Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I love caves!

I love caves! There is something strange, almost eerie, being under the earth's surface and yet feeling one is visiting another planet. There are all sorts of images to be found in the rock formations. There is a sense of geological time, chemistry, and exploratory desire. There are lots of caves and caverns in the foothills of the Sierras, and I was glad for this. The first few days in California were colder and rainy. Under ground, however, the temperature is always the same. I visited three: Moaning Caverns, Mercer Caverns, and California Caverns. I made it to Black Chasm but it was closed....supposedly the road was impassable....I had no problem but the "shop cat" certainly one came to feed him and he was pretty angry behind the double glass doors that I didn't have a key! The images here are mainly from Moaning Caverns. Although I was the only person on my "tour" at all three places, the guide here was huffing and puffing on the stairs. We had to take our time which provided more than enough opportunities to get steady photographs! Moaning Caverns actually offers rappelling. Thank goodness I didn't want the guide to try this! Each of the three was unique. I really loved seeing the stalagmites and stalactites, the rare minerals, the pools of crystal clear water, the places where the cave continued into tiny enclosures, and the stories of the history and tourism.

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