Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Luray Caverns (Traveling North)

Six kids and Mom

Welcome back to my Traveling North photo series.  I am on vacation with my six youngest kids.  We arrived in Maryland last Wednesday night and have been staying with my parents, but on our way up, we visited Ft. Pulaski, Tybee Island, historic Savannah, Chapel Hill, and Luray Caverns.

I planned our visit to Luray Caverns in rural Virginia a couple of hours from Washington, D.C. as our one major attraction splurge.  I hadn't been there for over 20 years, and only one of my children had seen it either.  It is truly magnificent and awe-inspiring, so I'm glad we went.  The scenery around it is gorgeous, too. I loved driving through the mountains. Admission costs $24 for adults ages 12+, $21 for senior citizens ages 62+, and $12 for children ages 6-12, and small children for free, but we lucked out and got to use the discount card that the family behind us had.  The ticket includes entry into the adjacent vintage car museum and the Luray Valley Museum.

Down, down, down we go.
This post is primarily photos.  It's a good thing we stopped and bought a Canon Power Shot camera about an hour before we got there, because my iPod camera doesn't do well in low light.

I don't remember the names of all of the features we saw.  The main thing to remember is that stalactites hang from the ceiling, whereas stalagmites rise up from the floor.  Both are created by mineral deposits from dripping water, at the rate of one cubic inch in 120 years.  The caverns are about 100 feet deep.  Be prepared for climbing up and down along the pathways, usually with handrails.

Fish Market

Stalactites reflected in shallow Dream Lake

Bath Towel stalactite forms like a sheet
and is translucent

The Fried Eggs

One of the two photos in this post taken with iPod.
(The other is the Bath Towel above.)

Stalacpipe organ which plays
"A Mighty Fortress is Our God"
From the web site
"Located in the Cathedral is the Great Stalacpipe Organ,
the world's largest musical instrument.
Stalactites covering 3 1/2 acres of the surrounding caverns
produce tones of symphonic quality when
electronically tapped by rubber-tipped mallets.
This one-of-a-kind instrument was conceived by
Mr. Leland W. Sprinkle of Springfield, Virginia,
a mathematician and electronics scientist at the Pentagon."

Car and Carriage Caravan museum

Luray Valley Museum

Peace and liberty?  Yes, please!

Pretty stuff in gift shop

HUGE flowers - maybe hydrangeas?

The orange lilies are everywhere on our trip!

The Singing Tower

Virginia Knowles

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