***Note: the quality of some of the pics is a little poor. Obviously lighting in a cave is a problem. Don't let the semi-rough nature of these pictures deter you from going to Cave of the Winds for yourself. In this case, the pictures don't do it justice***
Entrance to the caves. No matter the season, the caves are always at the same temperature.
Elizabeth hanging out with her new boyfriend.
And me trying to fight off the new B.F.
While waiting for our tour, we found a few t-shirts in the gift shop that we thought were funny. Here are just a few:
If you haven't seen South Park, this one won't make sense.
And here we go...off to the caves!
In the upper left corner of this picture you can sort of see two ropes hanging from the roof of the cave. These are part of an old rope latter, which the earliest tourists (in the late 1800s) had to climb. Back then the tour took over 5 hours to complete and guests were forced to crawl on their bellies through a good part of it.
These "straw stalactites" are basically stalactites in their infancy. It takes 1,000 years for them to grow 1 inch. Sadly, many of them have been broken off by stupid tourists.
Some of the narrow passages in the cave.
The ceiling in one of the "rooms" of the cave. Some of the black marks are from candles made long ago by tourists. Other marks are stupid people leaving graffiti.
Another narrow passage.
Cave of the Winds is also the site of several weddings every year. Here is where most of them are performed.
This collection of coins, hairpins and other metal objects dates back to the late 1800s. Supposedly, two young single women threw their hairpins onto this rock for good luck. Months later, they were married to rich and successful men. Since then, those looking for good fortune will toss something metallic onto the pile. If it stays on the rock, you will have good luck for a year. If it falls off, you will have two years of bad luck.
The ceiling at the exit of the cave.
And here is a short video of the latter part of the tour. Sorry for the semi-poor quality. The lighting was bad. It's a cave...go figure
As you can see, Cave of the Winds is a wonderful experience. Check it out if you are ever in the area!