Monday, April 23, 2007

A Saturday Adventure

Saturday we took a Drive and our destination was to the Moaning Cavern in Vallecito Ca. Back in December, I picked up little touristy fliers on this, while up at PAWS with Tami.
Basically we drove East on Highway 4 and it was out there. Wow, how cool was this??? Fortunately we were smart enough to just do the walking tour.

Here is a picture down, I think, from the top or maybe up. Not sure as I think Shannon took this one.
The tour is 248 steps down.

This metal thing in the picture is the stairwell, its a spiral stairwell going down. First it is a narrow wood stairs and then it stops at this landing and then you do down the spiral enclosed stairwell. I did ok considering I don't like heights. The landing has a ledge under it so that helped. However going down the spiral part, I didn't look down. (only down at my feet)

This is looking up from the bottom. You actually go 165 feet underground.

So then there is the rappelling option/tour. Descend by rope 165 feet into the huge main chamber of Moaning Cavern! No experience is necessary, and gloves, hard-hat, and the highest quality rappelling equipment are provided. Adventurous people from all walks of life are thrilled by this unique and exciting opportunity to try something new! Total trip time is approximately 45 minutes.
Holy Crap, I don't think so. There is a picture of the rappelling guy 1/2 way down but cant tell that's what it is. Ok, its in the picture of the stairwell looking up and just next to it you can see the guys legs. This is just after he came off the rope, obviously.
The cave tour is really cool. Due to lack of natural light and all, you really can not tell how big some of the formations are and stuff. (Pictures don't come out that great either)
The rappelling thing also goes like this. After you get off the rope, you crawl through the enclosed tunnels in the cave. (better not be claustrophobic) The guide (teenager) says that at one point it is a tight squeeze, the size of a 5 gallon bucket. So not sure I could do that either. Read some of the descriptions of the tours and caverns. It was worth doing.
Then there is the sample gold mining thing. (Touristy thing) if you look behind me being a ham.

Somewhere on the drive to the cavern was a sign saying Road Closed at Lake Alpine. So.... Shannon wanted to drive to where the road closed. As we headed that way, we drove through Angels Camp and then the next place we drove through, with any sign of a town, was Murphy. Super cute little town and we stopped and had lunch at the Main street grill or something like that. Very yuppy little town, lots of tiny shops called "wineries". Still had cute charm to the town.

So off we went driving further. Most the towns had a population of around 125. One town had a town sign with an elevation but no population to it. Then there is Arnold with 4000 plus people, but I have no idea where. So this is a picture as we went further up. Apparently we were still on 4 and drove by Bear Valley resort. I have never been out here at all.

Finally we hit what must be and is Lake Alpine. Way cool, a frozen lake. (Shannon thought it was cool to see in California) I just have never seen a frozen lake so that was beautiful to me.

We had a great drive, drove in snow and played in snow. I think Shannon was worried I might try to walk on the frozen lake. Wrong, not going that close. So that was an adventure, a little one, but had a great time.

1 comment:

Tami said...

Looks like fun! And now I see what you mean about that spiral stairwell. I mean, stairhell.