Slept so well that I slept through my alarm. That’s ok. Mother nature and her sun woke me up. Got food started and had lasagna with cheese for breakfast. While that was cooking up i broke camp again and put everything else away. Ate and quickly drove up to the center for my next two tours.
Left hand tour is done by candle light. Not tons to see by but that isnt the point. You get to see, literally, what it was like for the original explorers trying to venture in the tunnel. Your eyes adjust as well to the decreased light. The pictures were taken on the way out. I got lucky to be the last one out.
Not much time for the next tour so i just made a mousse pie for lunch. Then a quick stroll through the big room again. I took the shortcut to make it back out to the meeting spot. It was a very large group of 50+ people. It was fine. Lots of space and i’m naturally in the top 1/3 of the groups since i walk fast and want to hear the guide and take pictures of course. It was beautiful down there. There is still one more level down but that is off limits to tourists.
After the tour there was just enough time to hike up the path for the natural entrance. Another reminder that i’m in pseudoshape. No palpitations but it was grueling pace i had set myself to make sure i get out on time. Going down would be much easier and would probably unfold the structures better. Reminded again i need to invest in a small trip for the point and shoot. Lots of the photos came out blurry. It took about 40 min from the end of the tour to exiting the natural entrance.
I’m very glad i came down on this trip. I also saw that i’m not so fat i couldn’t do the caving trips where you need to crawl although i would need to mentally deal with the tight spaces. Those are back on the future trip list as i want to come back again with slr and tripod for the natural entrance and big room. I think I could easily spend most of one day on just those two as i enjoy the picture taking.
Back to the car and the trek home. Another beautiful day to drive. Maybe next time i’ll ride down and stay in a room.
I stopped writing too soon. On my way out I looked back and saw the scenic route i had wanted to try before and forgot about. They close the gate at 4:30pm and it was 3:30pm. 9.5 miles and gravel. Besides a scenic route it’s also a place were you can backcountry camp. It was slow going because of the gravel and grade but also because it was beautiful. Even slow i missed where the trail was for the camping. Probably because i was looking everywhere. I did find an overlook and went out and looked. I’ll have to look online for some photos of what the camping looks like in the area. Camping in an area called Rattlesnake Canyon does give me pause. It’s only a 1/2 mile hike down from the parking and you can just plop your stuff down somewhere in the canyon. There was a spot furthur up but i couldn’t remember where she told me it was. Should have brought a map.
Now i’m headed home. The long lonesome dive except for this i get to watch a kickin sunset.
p.s. I ordered a Joby minitripod with magnets. I’ll need to find a place/way to test it out.
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