Empty Places

Empty Places

We skip Sunday school and head south, seeking somewhere to explore, and after bellies full of flapjacks, we find it at Indian Echo Caverns. This limestone cave, hidden along the Swatara creek, is a geological wonder, a gem of a place to a nature-loving, home-schooling family like us

The man leading our expedition says it was first used by the Susquehannock Indians as a refuge from bad weather and later discovered by French fur trappers and pioneer spelunkers. He explains how it formed over a long period of time through underground erosion, how water flowed over the limestone, making small crevices into bigger ones until these huge caverns were created.

“It’s a year of good luck if water drips on your head,” the tall, grey-haired tour guide teases us as we enter the caves. “Five if it hits you on the nose.” And my kids start racking up the years. I’m glad I brought my raincoat.

We walk deeper and deeper into the canyon, listening to silly stories about giants and mummies and how certain calcium deposits got their nicknames, until suddenly we stop hundreds of feet underground. The tour guide warns us first then turns out all the lights so we can experience darkness at that depth. My two daughters, who are flanking me on either side, hug my hips. My son screams. I can’t even see my hands in front of my face.

Read the rest over at Off the Page

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