Next Blog

  Sunday, June 18, 2006

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.

Blog Tag: Chatter


At 6/19/2006 9:56 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Were there bats inside?

At 6/19/2006 10:22 AM, Blogger dkgoodman said...

Excellent question!

In point of fact, the cave is closed from December through May to avoid disturbing the roosting bats who use the cave to hibernate over the winter.

Sadly, though, there were no bats that we could see during our hike.

We like bats. They eat tons of bugs.

At 6/20/2006 10:47 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Did it smell???
The photos are very impressive :o)

At 6/20/2006 11:55 PM, Blogger dkgoodman said...

How could it smell? It didn't have a nose!

Seriously, though, it smelled fine. I saw no evidence of guano, or of any life at all, really. The cave "breathes" from pressure changes, so the air inside is pretty fresh, and it's hard to smell anything at 42 degrees (Fahrenheit) anyway.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home