A long while ago I posted something about holes and how holes are irresistible to men. If there is a hole, a fellow has to look in it. I don’t know if holes stimulate the cave men in us or if we are more like ferrets that have to check out everything that is out of the ordinary.
With this said, I was thinking about all the caves, mines, tunnels and lava tubes I’ve explored over the years. In each situation I can say that I felt sheltered yet endangered at the same time. Visiting these places you can often see where entire sections have broken and fallen due to earth quakes, expansion and contraction or erosion. Look at the tunnel on Hwy 26 that collapsed on an ODOT worker a few years ago. Remember the concern over the tunnel in Arch Cape a few years back? If you visit the Ape Cave at Mt. St. Helens there are piles of rock that fell from above in this quake prone area.
Even shallow mines such as the abandoned gold mine on the 400 line in Clatsop County gives me the feeling of shelter and gives me the creeps at the same time. The earth can easily swallow people up. I remember visiting the Big Island of Hawaii and seeing bull dozers get swallowed up by unknown underground lava tubes. They were working the surface pushing rocks around and suddenly they were gone.
Maybe with being under the earth it’s the old “from dust to dust” adage where I realized at one day I will return to the elements that surround me. We can embrace the comfort of the ground and our fear of death all at once.