Posts tagged: formations

Going Underground

By , June 10, 2010 11:50 am

IMG_1475On Thursday, while the Star was waiting on a new control module, I decided to head out to Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park to check out the caverns.  It was one of the few days that it didn’t rain (well, it didn’t rain on the way there).

I could probably ramble on ridiculously about the cave system and what makes it different from the majority of other caves, but if you’re not into caves (and I’m not really) it probably wouldn’t mean much.  You can do some research on the internet if you really want to know about the caves.  What I can tell you about is how the trip was and what you might want to know if you decide to go.

IMG_1346First, the caves aren’t horizontal or vertical.  They’re tilted, at about 55 degrees due to the mountain shifting a long, long time ago.  The entrance is up on the side of a mountain.  The exit is several hundred feet below it on the same mountain.  You’re looking at about a two mile hike, with a lot of elevation changes.  You’re also looking at climbing up and down a few tight and dark passages.  Plan to spend at least two hours in the cold and dark.  It’s 50 degrees and it is damp (I found several puddles the hard way).  You should be in relatively decent physical shape and you shouldn’t be claustrophobic or afraid of the dark.  Now that all the nasty disclaimers are out of the way… 😉

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The cave tour is very interesting and worth the effort.  Unfortunately, I’d have to take an entire lighting rig down there to get decent photographs, so I have only mediocre ones, at best.  Near the end of the tour, they’ve upgraded the lighting to multicolor LED projection bulbs.  They approximate sunlight, but I’m pretty sure they added a few filters for effect. Still, it’s better than the standard incandescent bulbs in the rest of the place.  Any pictures that have a lot of color (like the one below) were taken near the LED lighting.  Anything that looks mostly orange or brown were taken near the incandescent lights.

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Umm… it’s a cave.  IMG_1395It’s neat, but it’s definitely a cave.  I’m sorry, but I really don’t know how to describe a cave.  It’s such an alien place.  The pictures will have to do my talking for me.  I can tell you that this particular cave system is known for it’s formations, which are quite interesting and varied.  Some are strange enough to appear to defy the natural laws of physics.

Oh, expect to get a little cozy with others if you end up in a large tour group.  Some of the rooms and the passages are quite small. 😉

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