Sunday, May 20, 2007

Of Strawberries and Spelunking

It's been a wonderful weekend! Fresh air, blue skies, and friendship. What could be better?

Verne and Collin left for a Scout camping trip on Friday evening. My friend Jennifer's husband and boys went also. This left us with some free time. I invited her over and we sat and gabbed and quilted for several hours on Saturday. Very relaxing. Thanks, Jen!

Later in the evening my guys came back home. I sat and stitched on a few strawberry pincushions while they told me all about their adventures. I originally saw these on Kelli's blog. There are more to come. They're ready to be filled and embroidered. Then I'll have a bowl full. They are easy and cute as can be!

We enjoyed a morning of worship with a sweet time of fellowship afterward. THEN, we went to Fazoli's for lunch, and had an exciting spelunking trip. For those of you whom don't already know, spelunking is caving. We had a great time. I prefer not to be in the hot sun, and so this was the perfect adventure for me. A cool 57 degrees. Mmmm.... delicious! We learned alot, too!

This particular cave was used for mining saltpeter. The earliest history of this cave is dated back to before 1769. During the war of 1812, about 70 miners worked in the cave. The saltpeter was used in making gunpowder. We learned that the miners often made moonshine, and kept pigs in the cave to eat the mash by-product of the moonshine so as not to be caught!

The cave features a primitive water system consisting of hollowed out poplar trees that were used as pipes to wash the saltpeter. They have recovered several old large kettles, tools, and an ox-cart as well. These are all on display near the end of the cave tour.

We saw bats who, thankfully, were sleeping, a packrat's nest, and stalagmites and stalactites. We learned that animals who make their homes in caves but return to the outside world to feed are called trogloxenes. These include bats, bears, packrats, snakes, raccoons, swallows, moths, and foxes.

One of my favorite parts of the cave was called Fat Man's Misery, Pinch 'em Tight, and Devil's Run. In this cave, they also called this stretch Signature Alley. The names are because this is a very narrow passage in which you must turn sideways to fit through it. A very large person would have a problem. Signature Alley is because for centuries, people have signed their names as they passed through this area of the cave. They no longer allow people to do this, but it was exciting to see it. We saw a great many signatures from the late 1800's and early 1900's. The oldest signature dates back to 1769, and belongs to none other than Daniel Boone! I would have loved to spend more time in this part of the cave reading the signatures.

Can you tell that I enjoyed this trip?


Trella said...

What a wonderful trip. Some of my favorite family vacations were when we would visit Tennessee and go see all the caves. I just find them so interesting.
Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Lori B said...

Thanks for sharing the slide show of your trip to the cave.
It looks like you had a fun time.
Most of those photos were beautiful.
Not the bat one (EEKK). HeHeHE.
I would've been glad he was sleeping too.

Kelli said...

Your pincusions are sooo cute, Tracy!!! I love your embroidered tops, I'm going to have to try that next! It sounds like a wonderful trip! I'd have to skip the bat part with Lori though..hehee.


Emily said...

Sounds like a great trip Tracy! Also those strawberry pincushions are so cute!

Anna S said...

Hi Tracy, that sounded like fun! Thanks for sharing. I've wanted to make some pincushions for a while now. These are very cute! I think I'll follow the link and have a look...

Beach Girl said...

What fun! I love the fun things to do that are also educational.

You have another trip coming soon. :-)


Anonymous said...

Love the strawberries, Tracy! That looks like the perfect project to take along whenever waiting will be way to fill up the time.

Spelunking. Caves. Bats. Oh my.

Christie Belle said...

Oh, this looks like fun. Caves scare me a little bit though. This one doesn't look too bad, I think I could handle it, lol. The pictures were really neat, thanks for showing them to us.

Becky said...

That was sure fun. I feel as if I've had a field trip and I never left my family room. How fascinating. It almost beats a history lesson! (joke on myself who is known to Loooove history)

Becky said...

Oh, the pincushions are adorable, just as cute as Kelli's. And your Calvin comic is hilarious.

Momma Roar said...

I think I would have enjoyed this trip too!

Stace said...

I bet that so much fun! Your slide show was cool!