Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Saturday was hot...super hot and I wanted out of it...so I suggested a quick trip to the mountains for a hike.  I had recently read on a friend's blog about her and her young family successfully traversing Lava River Cave and so we decided to try it out, especially since it is a refreshing 35 degrees in the interior.  So we gathered up jackets, helmets and flashlights and headed out.

The kids were apprehensive and a little embarrassed to wear their helmets, until all of the other cave-goers commented on how smart we were and how we must be professionals...then they wore the helmets proudly.

This is his don't-bother-me-I'm-trying-to-climb-over-these-rocks-to-my-could-be-demise face.

After climbing down into the cave, we could walk pretty freely.  The tunnel is quite wide and opens up huge at one point with 30ish foot ceilings.  It was like a ballroom.  The only tricky part was helping Q over the rockier, unsteady parts and through the low-ceilinged areas.  Good thing I married a strong, manly man who took on the brunt of that burden.  We had to double over and hunch and waddle to get through the low parts, but the tunnel was so wide, it wasn't scary or claustrophobic at all.  Dennis walked pretty much straight up, right through it, but my thighs have been killing me for a few days from squat-shuffling my way through.

We even made it to the very end.  One whole mile each way.  Actually it didn't seem very long at all.  I didn't think we would make it that far, but everyone was having a grand time.  Dennis was a little apprehensive about the trolls that he heard other spelunkers talking about as we passed...but by the end he had concluded that there was no such thing.

And I had wanted to take more pictures but first off, it was extremely difficult to take a picture in pitch blackness...we had to shine all our flashlights on these two so the camera could even grab a focus...and then second and maybe because of the hard work of shooting in the dark, my battery died.  Such is life.
And we made it out successfully.  Which is good because I freaked myself out at the very end when we came to what seemed to be a dead end of piles and piles of rocks.   I thought we had taken a wrong turn, but that couldn't be as there were no turns, just one big tunnel.   I was at the head of the group and so I just kept climbing up to what seemed to be the ceiling...only to round a boulder and see a sliver of daylight.  Climbing rocks while shaking isn't as easy as climbing rocks when you are not shaking.  I found that out.
So we took a few celebratory, we-made-it-the-whole-way pictures with my smidgen of battery that happened to have revived for a bit.  Dennis insisted on posing with this very cool, clip-on dollar store flashlight that some nice lady gave him on her way out.

Look how much cuter Q is when he smiles vs. his blank, cod fish-type stare.

I thought we were both smiling at the camera...but apparently someone had other plans...he's always being mischievous...he must've passed that on to his two youngest sons.


  1. That looks like fun, but I also have to say that caves freak the dickens outta my every lovin' mind. They scare me. I'm not claustrophobic too much, but I fear that I won't be able to find my way out and/or my flashlight will burn out or the cave will fall in on me or rocks will fall over and block the exit. Cheerful, huh? ;)

  2. I saw trolls in your pictures, better not tell Dennis. Sounds like bunches of fun and by the way the last picture of you and your husband is super cute. Love it!

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  4. Helmets were such a good idea... I hit my head more than once in there. Glad you had fun.

  5. How can I have lived in AZ for 20 years and not know about these places! Good for you guys for exploring. Looks like a blast and I too love the pick of you and L


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