Monday, July 23, 2007

sequoia camping: crystal cave

we left the campsite after everyone else. we drove to lodgepole and went shopping at the gift store and bought tickets to see the crystal cave. we ate lunch then headed down there. we were behind the slowest minivan that would not use a turn off to let us pass him. the trip down the road to get to the caves took 45 minutes, and on the way our only took about 15. we will just put it that way. we got to the cave before everyone else, but there is a gate to keep people out without a guide. they call it spiderweb gate and it is pretty cool. the middle part of it spins... and it becomes a door in and out of the cave system.

when everyone finally arrived, we stood at the entrance and got the lecture about how you arent supposed to touch anything because the oil on your hands stops the growth of the formations, and keep up with the group, and follow the lead guide. all of which rules were rpomptly broken by the people in our group. parents let their kids run everywhere and touch everything... people were taking pictures and talking when we were supposed to be sitting in the dark learning about echolocation... and the list goes on. but the caves were amazing and we saw some really cool stuff. the cave was made of marble, so lots of the stuff we saw had the pretty marble swirls like a counter top. some of the formations have been there forever, and others were formed when they blasted part of it out to make the path for tourists like ourselves. they have discovered species of animals that only exist in this cave system. crystal cave is part of a system that is the 4th largest in california, but we were only exploring about one half mile of the entire system. it was so cool.

however, i learned that next time we go, we should pay the extra couple dollars to go on the ages 13 and up only tour. plus, it is longer. who wants to go with us next year?

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