Cave Day & Upkeep
Jun 18, 2009
|Thursday, June 18th: Cave of the Winds, CO & Upkeep
Slept in–yay! We both had a restless night, so that was a good thing. Had a heavy breakfast of scrambled eggs and spinach and left for Woodland Park ~10. Crazy place with lots of other lost tourists, like us. Talked with a great guy who owns the tiny health food store, got some good ‘vittles at City Market (hope Wal-Mart doesn’t run them out of business), got quarters for laundry, and gas. It was a beautiful day–perfect temperature, partly cloudy, slight breeze. Pikes Peak was gorgeous, as usual.
for a lunch and a nap, then off again at 2:00 to go on a lantern cave tour at Cave of the Winds.
It is in an amazing canyon (Williams)
with a trail in the bottom we’d like to take someday.
The visitor center/tourist trap is built onto the side of the cliff and quite incredible.
Unfortunately, it is more spectacular than the cave.
We only saw a few formations
as we rushed to the part of the cave we saw with lanterns. Perhaps the part we didn’t see has more to it, but the section we saw was quite plain. The narrow, low tunnels we walked through in a bent-over posture had uneven steps, poor lighting (via the “lanterns”), and were quite a workout. The lanterns were made of aluminum buckets on their sides with a glass tube with lamp oil and a wick.
The best part was our guide, Bob, a spelunker and cave guide for many years, who was quite a character.
He was very enthusiastic and full of amazing cave stories. The history of the cave was very sad, and guests have even seen ghosts of the original owner and his wife. Bob had all of us blow out our lanterns for about 10 minutes, and he told us about a young man who was lost in a nearby cave for 4 days. Since we were in the largest room called the opera room (where they used to give performances), he asked if any one would like to sing, and Bill did. Bob sang as well, with a booming voice that really resounded. On our way back, he was most appreciative to Bill, saying that no one ever volunteers when he asks.
He also showed us a rare lampshade spider, with a web in the shape of a lampshade. Unfortunately, one of our party was deathly afraid of spiders and rushed by the spider without looking. Two others in our group had some difficulty, one young girl became ill and an older lady was physically distressed. An older man was over 6 feet tall, and I’m sure it was difficult for him. It did warn of the difficulties, but you never know quite what to expect. The tour was to last 1½ hours, but ours took almost 2. At the end Bob asked Bill if he would sing “If I Had a Hammer,” and they did. It was great, and the group applauded. We atlked to him afterwards, and Bob told us about the only other cave in CO, where he previously did tours, in Glenwood Springs. We hope to go someday (and swim in the world’s largest hot springs pool).
On the way down, we stopped to view the canyon, and I took many photos of it
and beautiful blooming yuccas (different from the ones in the SW, lower to the ground and tinged with pink).
Home to do laundry after dinner. It was so nice, we were even wearing shorts. However, We were happy to have been dressed warmly in the cave (54 degrees). We did some packing to make the transition easier tomorrow.