Friday, July 24, 2015

Hurray for Luray!

One last post before I start tackling birthday party pics :)  Hard to believe it's been an entire 3 weeks since we took this day trip out to Luray Caverns, "a subterranean world of wonder" nestled in the Shenandoah valley with beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

It is the largest and most visited cavern in the East, with cathedral sized rooms and stone formations reaching 10 stories high.  There were no guided tours due to the volume of guests over the July 4 holiday weekend, so we included the self-guided audio tour, which Joseph loved.

There were so many gorgeous things to see, but in the end so many of the photos look identical to one another, aside from a few of the better known landmarks.  Dream Lake is no deeper than about 18-20 inches,  but the crystal clear water reflects a perfect mirror image of the stalactites hanging from the ceiling.

The Giants Hall houses a multitude of towering columns, including the impressive 47 foot tall Double Column in the last picture, where stalactite and stalagmite meet in the middle.

Saracen's Tent is felt to be one of the most beautiful examples of "drapery" formations, with its delicate, graceful folds of translucent calcite.

Luray is especially famous for it's Great "Stalagpipe" organ, which is the biggest musical interment in the world.  Strikers tapping on varying stalactites throughout the caves produce tones that chime like bells.  Can you even see any of us in the giant ballroom that houses the organ?

The big tagline at Luray Caverns is "What will you discover?" meaning what you see is up to your interpretation, like staring at cloud formations.  So many structures look like whimsical little Seussical buildings, but one reminded me of our Capitol Building dome.  Then there's there famous "fried egg" formation, which we thought looked more like oysters on the half shell.

Nearly impossible to get out of a tourist trap without a souvenir photo!

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