Beware of the Spirit that Guards the Book in the Cave

The time has finally come! This week, I’m writing the part of my story that I’ve been looking forward to the most. This particular section of the plot was one of the very first scenes to come to me, which means it has been swirling around in my mind for well over ten years now. And it’s all inspired by that phrase up there (points up to title of post).

By now, you may have guessed that one of the settings in this part of the story is a cave. I love caves. I suppose that affection naturally goes hand in hand with my love of gems and minerals. Hubby and I even went to Chattanooga, TN for our honeymoon to tour the various caves in that area (why, yes, we did “See Rock City!”). Most people go to the beach, we went underground. ^_^

Earlier this year, I visited Ohio Caverns, both for fun and as a form of field research. I made a post about it when I first started this blog (before I knew how tags worked), so I thought now would be a good opportunity to revive it and re-share.

So without further ado: Originally posted June 2, 2015.

Today I visited Ohio Caverns, partially because I love visiting caves and partially as field research to gather information for part of Book 3 (hint, hint!). Ohio Caverns are limestone caves known for both the variety of stone formations present and the particularly brilliant colors of the mineral deposits. The formations within the cave are primarily composed of calcite, but there are iron oxide and manganese dioxide-based features as well. We went on both the Historic tour and the Natural Wonders tour. Each tour highlighted different features of the cave.

The Historic tour went through the first part of the cave to be discovered and opened for exploration in 1897. Unfortunately, many of the crystal formations were taken as souvenirs by the early visitors, but the tour was still enlightening. The lighting system used in this section of the cave is a replica of those used there in the 1920s. It was very dim, lacking the staged spotlights used in many other caves. Admittedly, it wasn’t so great for photography so I don’t have any good pictures from that part of the cave. But, I thought that it presented a great impression of how it must feel to actually explore a new cave. Our guide, Allison, had a great sense of humor which made the tour even more interesting! If you ever visit Ohio Caverns, try to get her as your guide and be sure to laugh at her jokes! 😉

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The Crystal King

The second tour we took was the Natural Wonders tour. There was ample lighting present which served to highlight the variety of colors within the formations. The calcite stalactites and stalagmites were the brightest white that I’ve seen in any of the caves I’ve visited so far. One, named the Crystal King (see rig, was particularly impressive. The Crystal King is bright white and is said to be one of the largest and most perfectly formed stalactites to be discovered. Ohio Caverns are also the only ones in North America to contain “dual formations”. Dual formations occur when one mineral formation grows on another formation that has a different chemical composition. Those in Ohio Caverns are iron oxide formations that calcite has grown on.

Ultimately, the visit was enjoyable and gave me plenty of good material to draw from!

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Calcite formation on ceiling

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Dual formation columns of iron oxide (top, red-brown color) and calcite (bottom, white)

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Water-filled passage

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Calcite formations

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Calcite formations

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Calcite stalagtites on ceiling

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Calcite stalagmite and example of colored deposits on ceiling

10 Comments

  1. One of the first things that I ever wrote, back in primary school, was a science fiction story set in a cave. It was based on caves I’d been in while at summer camp; the story has mercifully vanished from history, but I still love caves. There are some great ones in Colorado (Cave of the Winds is touristy but pretty cool despite), and Missouri, with its karst topography, sometimes claims to be “the cave state.” There’s a book called “The Wilderness Underground,” I believe, which supports that claim, and there are some interesting commercial and state park caves around, if you ever get to travel on a caving holiday…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, if only my first stories could vanish from history as well. Unfortunately, my mom saved them and treasures them like a dragon hoarding gold. Thanks for the tips on cave visits. I would love to go on another cave crawling vacation! Fortunately, there are plenty of local caves within a day’s drive to keep me occupied until we can venture out for a longer trip. ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

      1. With a judicious application of money, carefully planned distractions, and a certain moral flexibility, almost any embarrassing document from one’s past can be made to disappear. Small, strategic fires are often best.

        Liked by 1 person

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