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07 November 2004 Sunday

Luray Caverns visit

slated in scenery, moments at 11:02 pm

Alberto and I went to Luray Caverns yesterday, in Shenandoah, Virginia. While the drive there was littered with offensive signs, it was altogether a very pleasant drive with perfect weather, beautiful scenery, wonderful soundtrack and the best of company.

Luray Caverns: on the drive over
Driving through Red country on the way to Luray
Luray Caverns: The Old Man formation
The Old Man formation
Luray Caverns - Stalactites and Stalagmites
Stalactites and Stalagmites
Luray Caverns: Calcium Carbonate dripstone Stalactites
Calcium Carbonate dripstone Stalactites
Luray Caverns: Wishing Well
Wishing Well
Luray Caverns: The Drapery formations
The Drapery formations

The stalactites and stalagmites in the caverns were quite beautiful, and it is staggering to see the sizes and shapes of the formations and consider that it took 120 years for each cubic inch of dripstone to form.

Certainly for myself, one of the neatest things about Luray Caverns is to know that it’s been a tourist attraction for over 120 years (I guess some new cubic inches of dripstone must have formed in that time).. Somehow, thinking of masses of tourists and crowds wearing walking through the caves over a hundred years ago, just as we did yesterday, is beautiful.

The wishing well in the cave is a very cute feature… Apparently they collect thousands of dollars in coins from wishers each year, and I believe those donations go toward the preservation of the Caverns, and also towards other charities.

There’s also the ‘Great Stalacpipe Organ’, which is apparently the largest ‘natural’ organ in the world. The sound of it, made by gently tapping various stalactites. Honestly, I’ve never been fond of organ music, but the sounds from the Stalacpipe Organ are really beautiful.. quite chime-like.

It was a beautiful, beautiful day. On a side note, go watch The Incredibles. Pixar can do no wrong.

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