Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Little Speleologists

Last week, I went with Ella's class up to Timpanogos Cave.
It's quite the hike - 1.5 miles and 1065 feet elevation gain. Within the last two weeks, a ranger has died and a school girl fell 100 feet off the trail. Needless to say, there were a lot of parent chaperones on this trip.
It's worth the huffing & puffing when you get to the top & enter the cave.
It was discovered over 100 years ago. I can assure you that if I were the one who came across the hole in the rock, I would not have come back to explore by candlelight.
The kids have been studying caves & excitedly pointed out the different formations in the cave like this cave bacon (formed by water running down a limestone cave wall or along a ledge which deposits calcite into delicate draperies. When minerals like iron oxide make stripes in the drapery, it is called cave bacon or bacon strip.)
And helicites.
A column in the making.
Heart of the Cave
The heart of the cave had really neat lighting though I had trouble capturing some green calcite nearby.
I was surprised how much Ella remembered from our fall tour. She spotted the alligator in this photo.
And remembered that the alligator bit off the nearby camel's leg & spit it out on the other side of the cave.
I had fun playing with the camera in the dark & listening to the kids bombard the tour guide with their expertise & numerous questions.
The kids all did really well - not too many complaints at all. Here they are collecting "cave kisses" on the way down the trail. It was a fun day & I am glad that I was able to juggle some projects at work to tag along with Ella's class.

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