Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Alabaster Caverns

Last weekend, we went to Alabaster Caverns in Freedom, Oklahoma. It's only a drive of 1.5 hours from home, so it was a fun, quick trip. The only drawback was the snowstorm that blew in that morning...well, that and the wind, but it is March! The Herrons came down and went with us. We all had a great time. When we got to the Caverns, we missed the most recent tour of the cave, so we wandered over to the hiking trails, and the scenic overlook. Miss Kat took this shot while we were hiking.
The caves are a part of a huge canyon and cave system. There are 6 caves in the State Park and 3 hiking trails. And, by canyon....I mean Canyon. Rough terrain. We read about Cowboys roping bears and about wolves that roamed the area through the early years of the 20th century.
Think about that...Bears and Northwest Oklahoma, on the Great Plains in the 20th Century...

The kids found one cave that they ventured into. Well, Kim, Bob, and the kids ventured into it. Kev had to stay a ways back down the trail (because cowboy boots weren't working too well on the wet, slick, rough trail) and I stayed outside the cave (because I'm not completely crazy!) You are allowed to go into all the caves, but I thought that someone should stay outside...just in case.

After playing around in the cave and on the trails, we finally got to tour the main cave. Alabaster Caverns is a gypsum cave. There are several types of Alabaster in the cave. In this shot, you can see the white gypsum sparkling in the roof.

Also a part of the cave is the Bat population. There are 8000-10,000 bats who live in the cave. This was a group of 50 or so bats. Thankfully, they stayed up on the ceiling where they belonged.
We had a great time, and all decided that we want to go back--maybe not for the big cave tour, but we definitely want to hike the entire trail system through the canyon. It was a great ending to our Spring Break...even if the weather was crappy!

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