I was supposed to be checking out Steger this weekend; however due to a family matter I was in West Virginia instead. Having a few hours to spare and trying to shake the road buzz off I decided to take my two older boys to Island Ford cave, even though that involved more driving.
The two older boys had been in several commerial caves but never a “wild” cave. In the commerial caves they are typically more interested in the gravel path and any pool of water they can find. And of course commerial caves are typically lit well. There were many unanswered questions I had in regards to how they would react, what they would think, would they ever trust me again. In any event I was sure this would be an experience.
They were very excited about the whole thing. They were estatic to be putting on helmets with lights. They both loved the daylight zone, as we rounded the first corner I was watching for changes in their manorizisms. As we ventured farther into the cave, my older son was starting to really get into it. Pointing at this and that, wanting to check every little thing out; which including leaning over small ledges at a stream below us. Whereas the middle son was a bit more cautious, ok really cautious. After a few more turns he mentioned he wanted to go back, not wanting to push him into something he was not comfortable doing I stated we would turn around. The look of disappoint on my older sons face was crushing; however I would rather have a disapointed kid than a kid who is fearful of something.
Once back into the daylight zone we checked out the local pigeons, cave crickets, and the array of trash left behind. They enjoyed just crusing around, yelling into cracks hoping to be heard through another crack in the wall.
In summary it was a good experience, two of my boys got out caving and have an idea of what caving is and what to expect. Though I might have made a cave junkie out of my oldest son, but I’ll need to bring a leash to keep him under control and myself sane. The other, perhaps another day; but in the meantime he’ll probably stick to his guppie like abilities in the pool.