Lava River Cave
Today we visited Lava River Cave, not far from the Lava Lands we've been exploring. The cave is more like a mile long tunnel, large enough most of the time to drive a car through, if you could get it past the mouth of the cave (shown above).
The cave is a constant 42 degrees, which I find refreshing when I'm hiking. The temperature outside was 70 deg. today. The cave was formed by a river of lava. The surface cooled, forming a tube with hot lava still flowing within the tube. As the lava subsided, what was left was a hollow tube. Fortunately, it's cooler now.
You can rent lanterns from the forest service, if you wish, but we relied on our trusty Maglite flashlights.
We hiked until almost the end, but turned back when the ceiling became so low we'd have to crouch or crawl the rest of the way. I enjoyed the hike, but it was also nice to see the mouth looming ahead on the way out. I wanted a soda.
There's something about emerging from a cool, dark cave that gives a feeling of rebirth. Welcome back to the world, you think. It's nice to be home.
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