wacky tacky isn't always manmade; nature often reveals proof of a wacky tacky power of infinitely superior skill and imagination than even Sid & Marty Krofft!
|Would you believe that this rustic mill setting held the secrets to|
thousands of years of the Earth's most fascinating creations?
|I probably would not have believed it had I not followed this sign.|
A full-and-complete stop and then right to LOST WORLD CAVERNS!
The modern story of The Lost World Caverns in Lewisburg, West Virginia begins on a farm in the early 20th Century. Surveying his land, a local farmer found a hole in the ground; while this appears to be a less-than-Salk-worthy discovery, it proved a valuable commodity to a man who had little resources when it came to waste disposal. Examining the hole, he realized that it was the perfect size for eliminating farm refuse - including bovine carcasses. Where did it all go once down the hole? The farmer didn't care; he just knew that it took a long time for anything to hit the bottom and that his trash troubles were over. For years this practice continued until other caves and underground water supplies were being discovered in the surrounding area. In 1942, two college students were lowered on ropes into the mysterious darkness of the hole and what they saw (once they finished removing the filth of 1,000 rotting cows from their shoes) was another world - The Lost World!
|The startling discoveries did not end there. The Lost World Caverns was|
revealed to be the official home of that darling of the Weekly World News,
Intent on making some discoveries of my own, I too braved the abyss.
|Lucky for me, the entrance to the caverns was well lit and|
accessible by railed staircase rather than harness and rope.
|Armed with naught but a trusty flashlight and a laminated guide,|
I made my way into the depths of the Lost World.
|Coming into the main room of the caverns was incredible!|
A large group of people had just exited upon my arrival (purely coincidental I assure you)
so I had the whole thing entirely to myself; it was like being Indiana Jones, if only for a minute.
|You can bet a lot of yodeling/echoing took place...|
until I realized that I might be attracting a Sleestak!!
The real discovery in this adventure is that my resolute dispassion for the study of geology was abandoned for a genuine excitement over rock formations. I hope that it carries over into the reading of this post because there are plenty of geological wonders ahead!
|Doesn't it kind of look like a forest of Art Nouveau trees?|
|Stalactite? Stalagmite? This cave is always happy to see you.|
|This makes the sad, seaside, drip castles of my youth look positively pathetic.|
|It was at this precise moment when I realized that I was|
spelunking. I'm a spelunker!!!
|It's like gazing into the past...and maybe the future.|
|One of the largest rock formations of its type on record, the "Snowy Chandelier" weighs roughly thirty tons!|
|Definitely one of the best parts of the cavern expedition was the threat of an ancient cave bear...|
|and a curious cave bug???|
|From thirteen stories below, one can see the original hole in the ground|
from which the farmer fashioned a primitive garbage disposal.
|I can't be the only one who sees the giant tiki head, right?|
|The photos just don't do justice to nature's mineral rainbow - coral, aqua, and robin's egg blue.|
|According to Lost World Cavern history, the "War Club" stalagmite helped win|
a Guinness World Record for a dedicated stalagmite sitter. Although, I wonder how
much competition there is for the title of "World's Longest Stalagmite Sitter?"
Under most circumstances, an invitation to trek down into a dank, musty hole in the ground would have me in a light jog toward the nearest Cinnabon. For some reason, however, The Lost World Caverns made me feel like I had finally come home...
I guess I no longer have to wonder about my genealogy...
If you love nature and weird roadside attractions, then the Lost World Caverns might just be right up your alley...or down your hole.
"The Land of The Lost"