As is the case with many kids who grew up in New York’s Capital District, my family visited Howe Caverns when I was a kid. I did not remember too much about it, only that I had been, so given my obsession with all things rock, I wanted to visit again.
August 16, 2009, we visited Howe Caverns in Howes Cave, NY. Unlike today’s dreary, chilly, rainy weather, it was a very hot day, perfect to be 156 feet below the Earth’s surface, where it is a constant 52º F (12º C) and 70-75% humidity, year round.
Howe Caverns is an underground cavern six million years in the making, with limestone formations, stalactites, stalagmites, the Lake of Venus, a wedding altar – the beauty of the place will take your breath away! I would love to go back and experience The Lantern Tour – which is just as it sounds – exploring the cave as Lester Howe did back in 1842 – in the dark with only lanterns.
Thinking back to my childhood, for a three-year period, surrounding the 1980 Olympics, my family lived in Saranac Lake, NY, on the backside of the Mt. Pisgah Ski Center, and there was a cave in the mountainside. My friend Sean and I would explore the cave on a regular basis, attempting to go ever-deeper, but there was a certain point where fear of an animal… like a bear… coming out of the darkness would make us turn back. And it was on the mica trail [our name] that led up to the cave where my passion for rocks was born. I found treasures like thick sheets of mica, garnet, green, milky & rose opaque quartz, as well as emerald, amethyst and clear quartz crystals. I consider myself lucky to have had such a magical playground in my youth.
Howe Caverns, Go Underground — http://www.howecaverns.com/