Saturday, October 15, 2016


On our way home from visiting our friends in North Carolina I prevailed on my husband to make a stop at Luray Caverns in Virginia since they were almost on our route.  Having been there in my childhood with my parents I had very fond memories of the place, and hoped I would still be as impressed.  I was!!!  Discovered in 1878, the caverns, just West of Luray are the largest series of caverns in the East and have been designated as a U.S. National Landmark.

The giant chambers of Luray Caverns are filled with towering calcite columns, draperies, stalactites, and stalagmites of different colors creating an unbelievable fairyland.

 This series of stalactites coming from the ceiling has been designated "The Fish Market".

 Dream Lake is an "Other Worldly Optical Illusions '
These pure white formation appeared to be a ghost when encountered by the first explorers, and so have been named.

As quoted from the Smithsonian report of 1880 about the room called Saracen's Tent- "there is nothing more beautiful in the cave than the scarves, shawls, lambrequins of translucent calcite, some white as snow, falling in graceful folds, fringed with a thousand patterns, and so thin that a candle held behind one of them reveals all the structure within."

 Dominating Giant's Hall Is a spectacular column towering 47 feet, the tallest in the cavern.  The double column is an example of two basic formations, the stalactite and stalagmite coming together as one massive wonder of nature .

 Looking down at one of the many pools from above one is temped to dive right into its crystal waters.

Exiting the cavern at the end of the 45 minute tour, I found these "fried Eggs" fascinating -in reality the center of two columns that had broken off and been carried away.

 We finished our drive through Virginia on the Skyline Parkway, where we stopped so I could snap a photo of these swallowtail butterflies.  This one I have identified as a Pale Tiger Swallowtail.

This one is a Spicebush Swallowtail.

 Though the air was filled with dust in some places. the mountain layers still stood out.  It would have been a lovely sunset view.

 But I did enjoy seeing the layers of mountain flowers, so different from those in Colorado.

And the path below beckoned me, and given more time I would not have resisted.

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