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Monday, July 23, 2012

Another Fabulous Blog OR Enter the Caverns of DOOOOOOM!!

Yes, having moved to a strange new locale, we were forced to go out and explore the local area.  Next weekend is Jet skis where I will probably end up with black eyes and a sunburn.  This weekend we went to Cathedral Caverns.

(You might be asking yourself why we didn't just go to the movies but we wanted to explore.  Say it with me slowly.  Exxxxxxplllloooorrrrrrreee.  There's the full effect.  We wanted to seek out the new and unusual or the odd or the stuff that would make our asses hurt while there's a 100% rate of humidity.  Seriously, HIM told me that Alabama was just like Virginia.  HIM was lying like a dog on a hot day on a porch!  HIM's pants are on fire.  HIM said in his defense that April in Alabama was just like Virginia, but what HIM should have said was that April in Alabama is just like Virginia in July.  I need a fire extinguisher for HIM's patootie.)

Where was I?  Oh, yes.  Caverns.  I have been to Carlsbad Caverns thirteen times.  (That's another story, by the way.)  Also we went to Luray Caverns and Skyline Caverns and there was this cool ice cave in Oregon where my father dragged us when we were little kids.  Arnold Ice Cave.  I might have to take a break and google it to see if it's still open.  (It is but it's not developed and you have to have a GPS to find it plus a coat because the stairs are covered with ice.  Also a flashlight with fresh batteries helps.)
Cressy in front of the cave's entrance.  I told her
to look out for bats and she glared at me.
Notice she's wearing a headlamp on her head.
Thanks to her great aunt Nancy for that.
Aunt Nancy was always the cool aunt
who sent cool presents.  You gotta love an aunt
who sends a headlamp to a six year old girl
instead of a Barbie doll.  Really.
Damn, that's a big a** hole in the ground
and I don't mean HIM.
Cressy, our eight year old daughter and would be spelunker, was excited.  Caves were meant to be explored.  OMG, there was a cave and we were there.  Soon we were joined by fellow parental brethren, whose children looked enviously at Cressy's headlamp.  (But the gift store sold hard hats with lamps for $13.95 so they had to break out the credit cards.)

Soon we were joined by Gizmo, who was our tour guide.  Gizmo didn't have any front teeth and said, "I'm just a good ol' country boy."  (Imagine 5 foot six inches of a good ol' country boy with a ZZ Top beard and a beer gut that would make Budweiser proud.)  (The National Park Service needs to review it's dental insurance.)  Several children hid behind their parents but Cressy felt brave enough to tough it out.
The man on the left is Gizmo.  I couldn't get
him to smile for the camera but he
did point out a megalodon tooth and
a cave spider.  I didn't hear banjo music so
all was well.
Actually Gizmo was very entertaining, although a group of college students in the back didn't care for his humor.  (One perky girl took exception to his asking, "What's your name, lil' girl?"  I think she might have taken too many legal classes in school.)

We did see the nuclear fallout shelter sign in the cavern.  So if a nuke fell we were in the right area.  Yea!  We would survive nuclear Armageddon.  We would protect our cavern from the glow-in-the-dark zombie annihilation to come.  We would eat cave spiders and...I'm wandering again, aren't I?
I took a picture because I wasn't sure if anyone
would believe me.
We did a lot of walking downhill which made me wonder if there was an escalator or an elevator on the far end.  (Haha.  Gizmo thought that was funny as hell.)
Cressy protects HIM from cave spiders,
unruly, pre-menopausal college students, and
Swedish tourists.  "Ja, a cave, ja."  "Jog förstår inte."
"Jag smäller av."  (The Swedish people who
read my blog are going to laugh their asses off.)
There were lots of stalactites and stalagmites, and I still can't remember the difference.  There were also several memorable columns that looked like giant penis's, but were called something else.  A bell.  An ice cream cone.  A rounded tower.  (I wondered what kind of bells, ice cream cones and towers the people who did the naming were used to looking at, but I guess it was just me.)

Gizmo also pointed out a megalodon's tooth in the ceiling of the cave, which looked suspiciously like a wad of black bubble gum to me.  There was something about the cave being underwater at one point in time millions of years before and sharks loosing teeth because of poor dental insurance and such, (must be the same insurance company the National Park system uses), but I was too busy avoiding the imaginary bats flying around.  (Cressy might have been provoked.)

We sweated a lot considering it was mostly downhill.  At the end of the path Gizmo did some tricks with his Maglite (which sounds a lot more dirty that it really was) and the kids went "Oooo," and "Ahhh."  He turned off all the lights so that we could see what being in a cave without light was like.  Then in complete and utter darkness, someone farted loudly.  I suspected HIM but he said it wasn't him.  Possibly a college student or one of the Swedish tourists.  (The poor bastards probably ate some local cuisine before they came to the caves and were waiting for just the right moment to let it rip.)

Gizmo cut us loose at the end of the trail and basically said, "Hasta la pasta, ya'll."  We had to walk uphill about half the way where I collapsed at the entrance to the caverns.
Finally!  We reached the cave entrance again.
Cleverly I used the ruse of taking a picture as
an excuse to catch my breath.
Upon reaching the exit/entrance, we entered the gift shop.  (Unlike Luray Caverns in Virginia, Cathedral Caverns missed the boat by not making the tourists exit purposely through the gift shop.  Their loss.  It didn't matter for us because Cressy was locked on target.)  Cressy bought a pink and gray camouflaged bat.  (I don't make these things up and yes, I have photographic proof.)
See.  I didn't make this up.
And for those of you who are wondering,
those are walnuts on the end of sticks.
Then we went to Red Robin.

The bat wanted to drink a Screaming Bloody Zombie
but she couldn't show her driver's license.
More cavern induced zaniness followed.

I called the bat a lush plush
and HIM insisted I take a pic for
the blog.  Nice to get the family
involved in my blogging activities.
Next week: Jet skis and sunblock.  Who will persevere?  (Yes, Cressy will have SPF 75 on as well as a life jacket.  Probably some floatie things on her arms and some other forms of protection I haven't yet thought about yet.)


Sara S. said...

I've always loved caves, hope to someday get to one of the big ones. Just little Cave of the Mounds here in WI.

I could never remember which was which with the stalags either, then the tour guy at Cave of the Mounds gave me this tip and I've always remembered it:

Stalagtites hold "tite" to the ceiling.

I never got a headlamp, or even a hardhat with a light on it :-(

Carwoo said...

HIM always says something about tight to the ceiling but I still get them mixed up. There was also pipes sticking out of one of the cave's walls from when the original owner was developing the cave and Gizmo called them (with a tired chuckle) "stalagpipes." Hahaha.

Anonymous said...

I don’t get it