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Wyandotte Cave
by Stormy on July 26, 2007

Wyandotte Cave is said to have been the third cave to open commercially in the United States, back in 1855, a few decades after Grand Caverns in Virginia and just a few years after Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.

The second half of our tour was the 9.3 mile Wyandotte Cave. We didn't get to do the entire 9.3 miles, but we did about 1.3 miles of the cave with Ethan back as our tour guide. There were fourteen people on the tour, twelve of them being NSS cavers. I could tell that Ethan was sweating. One false step on the tour and he would never live it down. The NSS group bonded very quickly and Ethan became the target of "we're going to go exploring on our own" jokes in spite of how hard he tried to keep order. The cave has fairly large passage in comparison to Siberts Cave and a lot of branches from the rooms we visited. It has a rich history of exhibition and a lot of historic graffiti to reflect that. At one point a team of mules was used to excavate a portion of the cave's passage. Towards the end of the tour we were treated to a ghost story in total darkness, then Ethan wandered off. Everyone thought that he'd try to circle around and sneak up on us to scare us or pretend like he left us all alone in the cave, but what he did instead was climb up a huge mound of breakdown that we saw before and turned on the light in this particular cavern. The illuminated area showed a tremendous dome up above the breakdown cone. It was rather amazing to realize just how large the room is. Wyandotte Cave is not well decorated, but it has tons of passage through a large number of interesting rooms and was well worth the time and effort of the trip. The bonus was that the temperature in the cave was 40 degrees cooler than outside and that makes quite a difference on a 95 degree day. This is not a must go tour, but Wyandotte is a fun cave. There is a lot to see and do and the best part is that's it's walking passage the whole way!

The neighbor's lazy dog hangs out at the visitor center a lot.
(taken by Max on July 26, 2007)
He sleeps in the cave, too.
(taken by Max on July 26, 2007)
View from the Wyandotte entrance.
(taken by Max on July 26, 2007)
Some old advertising in the cave.
(taken by Max on July 26, 2007)
Ethan got shot by the tourists a lot.
(taken by Max on July 26, 2007)
A hundred years ago a couple of guys were going to corner the white onion market. That's all that's left. They failed.
(taken by Max on July 26, 2007)
Some people built a lot of weird stuff in the cave.
(taken by Max on July 26, 2007)
Beautiful gypsum flowers in the cave.
(taken by Max on July 26, 2007)
Wyandotte has some large passage!
(taken by Max on July 26, 2007)
There are a lot helectites that defy gravity.
(taken by Max on July 26, 2007)
Bats sleep here. The reported number is about 40,000!
(taken by Max on July 26, 2007)
There are ethereal formations that seem to defy gravity.
(taken by Max on July 26, 2007)
And a lot of large decorated passages.
(taken by Max on July 26, 2007)
Looking up the dome. For scale, the shadow on the lower left is Ethan.
(taken by Max on July 26, 2007)
J.C. Girvan was here in September 1851.
(taken by Max on July 26, 2007)


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