caving

If you are looking for an unusual weekend activity, and you aren’t claustrophobic or afraid of the dark, then spelunking is always a fun option.  Don’t confuse this with the beautifully lit caverns that you casually walk through, this is the real deal.  This particular cave, Glade Cave, is located about 2 hours outside of D.C. and is extremely muddy.  But I think that adds to the fun.  You will be guided through tiny spaces that open up into larger rooms..sometimes you will be standing and others you will be crawling on your belly in the mud.  At times you will even help your cave-mate climb up or down the slippery cave ledges.  If you are brave, you can lead the pack for a while, lighting the way.  And if you are superr brave you can turn off your headlamp and crawl through one of the loops in the pitch black (no thanks).

A tiny headlamp on your helmet is all you need to see the many tunnels and crevices of the cave.  And you will be happy that you are required to wear that helmet– in parts where the ceiling is low, you will hit your head at least a dozen times (maybe that’s just us clumsy folk).  But despite the mud, the dark, the crawling, and the hitting of the head, it really is sooo much fun.  Truly an amazing experience.

Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting permanently stained with orange mud.  The guide will provide you with the helmet, headlamp, and a bag.  Pack a change of clothes for afterward, as you will not want to climb back into your car caked in mud.

I found the guide, Lester, on wildguyde.com.  You can email him at lester@wildguyde.com.  More info on his caving tours here.

bryce 4Can’t beat the scenery

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IMG_5359Entering the cave is an awesome experience in itself– after walking through a field, you come to this hole in the ground…and iiin you go..

IMG_7238One of the many tunnels of the cave

IMG_7241Itty bitty spaces

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IMG_7244Solid teamwork

IMG_5363Holymoly mud.

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Oh yeahh, feelin’ sexy.

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We were even given these cute pins!  (if you are lucky you will see some tiny bats)

kids Throw back!  Back when we had to use carbide lamps…eek.

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