Spelunking was a new word and a new experience unlike any I have had before. I have hiked, rafted, rock climbed, but have never explored a cave. I will admit, I have been fearful of caving because I think I am claustrophobic in some ways. In Colorado, I have toured caves. One being the Cave of the Winds, which had lights that showcased the cave. I have also hear from some friends that have crawled through caves, twisting their heads to get through tight spaces. So going into this, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Fortunately, spelunking became a eye opening experience.
Before entering the cave, is a water fall that cascades into a sink plunge. The water seems to disappear in the small pool, which is where the cave across for the waterfall gets its name, because the water is “lost”.
Here we find ourselves at the largest openings to the cave. As you can see, the proportion of the people in our group compared to the opening is giant. It was hard to adjust my eyes to darkness in the cave. I was glad I had a headlamp.
A look back from entering the cave and you can see the lost creek waterfall directly across. Since Tenn. just received a lot of rain, a little creek is flowing from the waterfall into the cave on the right. Which also made the walking through the cave more challenging to avoid stepping into a puddle of water.
A closer look at the ceiling of the cave and ceiling level. The ceiling of this cave has been breaking down for thousands of years, creating a high ceiling for the cave.
It’s hard to take pictures in a cave but here is one that my friend took of a baby bat. Yes a bat was in the cave. Luckily, it was sleeping.
After we left the cave we loaded back into the van and our guide took us to a place nearby called Burgess Falls. I wasn’t expecting this…
Definitely, a moment of complete awe.
I couldn’t help but do my signature, hands in the air celebration picture.
It was a mile hike to this fall, but from my Colorado hiking background it was about the equivalent of my favorite trail run. Which explains why I jogged all the way back.
To sum up the experience..
Physically: It was easy, but watching out for rocks a puddles in the cave was challenging. The waterfall was an easy walk. On the way back up from the fall is at least 3 switchbacks loaded with steps in a steady incline.
Mentally: In the cave, it was out of my comfort zone, because I couldn’t see exactly where I was going.
My friend always says “There are three things we can watch forever: Fire, the sky, and water. Burgess falls was definitely in that category of items I could watch all day.
I would love to come back to both of these sites during the spring or summer. Or anytime of year.