I need to begin by saying that Bron and I have been blessed with some really awesome friends. They're the super awesome fun kind of friends that would give us the shirt off their backs if we we needed it. And while we're each very different, we all share a love for the outdoors and a little adventure!
So for Aaron's birthday, the Horsely's invited us down to his hometown of Lund, Nevada to celebrate by exploring a humungous hole in the ground known as Whipple's Cave. With our combined nine children in tow, we braved a snowstorm Friday night. Thankfully, we all made it without incident. The weather further south was crisp and clear Saturday morning. We left the kids with Aaron's sisters for the afternoon and began our epic adventure!
It started with a 90 foot repel down into the earth. I haven't had much experience with rock climbing/repelling; I was a bit nervous. Okay, I let out a giant scream right before I went over the edge! But I did it. And it was a rush! Then we all donned our helmets and headlamps and followed our fearless leader into the pitch black darkness.
The cavern was enormous! The ceiling was easily forty feet high and the room just as wide. All sorts of shapes and sizes of stalactites and stalagmites hung from the ceilings and grew from the floor; some acted like giant pillars holding up the room. Tapping the edges lightly made a musical noise, like a xylophone. So. Dang. Cool.
We crawled through a small opening where I had to be helped over a thirty foot deep crevice on the other side. The hole opened up into yet another giant cavern with small water pools. It was so uniquely pretty. Yes, it was very dirty. And we saw plenty of bats taking their afternoon naps. But it was sooo much fun exploring!
And then... we had to get ourselves out. We used ascenders to hoist ourselves back up the repel rope. Talk about a workout!
I am so glad we braved the snowstorm and spent the weekend gallivanting through a cave with friends. (Because honestly, what else could we have done that would've been cooler?) There was even peach cobbler and chocolate cake! Thanks for having a birthday, Aaron, and thanks for inviting us down to Nevada to share in a little piece of adventure from your hometown. We'll never forget it.
And now, the pictures! These are a combo of theirs and ours: phone, my old rebel, and point and shoot. They don't do the trip justice, but at least you can get an idea and they help preserve our memory.
^^Where we parked the truck, up in the hills somewhere.^^
^^Amy peeking over the edge of the giant hole in the ground.^^
^^Repelling in. Do I look nervous? Because my heart was thumping pretty fast up there.^^
^^Entering into the dark abyss^^
^^The stalagmite on the right looked like it was covered in green snot. Eeew!^^
^^We were convinced that the octopus looking thing was alive... until Bron poked it with a pocket knife. It wasn't. Haha.^^
^^Incredibly shaped cave formations. We tried not to touch.^^
^^I spy a sleepy bat^^
^^Hey! We found Golem from Lord of the Rings hiding down there!^^
^^The steep ascent back up out of the cave.^^
The triumphant couples:
^^Nick and Amy^^
^^Aaron and Amy^^
^^Bron and me^^
I hope there's a next time, Nevada!