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Going Caving
Published on March 28, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about going caving.

Here's an excerpt:

"I recently visited Howe Caverns, the popular Schoharie County cave, for the first time. I feel a little embarrassed to admit this — I’ve lived in the Capital Region for over a decade, but had never visited one of the area’s big attractions. And I’m not one of those people who is afraid of caves. I like caves. I think they’re fun!

For some, the appeal of caves is hard to fathom. Caves are dark and frequently occupied by bats; they often require visitors to navigate tight spaces and put aside their fear of the unknown. However, caves can be beautiful as well as fun: They contain stalactites and stalagmites, interesting rock formations and cool features such as streams and crystals. Going into a cave offers a glimpse into a hidden world, and provides a certain thrill — it can be exciting to follow a guide down a darkened path, through winding passages, deeper and deeper into the earth.

My cave experience is not extensive. I’ve been to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, Lewis and Clarke Caverns in Montana, Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota and the Secret Caverns, located down the road from Howe Caverns. Mammoth Cave is pretty impressive. Wikipedia informs me that it is the longest known cave system in the world, with some impressive features — giant vertical shafts, rivers populated by blind fish, glittering gypsum crystals. Lewis and Clarke isn’t quite as amazing, but its beautiful formations are very much worth seeing. What makes Wind Cave interesting is its boxwork — a honeycomb-like calcite formation that projects from a cave’s walls and ceilings."

Click here to read the whole thing.

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