Wow! I love this challenge from the folks of the Lets Be Wild site. The challenge? Exploration! Right up my alley! Here is a link to their challenge in case you would like to enter their contest: Wild Weekly Photo Challenge I not only love participating in their challenges, but I love what others post too! There are some pretty amazing photos and if you have not visited their site, you might just want to take a look!
Here is what they are asking for: “Exploration – it’s something that has defined mankind for as long as we’ve existed. Humans have always had an insatiable need to explore, to push boundaries and go where others have never ventured, taking the road less traveled…”
Would you like to go on an adventure with me? Let’s head on over to the Moaning Cavern located in Vallecito, CA. This underground cavern located right in the heart of gold country!
Here is a map of the cavern:
We had a wonderful young tour guide who had enthusiasm exuding out her pores! The story goes that the local Indians of this area would hear what sounded like a child crying. They would go to investigate the sound, and the area at the time not being marked, people would fall into the hole in the ground. They found over 1400 bones at the bottom of the cavern! What they heard was the wind which would enter the cavern and then blow out making the sound of a child in harms way. She also pointed out, that for those of you who like to repel…well, imagine dropping carefully through the original entry into the cavern.
Next we are being led down a very narrow staircase. The fellow in front of me is very skinny, and the steps are very narrow. There are points on the way down where someone over 5’8″ has to stoop. The rail switches from side to side to make enough room for us to descend. I was startled when the gal in front of the man in the following photo tripped and caught herself. We are going down the stairs sideways…
We made it down to the first landing and I was definitely feeling it in my knees. It is slow going as we make it to the first landing, which is a little over a third of the way down, or 65 feet down into the cavern. Your depth perception gets skewed in a cavern such as this. Check out this photo which is of a very large stalagmite across the cavern.
I will tell you that this thing did not look really big and I was surprised when she told us that this length of this stalagmite is a little over six feet long. Even more amazing is that it is 25 feet away! Next we head down a spiral staircase that was built in 1922. We are walking down 16 stories to the bottom! Here is a shot looking up at the staircase.This staircase is the first arc welded structure and it is made from the scrap metal of an old World War I vessel.
Now let’s take a look around the cavern, shall we?Here is one last shot before I have go back up the stairs! Thanks for coming along with me as I explored this amazing cavern!
Be sure to check out all the entries into this week’s challenge! Click here! Feel free to leave me a comment!