Seniors, Let’s Go Spelunking


One I’ve been to, the other is on my bucket list. My wife and I experienced Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. This senior had always wanted to see that Cavern. I was not disappointed. Unfortunately, we did not stick around the see the thousands of bats that come out at dusk.

Living in Arizona, I appreciated the fact that Carlsbad is called the “Grand Canyon with a roof on it.” That’s very close. Carlsbad Caverns in the Chihuahuan Desert are one of the world’s deepest, biggest and most decorated caverns ever found.


They’re most famous for the “Big Cave” and its Big Room—a massive 14 acre space filled with unusual calcium-carbonate cave formations.  Visitors can see the Bottomless Pit, Giant Dome, Rock of Ages and Painted Grotto – formations created when sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone.

Caving, also traditionally known as spelunking in the United States and Canada and potholing in the United Kingdom and Ireland, is a  recreational pastime of exploring wild cave systems. Speleology is the scientific study of caves and the cave environment. Just thought you might like to know that.

 Senior Spelunkers Like Mammoth

mammoth cave signOne means to get a feel for a cave you have not yet experienced, is to watch  a good video. Mammoth Cave National Park has a history traced back to 1791 and is a World Heritage Site as well as an  International Biosphere Reserve.

Mammoth is  said to be the World’s largest cave with 390 miles that have been explored and perhaps that many more still to be discovered. Near Brownsville, Kentucky, if you are a senior spelunker, Mammoth is the place for you.

Senior visitors can explore the vast chambers and complex labyrinths, sometimes climbing up hundreds of stairs and steep hills. The more adventurous types can take “wild” tours where visitors explore muddy crawls and dusty tunnels. Check out Fat Man’s Misery, a section of the Cavern that is only 18 inches wide at the hips, which is like walking through a shallow trench, or take a tour lit only with paraffin lamps.


Son Doong Is The Biggest

My wife and I visited Wind Cave in South Dakota. They turned out all the lights and said “listen.” In the total darkness you could hear your own heartbeat.

Son Doong Cave in Vietnam is so big it contains a jungle and a river. Son Doong remained undiscovered until a local man found it in 1991. It is now touted as the largest in the world.

Mammoth is still the longest and Krubera Cave in Georgia the deepest with an “unknown bottom.”

Happy Spelunking!  jeb

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