Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The spelunking hippie went spelunking!

Well, sort of, anyway! We went to the Museum of Natural History on Sunday and they have a large section chock full of information on caves. They even have a fake cave in the museum that you walk through! It is really cool - literally and figuratively, so it feels like a real cave. And they have a lot of information on the caves of Alabama. They have this section with all these different tidbits of information on caves - it is so cool! I tried to get a picture of it, but, the camera battery died. I don't think I could really do it justice, anyway, as it would have taken about five pictures just to get it all in there! It was just really cool - I was very impressed with all of their information on caves!

And so then, of course, hubby gets to talking about and thinking about the cave he visited around here as a youngster. And then, we were lucky enough that he felt like taking us there!!! I've been dying for him to take me there for over 15 years! I've heard plenty of stories about it - and heck! We've lived out here for 12 months now, and we haven't been yet!

It was so AWESOME!!! And there was an extra added element of spookiness to it because it was thundering quite a bit when we came out of the museum. So it was cloudy and dark and the sky was rumbling and it was just the perfect day for my first visit to this cave I've heard so much about! It was muddy, we had the kids with us, and we didn't have a flashlight, so we didn't get to go in very far. But it was still really fun to finally see it! I doubt I'll be going into the 'big room', though! You have to crawl on your belly through a tiny hole to get to it. No thank you. I have enough claustrophobia nightmares as it is!

It has been a very long time since I've even been near a cave. We saw a few as kids with my folks in Colorado. I think we did. If any of my sweet kin are reading, they can correct me if I'm wrong. But I do know that my brother, David, would just moan, and my dad would know he was having the urge to climb! And he would pull the car over as soon as he could, and out of the car Dave would scoot - and up the side of the mountain he would go! And I think it was in one of these times - David's climbing moments - when we sometimes come upon some neat caves. Oh wait - I'm remembering an old mine shaft, too, that we all just easily walked up to. I think we didn't actually get to go into it, though.

So I would occasionally come upon caves in my youth, and it's been a very long time. I've been cave-deprived. Perhaps one day soon, Mark and I will stash the kids somewhere, find me some good, sturdy shoes, pack a flashlight, and wander back into that wonderful cave!

You know what is so horrible, though? Darn kids - have actually spray painted on it - on it! On the beautiful rock wall that is the outside of the cave, and into the entrance of the cave. That is one major difference between Alabama and Colorado. Alabama is a beautiful place, and I have met some really wonderful people here, don't get me wrong. But in Colorado, the amount of litter and graffiti is WAY less! My brother says there isn't any in Colorado. I'd like to say that, too, but, just as soon as I'd publish that on the internet, someone would send me a picture of a highly littered, and spray-painted area of Colorado! But seriously, litter - in a National Forest? Spray paint on a waterfall in a National Forest? Spray paint on a chimney from an old homestead in the National Forest? It is truly, truly heartbreaking! But you know what, that is a rant and a whole 'nother blog post altogether.

This is spelunking and cave-love. (No, not 'love in a cave', love of caves!! Silly!) And the spelunking hippie's been spelunking! Woohoo!
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