My Town Monday: Caves, Castles and Camaros

Camaros at Ohio Caverns

Camaros (and a Saturn Sky) enhance the area's natural beauty

Ever heard of “Easter eggs” in video games, computers and other consumer products? For those not familiar with the term, it refers to an undocumented feature or extra goody included with the product. My 2010 Camaro came with an Easter egg: new friends! Now several dozen strong, most of us met online on the Camaro5 forum, and later met in person at cruise-ins and other car enthusiast events. My Camaro friends come from all over Ohio, as well as from the surrounding states, and every fall, we get together to go for a cruise to enjoy  our Camaros, good company, and some fall scenery.

Bat on a Wire

We had furry, flying friends in the caves

A couple weeks ago, we took our third annual cruise, this time through west-central Ohio. Our first stop was the Ohio Caverns.

Ohio Caverns is the largest and most beautiful cave system in Ohio. Discovered in the late 19th century when a farm worker spotted a sinkhole, over two miles of passages boast thousands of calcite crystal stalagmites, stalactites, and columns. The caves are fairly close to the surface at the entrances, but go to a depth of over 100 feet. However, they don’t involve a lot of stairs or climbing – instead, the caves simply go deeper into the hilly, Champaign County countryside.

The Crystal King is one of the largest stalactites in the U.S.

The crystal formations are considered some of the most colorful and beautiful in the U.S. Iron oxide gives some of the crystals a reddish color, and others take on ranges of pale blue to green. There are two tours available: the regular tour which includes the chambers with most of the dramatic crystals, including the Crystal King, a stalactite nearly 5 feet tall that is estimated to be about 250,000 years old. The Historic Tour is open only to groups, and adds on the first part of the caves that was discovered. The passageways aren’t as finished off and level as in the rest of the cave, and some are quite narrow or low. Caving is one of the few times when it actually pays to be short! I barely had to duck at all. 😀

"Fantasy Land" room in the caverns

If you are ever in the area, I’d highly recommend Ohio Caverns – it’s a spectacle not to be missed! The Camaro friends had a good time, and were in no hurry to take off to our next destination, but we had a schedule to meet, so off we went to Mac-o-chee and Mac-o-cheek Castles – yes, there are castles in Ohio! We’ll take a look at those here next week.

If you live in the area, have you ever visited Ohio Caverns? If not, do you have anything like this in your locale? Ever bought a consumer product that included Easter eggs? Please share!

More at the My Town Monday blog

Crystal King photo via Wikipedia, Creative Commons license

 

 

 

12 Responses to \

  1. I’ve been to the Ohio Caverns, and was very impressed. I never realized we had something so cool so close to home. I thought the interesting thing was that the temperature inside was the same year round – regardless of how hot or cold it was outside.

  2. I have never been to the Ohio Caverns, but long ago I visited some in Kentucky. I think we have some in Texas as well and your pictures reminded me of what a neat field trip it would be to take my girls to them:) Of course, I’ll be going in my swagger wagon mini-van, not quite as cool as your ride:)

  3. Camaros are sooooooo cool. How nice that you’re able to get together with your Camaro buds and go cruisin’ to neat places like the caves. I’d love to see them some day. Can’t wait to hear about the castles next!

  4. I’ve never been to Ohio, period – despite my mother coming from that state. However, I love caverns and have been to Inner Space, Natural Bridge, and Carlsbad Caverns. They are fascinating places to tour. I should put this one on my list if I ever get up to Ohio. Thanks, Jennette.

  5. Kara – you’re probably talking about Mammoth Cave in KY, right? I was there when I was a kid – huuuuuggge! Ohio Caverns is tiny by comparison, but very beautiful. Thanks for stopping by!

    Lynn – my Camaro friends are awesome! Spending time together and with our cars is always great! We even had a couple who are geology experts and gave some interesting, additional commentary on the caves. Thanks for your comment!

    Julie – Ohio Caverns is probably small by comparison to those you’ve listed too, but still should be worthwhile. Thanks for coming by!

  6. Hey Jen,

    Can’t think of a better way to travel than in that Camero. My husband is from Ohio and we have lots of family there. Yet no one ever spoke about these beautiful caverns. They are majestic! Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

  7. Karen, you should definitely check out the Ohio Caverns next time you’re in the area – and yes, how better to go than in a pack of Camaros? 😀 Thanks for visiting!

  8. The Caverns sound so cool! I would love to visit such a place. Years ago I got to tour some caverns like that in Texas, I can’t recall their name though. And how fun to travel via pack or Camaros! I love the new Camaros. I bet you turn a lot of heads. 😀

  9. Barrie – I’d love to see Carlsbad Caverns some time – Ohio’s are tiny by comparison! And the bats, too – there were just a few in the caverns when we were there, but one flew at a guy who tried to take its picture!

  10. Debra – it was a great time! And yes, the cars definitely get attention, especially when there are 20 of them! Although, not as much as a couple years ago.