|by the entrance|
Mike and the girls posed at the sign in the direct sun. Not the greatest photo as it was SO sunny I couldn't see at all what I was doing.
Here's me and Chloe and Naomi.
Our laminated pass for the Rotunda Throne tour.
Since we were so early we grabbed some lunch in the Bat Cave Cafe.
They had some interesting items like prickly pear cactus lemonade, and jalapeno raspberry jam, both of which Phoebe is sampling here!
After the cafe we killed some time in the "Discovery Center".
They had some rocks on display.
And apparently bones from a giant sloth were discovered inside these caverns.
Mike took a moment to play with the lights on the bat display.
Chloe posed by the map of the caves.
Finally it was time to head to the tram and leave for the caves.
We headed up the mountain to the cave entrance.
Chloe on the tram.
The view on the ride was quite pretty.
Finally we were at the mouth of the cave and headed inside. This is the part they blasted out, but behind the vault like steel door at the entrance. There's a lot of rules in the cave because they say it's still "living and growing". In fact there's so many rules it would be tedious to go over them all here, but one of them is no cameras, so this is not my photo. Anyway, the tour guides are pretty jaded and are quick to yell if you break a rule, so tread carefully.
This is inside the "real" cave on the walkway.
This is a photo of the mud (the cracked area on the bottom). This mud goes very deep and the 2 men who discovered the cave are the ones who made the tracks you see there. They trudged through that mud (thigh deep), knocking over little stalactites called soda straws so they could get into another room of the cave behind that rock.
Our final stop on the tour was this little theater where we watched the light show.
The light show was in the Rotunda room around this huge column formation called "Kubla Kahn"
It was a pretty impressive room, though I guess the best room is called the "Big Room", but that's closed this time of year due to sleeping bats. All in all a pretty good tour, though our tour guide had a tendency to go into scientific detail about things like carbonic acid, but would casually refer to formations like "the fried egg" without showing us one and expect us to know what she was talking about. Sometimes I felt a little lost.
For the first time ever Chloe found her name on something in the gift shop and was super excited for 30 seconds before she realized while the label said "Chloe" the actual necklace said "Amy". Oh well, she'll have to muddle on with her life without a Chloe necklace.
In other news I've been busy with my Sea Monster for the Grand Ave festival, but I'll save that for next time... Cheers!