Saturday, June 7, 2008

San Antonio: Natural Bridge Caverns

On our way into San Antonio, we stopped off to tour Natural Bridge Caverns. This was an educational experience for Caleb; he had learned about caves earlier this year in earth science. He really enjoyed getting to see firsthand some of the things we had only read about.

We didn't have to wait long for the next tour after getting our tickets. Seven minutes later, we were headed down a steep ramp to the mouth of the cave. Once there, our guide told us about the history of the cave and gave instructions about walking through it. We thought we were going to enjoy a cool 70-degree walk in the dark, but the cave has a 99% humidity level and we were sweating in no time.

There were several large rooms inside the cave, as well as many steep, narrow passages. The formations were beautiful. The pictures we took don't do them justice. There were a few water pools and streams running through the cave, but there wasn't much water in them since there hasn't been much rain lately. Last August, there had been so much rain that one of the tour rooms was two-thirds full of water. Tours during that time had to be diverted onto a higher path.

We didn't see any bats while we were there, but there was evidence that they had lived there at one time. Aside from the bat guano in at least two of the cave rooms, there were dark patches on the cave ceiling where the dirt and oils from their bodies had discolored the rock. No formations will grow there now.

There was also one lone fern growing in the cave. Apparently a spore had been taken in somehow, and 40 years ago, when the cave was being made ready for tourists, a light happened to be place near it. It provided just enough light for it to begin growing. It's not very big - or very pretty - but it's there.

Enjoy some of my favorite photos from Natural Bridge Caverns.

No comments: