Saturday, September 15, 2012

Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park - by Nicholas

             On our recent trip to California to visit Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Park, one particular time at Sequoia really interested me. That time was at Crystal Cave, the only cave in Sequoia open to the public. At the ticket gate towards the start of the trail leading down into the cave, we were asked to step on a blue mat with Lysol and water on it to disinfect our shoes. This was to insure we would not potentially infect the bats in the cave, with WNS. WNS is white nose syndrome, a disease that starts as a white fungus on a bats body. During hibernation it wakes up bats earlier than usual making the bats starve. It started out in the East, in New York, but it’s already spread to several parts of Oklahoma, our tour guide said.

After following a short trail down to the entrance to the cave we sat down near the mouth of the cave and waited. As soon as the previous group departed and everyone for our tour was at the entrance of the cave, we followed our tour guide into the cave which was a cold 50 degrees Fahrenheit inside, and began our tour. Our tour guide was a young man,  employee of a non-profit organization working with Sequoia National Park. He was hilarious and I enjoyed his talks and explanations about the cave. 

We entered through a spider web-like gate and started a walk through the cave. I went through several rooms while taking many pictures particularly of stalagmites and stalactites, and the intricate designs on the wall made by running water. In the tour we stopped in 3 rooms and our tour guide introduced the room and pointed out several interesting places. In the first room we stopped at we saw many stalactites and our tour guide explained how the cave was formed and away we went walking deeper into the cave. At the second room which explorers named after musical instrument, Justin, my older brother correctly guessed that the musical instrument was a pipe organ on his 1st try. In the organ room we stayed and listened to his interesting explanation of the explorers who found this room, and how over long periods of time water formed this cave and pretty designs. 

In the next and final room, also the largest room in Crystal Cave we turned off all the lights and imagined the animals which lived in the cave and how they survived and adapted in this dark cave. Then the lights came back on and we had a chance to examine the room. We all exited the cave and suddenly found that the tour was over. The tour had seemed to be so short. However I had a great time and really enjoyed the tour including the 15 minute scenic trail on the way back.

1 comment:

  1. When I got there, travel time to the cave was affected by on-road construction in the parks. I promised myself to come back to the place and see what it is now look like.