Sunday, October 24, 2010

Marengo Cave

For one of our family outings, we decided to go to Marengo Cave, a privately owned cave in southern Indiana that operates commercial tours. Some of us wanted to take one of their crawling tours, but they didn't have any available that day, so we settled for the one-mile walking tour along the Dripstone Trail.

I noticed a few cave crickets near the entrance. They were more colorful than the cave crickets I see in caves out here in the desert. They acted pretty much the same, though: hang on to the ceiling and wall and not move.

Little Maria was a little tired at the start, so it was her day to get the royal princess treatment (like Emma got the day before) and be carried along the trail. She had plenty of willing arms.

The tour was in old stream passages, and the stream had eroded out wide and tall spaces. This made for easy walking, although in a few spaces they had dug out the cave floor to make it easier for visitors to traverse.

A stream still runs along lower passages in the cave, and that's where some of the crawling tours go.

Here was most of our family group that went on the tour. We even managed to appear fairly respectable. Maybe that's because it was the beginning of the tour. By the end, Desert Boy had gotten his clothes coated with mud. Despite it being a walking tour. In mostly dry passageways.

His uncles thought it was pretty funny.

Maybe they'll come over and do the laundry.

Here's the rest of our group: Emma and me. Photography by Desert Boy. He may need a few lessons in photography.

Miss Maria in her new throne.

I think she liked the cave. All the kids seemed to like it.

There was no screaming. There were no noxious smells from diapers. And, a little to my surprise, there were no urgent requests to find a bathroom.

Although most of the part of the 3+ mile long cave we toured didn't have formations, here and there we did see some nice ones, like this wall of columns and flowstone.

Desert Boy was a source of constant amusement along the trail.

Maybe this indicates how he got a little dirty.

The tour came to an end all too soon, and it was time to head back up to the daylight.

The plan was to go back to the cabin and eat lunch and then hang out at the nearby lake. Somehow I never managed to get a photo of the lake. And I didn't see too much of it, as I spent a good part of the afternoon napping.

And watching kids. They were so fun to watch as they interacted in various ways.

We also had to save some energy for our next day's adventures...

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