Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day Trip

With the anticipation of the season beginning to change, I have gotten the urge to do some camping. Because of the severe drought the first couple of years we were here we were not able to do any camping. After all, what's camping without a campfire or creek water nearby???

Our plan was to go searching for suitable camping areas. Last night at our 4-H meeting someone recommended we check out Inks Lake.

Today, we programmed Miss GPS and we were on our way. I was excited. It was a beautiful, warm day and I always look forward to seeing a part of the Austin area that I have never seen before.

On the way to the lake we passed by Longhorn Cavern State Park. Although it was not on our intenerary for the day we decided to stop and atleast get some info. for future purposes.



There are many benefits of homeschooling and one of them is being off during the week to enjoy attractions crowd-free. There was not a tourist there but us. We got there right at the time they were going to give a cave tour. Unfortunately their restrooms were being "maintained" and there was no way I could hold that 16 oz. coke I just drank from lunch for an hour and a half cave tour.

We decided that we would go on down to the lake, use the restroom, get some camping info., and pass time until the next cave tour. Since I knew that we were going back to the caverns I didn't want to pay to go into the State park so the ranger allowed us a pass to drive around and check out the camping area.

I was very impressed with what I saw and look forward to planning a camping trip soon. We made our way back to the caverns just in time for the next cave tour. Luckily we were the only ones going on the tour. I hate to tour with a bunch of other people that have tons of questions that prolong the tour.

In just a few words the cave was AMAZING!! We have been on cave tours before but this cave was massive with beautiful crystals throughout parts of the cave. There were so many different rock formations and openings within the cave. My pictures will never capture the real beauty of the inside of that cave. We walked a mile and a half inside the cave but it was much larger than that.

Entering the cavern...



Recently in the past few months I have seen Summer mature quickly. Today only reinforced that she is not the same kid she was just a year ago. The cave was very daunting and dark. The guide turned around and locked us inside of the cave with a huge metal door. From past experiences, I was sure she would freak out but she managed to be calm.

When we first entered the the cave I "felt" something behind me. When I turned around to peer into the darkness behind me I vaguely glimpsed what looked to be a male figure "walk" by. It prompted me to ask the guide if anyone had ever seen any ghosts in the cave before. The guide replied that "yes" he and others have caught glimpses of figures in the cave before.

The Caverns are listed as one of the most ghostly places in Austin. I figured at this point in the conversation Summer would totally lose it and demand to get out of the cave. Instead she just clung to Toby the whole tour.

I was having a hard time trying to get pictures. I didn't want to be left in the darkness as they walked ahead of me while I took pics so I was snapping pretty quickly. It was a very creepy feeling.

The guide pointed out a hibernating bat to us. He was a definite cool factor in the cave. We had never been that close to a live bat in the wild before. We had our faces right up on him trying to get a glimpse. I had a fear we would "wake" him and he would fly in our faces.



My pics of the inside of the cave do it no justice at all. If you want to see some good pics of the inside of the cave click on my link Longhorn Cavern State Park above.



Summer clung to Toby the whole time so the ghost wouldn't get her.



Believe it or not, this is a natural rock formation that was found inside the cave...



This the view from the observation tower at the caverns...



I was trying to get a pic of us at the top of the tower capturing the view behind us, but for some reason the back view is pure white. Dumb camera...



I added a short video of the view which is probably better than any pic I got of it...

video

2 comments:

  1. What a great blog, I love to read real life blogs. Especially those about real life people, as I am that type of person myself.

    I love life & try to help others to achieve the same. I also have a personal blog about myself and my life in Darwin Australia.

    I have joined this blog and would like to visit it as often as possible. Thank you for the experience.

    Hey...Life Is Good....with friends!

    Allen Sentance Fisherman

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  2. Love the tour, and I think you are all exceptionally brave to be locked into a cavern for 1.5 hours with ghosts! Wow. That formation that looked like a dog could be the ghosts dog...

    How wonderful to enjoy such a beautiful place in the middle of the week. It has been lovely to do the same with my husband. We had always had to work around my husbands work or children's school in the past. It makes such a difference! Now we stay home on the weekends and do everything else during the week. Lake Tahoe in the summer can be crowded.

    This looks like a great camping area. I'm starting to get the bug, too.

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