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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Spelunking—LOTS of pictures!

Yesterday, hubby and I met my brother at Maquoketa State Park to explore the caves. I admit, I was a little nervous because I’m not a big fan of caves. Prior to this, I had only been in one cave, and it was a guided tour—nothing like what we saw at Maquoketa! I took TONS of pictures. I’ll share a few here with you!

First off, this was the road that our GPS took us on to get to the park….you can’t rely on GPS! But we had fun in our new Jeep!

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And here we are before:

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Going down in to the Dancehall Cave. It’s hard to capture how massive this is. This was the largest one.

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The other caves were much smaller and I was a lot more uncomfortable in them! But I pushed my limits and did what I WANTED to do. I did not crawl into any small spaces that I was afraid I would get stuck in.

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The guys were a lot more adventurous.

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While I didn’t climb like the above picture, I did climb up inclines like the one below.

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And here is my death grip on hubby at the top of such cliffs. lol

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We did a lot of hiking from cave to cave. It was absolutely gorgeous. We were glad we invested in some good quality hiking boots! We plan on doing more hiking. It was amazing how much we worked our arms and legs, such a great workout.

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There were nasty spiders all over in these caves. They didn’t move, but shine a flashlight on the walls and you’d see them everywhere. I was hoping to see a bat, but didn’t see any.

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And mosquitos hanging down from the cave walls. I’ll admit, it was so gross. lol But totally worth the experience.

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But there were beautiful natural sites along the way:

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Some of the caves were just gorgeous inside. They are pitch black. Absolutely no light. Hence the flashlights. So when taking pictures, you can’t see anything. It was so cool to see what you would see after the flash!

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Some caves were MUCH smaller than others, so that you had to kneel down to get in, or crawl in.

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The caves stay the same temperature all year round. They are slightly chilly. This picture is just freaky looking…you can see your breath in some of them, but doesn’t it look like ghosts? haha

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Like you’re on Mars or the moon or something.

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I’m always intrigued by finding random things. Don’t ask. lol I just always wonder what the story is…some kid lost his toy!

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The balancing rock:

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This dog came to visit us while we were eating lunch. The friendliest dog you’d ever meet!

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This cave was called the Wye Cave and it totally freaked me out. I about had a panic attack while inside and had to get out of there. I was mostly worried because hubby and my brother crawled into a very small enclosure to get to another part of the cave, and they couldn’t hear me and I was so worried! This was the cave where someone got stuck earlier this year. This is how you had to get in…literally climbing down a hole.

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But once you climbed in, you could literally stand up.

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But I just can’t shake the feeling that I had in there! Such fear! And my imagination goes a mile a minute. Thankfully there was a group of experienced spelunkers in there and they asked if I wanted to get out of the cave and helped me back up. Thank you, whoever you were!!

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In this cave, they literally climbed through a 4’ space a little over a foot tall, with water below. Hubby was able to hold himself up and he shimmied through, but my brother got soaked. They were feeling pretty hard core after this one.

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Love those pictures! You can see the excitement written all over their faces.

This was also the cave where a 13 year old boy wanted to take his picture with me (on my camera) and he kissed me!! OMW. What a weird experience. I have the picture, and you can see my brother laughing his head off… I don’t want to post the picture of the kid, but I have to show you my brother and hubby’s faces…

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And my brother dancing a little dance on the trails. Smile

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Me trying to be tough…I’m not sure what I actually look like. LOL

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I didn’t even attempt this one…

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But ultimately, it was a good experience. And beautiful.

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And here we are at the end. I don’t look nearly as dirty as the guys, but I was dirty!

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What a fun day! I can’t wait for more adventures like this one!

6 comments:

  1. Wow...what a dirty,awesome day!

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  2. Cool. What a rugged group of kids you are :)

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  3. Pretty cool! I've never seen anything like those caves in real life. I am so deathly afraid of spiders I don't think I could go into a dark cave knowing they were in there.

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  4. oooh looks like fun, except for all the bugs!

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  5. That sounds like such an awesome adventure! We have some caves just a minute from our house but they get very small very fast - I am nervous to go very far inside of them!

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  6. What a complete and utter BLAST!!! Thanks for sharing the cave photos with us!!! Have a great Monday.

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