Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for Indiana Cave Country



      I couldn't take a trip down memory lane without including a story about the area where I grew up.  I grew up in an area of southern Indiana known as cave country.  Many caves can be found throughout the country- side, but many of them are unsafe.  Those you stay away from.  Fortunately, many of them have been explored extensively and are open to the public for guided tours.  These caves have been huge tourist attractions for a long time, evolving over the years into much more than just spelunking.  

      Within just a few miles of my hometown is Marengo Cave, Wyandotte Caves and Squire Boone Caverns.  Marengo Cave was the closest, only about 6 miles.  I only remember going through the cave once, but also remember that it was really neat.  The Crystal Cathedral  was amazing and as a child I enjoyed the gift shop.  While I was in high school they put in a swimming pool next to the cave and I understand now they have added other attractions such as mining for gold.  If you are ever in the area it would be well worth your time.

      Squire Boone Caverns didn't open up to the public until after I had moved away from the area.  I have to admit I have not been there but know it would be interesting for history buffs.  This was the homestead of Daniel Boone and he is buried in one of the small caves.  The old mill has been restored and a village with gift shops and other attractions can be found there as well as cave tours. 



      The caves I remember most are Wyandotte Caves.  As upper elementary students we took a lot of field trips to Wyandotte Caves because they were part of the Harrison County Forestry system and offered lots of educational programs.  The cave tours we took were not the ones most people want to take.  We took the educational tours where many of the passages were so narrow the only way to get through was to crawl on your stomach.   We would get dirty from head to toe and loved every minute of it.  Since we were pretty much left to explore on our own we would get in our little groups of friends and go exploring.  What fun we had!  And of course we always had to hit the gift shop taking home all sorts of rocks, wooden boxes and various trinkets.   You would have thought we had found hidden treasure!



   
      As a child I never appreciated the significance of all these caves being so close but now realize that my little area of southern Indiana is a paradise for spelunkers, history buffs and anyone who enjoys outdoor activities.  If you ever travel through the area I highly recommend you take a little time to explore a cave.

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat




25 comments:

  1. Caves are so neat to explore-- thanks for sharing!!

    Cheers, Jenn
    http://www.wine-n-chat.com

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    1. You are most welcome Jenn. Glad I could.

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  2. I am freaked out by crowds, tight spaces, and darkness (some times). I think a cave tour would be my nightmare! LOL!

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    1. Yes, Beth, I don't believe they are for everyone and it sounds like they definitely are not for you. :D

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  3. this is so COOL!! My hubby is from Cicero!! :0)goota love the Hoosiers...CAVE MEN hehe

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    1. Thanks Brenda. I never really appreciated my Indiana heritage until I got older.

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  4. Now these caves (bigger than bear caves) I could do! And my husband LOVES Daniel Boone - this may be a trip to be planned for us - thanks!

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  5. How cool! I really love Indiana--but the southern 1/3 of the state is especially beautiful.

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    1. I agree Beth. Even though I no longer live there I will always love Indiana.

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    1. Yes, Paula, they are pretty amazing. Glad I could share them with you.

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  7. I have just enough claustrophobia to know I could never go spelunking. They look really cool, tho.

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    1. No, caves are not for everyone. I would like to take my grandkids sometime but I will certainly have to stick to the walking tours now. No more crawling for me!

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  8. This is amazing. I would love to go check these out sometime!!

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

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    1. You should. I want to take my grandkids sometime.

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  9. Oh what an adventure! I would absolutely LOVE to go there!

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    1. There are a lot of neat places in Southern Indiana. I'm sure you would love it Maren!

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  10. I have done the cave thing in Kentucky and I have no desire to return to one. They really creeped me out. It's the darkness and the creatures that I found distressing. My kids, however, still love to explore a good cave. Whatever, I say. :)

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    1. It's been several years since I have been in one Jo. I would definitely have to stick to the walking tours now! :D

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  11. This is JUST the way I like to explore caves... from the other side of a glass screen! I love them, but I am one big chicken ;-0

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    1. That sounds like the best kind to me too k~.

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  12. Kat, I did not know that Indiana was known for its caves. Very interesting! I can only imagine how exciting is was for you kids to be exploring a cave, crawling around "cave style." Sounds a little eery to me, but I'm sure fascinating. :)

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    1. It was fun back then but I have no desire to crawl around in any nowadays!

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  13. These are so beautiful, Kat. I grew up in Illinois and I had no idea there were caves in Indiana. Wow. I wish we had visited these when we were kids. I've been to caves in New Hampshire and Texas. They're spectacular, but I'm afraid of the "crawl-through" ones. They're much better for kids with small bodies and no fear.

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    1. Yes, the crawling tours are definitely for kids. Luckily they all have walking tours that are much easier and much prettier.

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