Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Calcite Crazy

The problem with someone like me going to a place like Luray Caverns is that I love that place. I end up with hundreds of pictures to sort through, each with some wonderful thing about it. Then, I must limit myself to sharing only a handful of those images with you, because I just don't have enough space to share all of them.

This is called dream lake. It is actually stalactites that are reflecting on about half an inch of still water. Quite the optical illusion.

This well-known calcite flowstone formation is known as Titania's Veil.

This bit of translucent drapery formation is part of the Saracen's Tent, said to be the most perfect drapery formation yet discovered.

Here is one of the mechanical hammers that make up the stalacpipe organ. Sound is produced when little hammers gently tap a stalactite, causing it to vibrate and produce a note. It is part of the largest musical instrument in the world.

When the explorers first strolled through the caverns with not much more than a few candle lanterns to light their way, they didn't realize that their path crossed itself several times. This column, named Pluto's Ghost for the Roman god of the underworld, appeared several times on their journey. Walking through the caverns with a much better lighting system, it is still easy to see how those explorers may have thought the ghost of an angry or curious god was following them.

Turtle hadn't been to the caverns in years. We didn't have time to hit the National Firearms Museum like we wanted, but this was the main draw for the day anyway. We learned that the cooler months are the best time to come; tours of twenty or more are reduced to six, and the three gift shops on site are running massive sales. It was a great day, and a great time spent with my friend.

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