Monday, August 31, 2015

Day 71: Luray Caverns

May 17: A zero day at least! Usually I take zero days with Amanda and we explore the countryside, but so far on this visit, she’s only slackpacked me through the Shenandoahs. Which, somewhat ironically, is a terrible place to slackpack because as a whole, it’s a fairly easy section of trail to walk.


But the weather forecast for today was less than great and today I’d finally get a zero. And Amanda’s idea for exploring the countryside included a visit to Luray Cavern. It meant a little backtracking for us since I’d already passed Luray on the trail. We had even spent a night in town!


We arrived in time for the first tour of the day and entered the cave. What can I say? It’s a cave! With lots of neat formations and tons of people. (I’ve heard it’s the most visited cave in the country, in fact.) But there’s not really much to write about the visit. Pictures show it better. =)


The formations in Luray Cavern were great!


Afterwards, Amanda had an inch to do the ropes course next to it. I reminded her about her fear of heights, but she still wanted to do it, so we roped up for that. I followed Amanda to the top of the course—three levels high—and she looked out over it and decided it was too scary and immediately turned around and started going back down a level. But… but…


I still wanted to do the high level and stayed up there. Amanda did the easier level that was also lower and finished up quickly. I did every part of the course at least once, though, because it was fun! And heights didn’t bother me. Not as long as I knew I was roped up and it was impossible for me to fall.


After I got down, then we headed next door and hit the life-size maze. It’s like a corn maze, except it wasn’t made out of corn. =) It had four checkpoints in the maze we had to hit, but by the time we reached the exit, we’d only gotten three of them. Amanda had enough of that and went out the exit. I headed back into the maze to continue looking for the last checkpoint. Eventually I found it and worked my way back out the maze again.


And finally, next to that was a historical museum so we went into that to explore. There was even a blacksmith shop with an older gentlemen working it and explaining how it all worked.


Before leaving Luray, we hit up a BBQ truck for lunch. Then we headed back to Front Royal where I continued working on blogs. At least until dinner when we drove out to Taco Bell for dinner. I walked back from Taco Bell when it was pouring buckets of rain and left the sidewalks in two inches of water. I was pretty shocked how flooded the sidewalks were! I’ve seen puddles of water two inches deep on sidewalks, but entire sidewalks covered with that much water was a novelty for me! I changed clothes when I got back to the hotel, then went back to working on blog entries. *nodding*








This organ was hooked up to the stalactites so each note on the organ would “buzz” the necessary rock formation to play music. It’s an intriguing concept, but I have to say, I hated it. Seeing wires running around the cave formations and all of the broken formations setting this up caused—it’s a travesty. I can’t imagine something like this would have been approved in this day and age, but our early ancestors weren’t as sensitive towards these priceless formations.


Amanda loves this picture of her, even though she is pretty blurry. Maybe that’s why she likes it. =)


Amanda took one look at this section of the ropes course three stories high and immediately turned around. I kept going, though!


Maybe I shouldn’t have, though…


Amanda tries to decide which way to go in the maze. Left, or right?


A mural on the wall in the historical museum.


The blacksmith works on a small piece.


Karolina said...

The cave formations are amazing! What a change of the landscape on this hike ;-).

TrailTroll said...

I agree with Amanda - she looks absolutely GORGEOUS in that picture of her in the cave with the rosey light.

Unknown said...

I agree also! The picture with Amanda in the cave is groovy looking =)
The cave looks amazing.. I'd like to see it, not sure about going underground though...

the rope course looks fun too!

Anonymous said...

Lurray is the biggest tourist cavern in the area. There are other caverns on the west side of the park ridge, each with their own special natural features. Any cavern visit during the summer is a welcome respite from the heat!

Honey Bear Clan said...

Was hoping to see a picture of the maze.