October 14, 2008

Luray Caverns

Today I'm sharing pictures of my visit to Luray Caverns in Virginia. I paid my money, waited in line, took the one hour guided tour, and took lots of pictures.

Here are stalactites reflected in a shallow basin of water:

Photography was tricky--the installed lighting is incandescent and tends towards the orange end of the spectrum:

Where I could get close enough that my flash was effective, cooler tones were revealed:

There was also a lot of natural variation in the colors of the structures, as well as in the shapes:

It's hard to convey the scale of the larger chambers:

My idea of a good time usually involves hiking around secluded areas and taking time to observe and reflect on the wonders of nature. A tour with a crowd of people and a chatty guide was not my optimal path to spelunking satori, so I tended to be the laggard in the group. I couldn't lag too far, as the next group was hot on our heels, but I did get a few moments to gaze in silent awe.

One of the advertised high points of the tour is The Great Stalacpipe Organ,
which employs mallets to tap stalactites to produce tones. I was anticipating that this would be the cheesiest part of the tour, but much to my surprise it was quite wonderful--I was unexpectedly and somewhat embarrassingly moved to tears. The notes were pure and full as they came from all directions in the chamber, and it was transportive.

All in all, worth the time and trouble.

1 comment:

Diane D. said...

Great pictures, Sue! I remember visiting years ago, as a young teen, with my family - it's very impressive.