it. Come to think of it I took photos (film) when I did that a year or two back and never got then developed. Now I'm motivated to do that. Thanks for the reminder.

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  6. these are awesome...we toured the luray caverns in virgina...its quite an experience and very interesting.

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  7. How interesting. I know I've toured a cave before, but for the life of me I can't think where it was :)

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