Monday, November 7, 2011

Southern Oregon Adventures: Oregon Caves

There are many, many things to do in Southern Oregon. On my list since near the beginning has been going to the Oregon Caves -- a National Monument about two hours from Medford. Eight of us from work carpooled up the winding, mountain roads to the Caves. At about 4000 feet, we were high enough for the rain to fall as snow. We hiked a snow-laden trail before warming up in an idyllic lodge and heading into the Caves.

Our group spent about an hour and a half in the caves. We weren't crawling on our hands and knees, or squeezing between crevices, or rappelling down cliffs. What we did do was climb steps, duck under low hanging rocks, and step through a small puddle or two.

There are few stalactites and stalagmites in the caves because it's one of the few caves worldwide made of marble, not limestone. It makes for easy incredible kinds of formations. The rooms and areas were named: The Imagination Room, The Ghost Room, Paradise Lost, The Speakeasy, Angel Falls.

The tour guide, a Forest Service Ranger, Derek, called himself a bit of a historian of the Caves, giving the story of how they were discovered, explored, and turned into a tourist attraction.

There are some creepies in the cave-- hibernating bats, daddy long legs crawling on top of each other, and the remains of a bear.

Temperature inside the caves: 44˚
Outside: 32˚

While we were inside several inches had fallen outside, creating a mini winter wonderland (and snow-pocalypse on our cars).

And of course, it wouldn't be a Southern Oregon Adventure without a group picture.

No comments:

Post a Comment