9.29.2014

Weekend Lava Cave Spelunking

^^So happy I got to spend the whole day with these three handsome faces.^^

When we woke up Saturday morning to dark clouds and rain, both Bron and I felt a little disappointed that we'd have to cancel our mountain biking date.  Luckily, plan B turned out even better when Bron's buddy, Aaron, invited us to tag along with his family exploring some lava caves out in the desert.  Jed and Levi were sooo excited!  "We go on a adventure!" Levi declared.

Some background: Lava tubes in the Idaho desert were formed more than a million years ago by a shield volcano.  During the Cold War, many lava rock tubes snaking thousands of feet underground were made accessible to the public to be used as nuclear fallout shelters.  There are also countless other caves in the desert; some small and slot-like, others wide and cavernous.  Fact: all of these caves practically beg to be explored!

We were so proud of Jed!  Armed with just a flashlight, Jed marched right to the back of the civil defense cave with his little friends.  They then scrambled up and over some rock to explore some spaces towards the back of the cave.  It seemed completely out of character to us as his parents, but we were thrilled to see this bold and brave side of Jed.  That's my boy!

Then, because there was no way our Acadia brigade could tackle the rest of the rocky desert road, all ten of us--including six kids seven and under--hiked nearly two miles to the next cave that Aaron claimed was a "must see".  Well, the rain stayed away and the kids did surprisingly well... if you're okay with sore shoulder muscles from carrying a few extra pounds. 

But WOW!  That second cave still has me reeling in awe.

We dropped down through a small opening in the earth and climbed just a few yards into a gigantic dome with a gaping hole in the ceiling.  At the bottom of the cavern laid a bed of luscious green ferns.  Ferns!  How strange to see ferns growing in the rocky desert of southern Idaho!  It was really just plain incredible.

Bron and I couldn't help discussing on the way home how unbelievably blessed we are.  We have two healthy and happy little boys, good friends, a beautiful home, no real worries about food or bills, and the opportunities to get out and explore!  We both feel most alive when we're out hiking or biking or doing something new.  And we're grateful we got to share that feeling with our boys on Saturday.  We love being a family.

^^Descending the stairs into the Civil Defense Cave^^
^^Bron and Levi standing among the ferns under the "sun roof"^^
^^Best view of the house.  Can you see the hole we climbed down through on the right?^^

8 comments:

  1. Wow, this place is so beautiful! If I'm ever in ID I'll have to check this out.

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  2. Ooooookay. Enough. Your life is officially too great. That place is ridiculously beautiful!! And you are rockin those camo pants, my dear.

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  3. I remember one family vacation as a kid when we drove from Arizona to Michigan via your part of the country. Exploring the lava tubes is one of my fondest memories. I felt like a 9-year-old super explorer that day. I'd love to do it again as an adult!

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  4. ooh, wow!! what a fun family adventure!!! that is really beautiful and i loooove the "sun roof!!"

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  5. I want to explore the caves, too! Next time we visit you'll have to show us the caves. Looks like a fun family adventure!

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  6. Those are so cool! You really are proving Idaho to be way more interesting than I ever thought it was.

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  7. Those caves are awesome! What an "adventure." Lewie would love this!!!

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