Exploring Howe Caverns

8 Aug

Last week, I awoke to a suburban miracle: it was a beautiful day and none of the kiddos had anywhere to go. (Unless you count the swim lesson Flap had scheduled that hubby neglected to mention to me.)

In late summer, this can go one of two ways – your day can be filled with the anthem of children everywhere: “I’m boooooorrred” or you can pack them up and take them somewhere, anywhere that might offer an alternative to being trapped relaxing at home. I opted for the latter.

I’m not kidding when I tell you that I opened my eyes, checked my iCal to confirm we had nowhere to be and then decided I would take my ducklings to Howe Caverns – a massive underground cave.

It was a bit of a drive from our house to the Caverns. It’s possible I may have threatened to turn the car around once or twice. What is it about the interior of an automobile that causes children to become so…hostile toward each other? As a mother, I can’t think of anything I enjoy more than hurtling down the Thruway at 74 a law-abiding 65 mph listening to three children bicker over how one’s breathing is getting on another one’s nerves.

We finally arrived at Howe Caverns, got our tickets for the traditional tour and boarded the elevators that take you 150 feet into the earth. Here’s a little tip – it is cold down there. It was about 88 degrees outside the day we visited. In the cavern, it was a chilly 52; bring a jacket if you ever go.

It was amazing and a little awe-inspiring. I’m always enthralled when I think about things that have been on the planet practically forever. When the guide told up that some of the rocks were displaced by the second Ice Age (not the movie), I was hooked.

At the very least – we learned the difference between stalactites (from the Ceiling) and stalagmites (from the Ground).

At one point in the tour, we boarded this oversized rowboat continue down the cavern. On water, in a cave, sound tends to travel. So I’m pretty sure all 40 people on our tour heard Flap when he said “all this water makes me have to pee”. It was my proudest moment.

Once we were out of the cavern and back in the blessed warmth of the surface, the kids had a chance to try out Howe Caverns new zip line and rope course. They had a fantastic time.

The ride home was so…peaceful.

Let me hear from you. What’s your favorite “get out of the house, stat” day trip?

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4 Responses to “Exploring Howe Caverns”

  1. Mellokittie August 8, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    Awesome trip! I brought my fiancé a few weeks ago. He had a blast- we went on a 95 degree day, we welcomed the chill. I’m glad the kids had a great time.

    • Beth - Realist Mom August 8, 2011 at 8:40 am #

      It was a great time. It sure is amazing. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Joanne August 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    It has been YEARS since I went to the caverns. They were so amazing to me. When I went, there was a section where they turned off the lights to let you realize what true darkness is all about. So cool!
    They’ve been advertising more lately. That’s great. They should promote such natural wonders.

    • Beth - Realist Mom August 8, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

      They did offer a “lantern” tour but they kids were too young. It was bustling while we were there so the advertising must be working! Thanks for commenting.

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