(continued from Part 1)
I reached and grabbed Shannon’s hand as she stepped over the waterfall and deftly planted both feet on the rock next to mine. While she made her way toward the others, I stayed back to take a picture of the autumn woods we had strolled through to get there. Most of the year, the pool below was the first sign of water along the path at Lost Valley.
Above it was the first cavern to explore — a large tunnel that ran a hundred feet or so to a large opening under an overhang. Water had worked for eons carving the smooth path through the rock. Some of our crew used the trail instead, and they worked their way around to wait at the other end.
Before I got to them, I saw a butterfly lounging on a rock. It showed no signs of spooking as I set my new Nikon P7000 camera to macro mode and snapped off a couple of frames. I suspected it was lethargic from the cool night or the impending end of its fleeting life.
We soon enjoyed views of a towering sheer bluff line, and then explored a large overhang that could have sheltered hundreds from a storm. As the reader probably has noticed, I finally remembered to take a picture while looking out from one of these spots. Also, Shannon got a bit dusty while posing for my failed attempt at including a person in the picture.
The boys, both seven, had no trouble on or off the trail. This helped ease my mind that my suburbs-raised son, more accustomed to sidewalks than dirt paths, welcomed complete immersion in the outdoors.
To make that even more clear, we took a claustrophobic cave crawl to an underground waterfall.
“There are about 20 people behind us waiting to come through, so we have to keep moving,” said A, my sister-in-law. She was not into staying still in a tight space.
Her flashlight’s beam swung back to light the way ahead of me. A large column of rock divided the narrow passageway into an impossibly narrow slit on the right. Benjamin stood in front of me, awaiting instructions.
(to be continued)