So one day while visiting the fam in Maryland, the Abster and I decided to take a little trip to some caverns. Not the famous Luray Caverns of Virginia, but some ones that were closer. The auntlings weren't interested in going with us, so we headed out to the Crystal Grottoes near Boonsboro.
When we pulled up right at the time they opened, we were the only car in the parking lot. Made me wonder if they were really as stupendous as advertised. Then a lady came running out (smoking a cigarette) and put up the "OPEN" sign out on the highway. Ok. We walked up to the front door and there was a guy sitting on the picnic table near the front door. He was also smoking a cigarette. He nodded at us as we entered the door and inside we were greeted by a shriveled up older lady who was smoking a cigarette. The room was practically bare- no postcards, no books about the caverns, no photos, no "wall of history"... nothing. I was starting to wonder what sort of mom-and-pop cave operation I had gotten us into. (And I only mention the smoking because where we live there are fewer and fewer smokers every year. It's rare to see one per week, let alone three in a span of a few minutes.)
I paid the fee and we were told there there was a guided tour in a few minutes. We waited and then two other people joined us, and then our tour guide.
I thought the five of us were a rather small group, but when we got down into the caverns, it became clear that you really didn't want more than that at a time in the narrow passageways.
|This is the "coral" formation.|
|This formation is called "cooked bacon"|
As you can see, the formations were interesting and varied, and well worth the time and money for the tour. The guide was interesting and entertaining and she took the time to answer all of our questions. She even did a few seconds of "T.D." (Total Darkness) just for dramatic effect. (I didn't take a picture of that.)
The best part? It was 54 degrees F in the caverns. So much nicer than the humid 93 degrees up top!