Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cave Man

Yesterday’s article on tree forts got me thinking about caves which are real attractive to men on a primal level. I made a statement in an article here long ago about how men can not resist looking in a hole. It’s like dogs and hydrants; if a man sees a hole he has to check it out.

My earliest memories of cave dwelling was after snow storms when the snow plow cleared our driveway, pushing all the snow into a big pile at the North side of the U shaped pavement. Before the exhaust fumes of the plow truck had dissipated in the winter air, we kids were out there digging a cave in the embankment.

Jump ahead seven years and I had a drivers license and I was able to drive to and explore abandoned iron mines in Northern New Jersey. Some could only be explored with scuba gear. If you think it’s strange walking into a several hundred foot shaft, try diving in one.

Other under earth experiences followed. Some were as simple as driving through the Lincoln or Holland tunnels. Another one was a little strange and that was walking through a hole drilled in the side of White Face Mountain in New York. The shaft leads to the center of the mountain where you are met by an elevator that takes you to the top.

There is a cave outside of New Paltz, NY where when you drive by even during the warmest day, you come to a dip in the road that is suddenly is in a 60 degree fog. I once pulled off to check out this large cavern. It was interesting especially because of the constant breeze that it emitted.

Moving out here, I’ve explored the Ape Caves of Mt. St. Helens which are lava tubes. I also explored several lava tubes on the Big Island of Hawaii. I’ve explored sea caves along the Oregon Coast.

Dried Salmon County even has a small mine along the Lewis and Clark River at the 400 Line. It was being mined for gold. The miners gave up after digging only 30 feet into the basalt.

To this day, I still get a sense of exploration even from something as simple as driving through the Arch Cape Tunnel, or the tunnel on the way to Chinook, or the one on Highway 26 or even the one that goes under the West Hills of Portland. Though I admit it isn’t the same sense of adventure when you can see through to the other side, or when the walls are tiled and have good lighting.

Next to tree forts, caves are another primal attractant to a lot of male humans.


Blogger Beth said...

My spirit of adventure and exploration is negated by a feeling of claustrophobia in caves and the like. I need light and I have to see an exit.

6:23 AM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

I was bigtime into spelunking when I was young - now, I can't even get into an MRI tube without freaking out.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Are you testing me? You *know* I'm going to laugh at "men can not resist looking in a hole" and "if a man sees a hole he has to check it out".

Sorry :/

7:05 AM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

I'm with syd. :P

Lava River Cave near Bend, OR, was incredible! Nothing like a 39° cave on a 95° summer day in central Oregon.

7:23 AM  
Blogger nootka said...

laughing at syd and jaggy
huh huh huh You said hole!

Lava River's nice, but one of my favorites is "Lake Cave" near Ape Cave. There are several lava tubes in Central OR, also.
Spelunking is fun, but bring redundant light sources. Learned that one the hard way...

8:11 AM  
Blogger weese said...

a cave in NewPaltz... and to think I only go there for the wine.
(of course I would not go into a cave - i am a woman of course)

1:15 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Beth, I'm not egging you on.

Lori, yet you work in a building.

Syd, sorry, I should have included you in that as well ; )

Jaggy, I need to spend more time up there, but I'm not scheduled to return there until 2009.

Nootka, no open flames I hope.

Weese, It is if I remember correctly, on a road between New Paltz and Florida, NY. I haven't been there in over 20 years. New Paltz wasn't known for wine back then. I thought you lived in the mid Atlantic region.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

Hey, hey, I think I had displayed some mighty fine hole topography this summer on a hike I had. Dedicated to you.

9:13 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Lori, You did indeed. You are a dear friend. Anytime you want to display a hole you are more than welcome to do it here.

5:48 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Checking back see if Lori has posted a hole.


12:27 PM  

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