Description

I own no land, instead I have wheelestate. I’ve been a full time RVer since 1997. Working summers as a Park Ranger takes me to many beautiful places and playing during the winter takes me to many more. This blog is simply the story of my life's adventures.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oregon Caves tour (Part two)

For My World Tuesday click here.



Welcome back to Oregon Caves National Monument. If you didn’t leave the cave at the 110 exit then there’s about 400 more stairs to go. Click here for first part of cave tour.

Cathedral Arch

Caves actually get more beautiful with age.

Banana Grove

Niagara Falls

Up until 1886 Niagara Falls was the end of the cave. Then one day Walter Burch felt a breeze and found a small hole which he enlarged. He had to crawl through in his longjohns to get through, pushing his clothes in front of him and carrying a candle for light.
Walter climbed about 30 feet down a rope and crawled through the “blow hole” ....

Blow hole passage. Big stalagmite called the wishing post was once rubbed by every visitor.

...and found himself in what is now called Miller’s Chapel.

Miller’s Chapel


Named after Joquin Miller, also known as the poet of the Sierras, who helped the cave become protected in 1909. The “Chapel” part, because of a wedding.

Historic photo from NPS archives

Time to move on to the largest room in the cave.

Leaving Miller’s Chapel

The Ghost Room


Welcome to the Ghost Room, the size of a football field. Sorry no ghosts. From here we’ll be making a side trip...

Stairs up to Paradise Lost

...climbing about 90 steps round trip. You can pass on this if you want, but....

Paradise Lost

From the Ghost Room floor we are about 150 feet underground. It’s all uphill from here.

Angel Falls

Entering the Wedding Cake Room

We’re on the last leg of our journey and will be passing through more human blasted tunnels and natural cave.

Broken flowstone shows calcite crystal formation

Black bear bones

During reconstruction of the trail in 1998 black bear bones dating 3,000 years old were discovered. Many fossils of small animals have been found near cave openings. But the oldest bones belong to a 38,000 year old jaguar discovered not far from the Ghost Room in the early 1990s.

Exit tunnel and air-lock door

If we can just make it through this door we’ll see the light of day again.

Looking out cave exit

I’ll bet you figured we’d never make it out of the cave. We only saw about one third of the total cave, the rest requires much crawling and climbing. There’s three and a half miles of cave passages. So, do you want to go back in and crawl around?

Looking back at cave exit

9 comments:

Natural Moments said...

I forgot about the side trip to Paradise Lost. That's not a good sign is it. :) But because of your trip into the Underworld, I have found paradise once again. YaY.

George said...

This was fascinating and the pictures are beautiful. When does the tour for the rest of the cave leave?

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Wow Gaelyn!! These are brilliant pictures but I am exhausted now!! :) All those stairs on these old legs!! :) Just kidding. :) Thank you for the trip, I really enjoyed it. You are a good guide.

dAwN said...

I have never been to those caves...but I will put them on my list of places to bring our wheels to.
Thanks for visiting my site...Is it cold in Arizona now?

W. Latane Barton said...

Caves are very interesting and beautiful but they scare me. Don't ask me why. I just don't like going in caves. those pictures were outstanding.

Ruth said...

What a unique and very beautiful place. I will likely never see it in person, so thanks for sharing your photos.

Ishtar said...

The cave is AMAZING! We have nothing like it here in Niger! When I think about it, I don't think any of my Nigerien friends would dare to join me on a venture "down below", as there is none of that here. Is it dark all the way through, or does light seep in, in different places?

Max-e said...

These caves are really amazing. Great pictures. I will definitely take the whole tour

Susie of Arabia said...

Fantastic photos! Really fascinating stuff here!

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