Many people wait until August to take their vacation and when they do, some visit their relatives and friends in other states.
Many can bee seen absorbing the sun’s rays on our strands while others tour the Smokies and enjoy magnificent views from overlooks on scenic highways.
For the ones who take the mountain route, a trip to some of the many caves can be an interesting venture indeed. It isn’t always advisable for everyone to explore these caverns as some are dangerous to go through, and many have claustrophobia.
Most of the safe caves are open to the public and charge a small fee. Usually a guide goes with the visitors, explaining the formations found inside.
The caves of Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Northern Alabama and Georgia are in the great limestone strata of the Appalachian chain of mountains.
The limestone includes large deposits of marble, chalk, shale, coal and grey cement materials. We also find minerals in places nearby, such as iron and copper.
As we ride along the limestone sections, we are apt to see places that are hilly and slanting, but at the bottom there is no outlet from which water can flow out. Where does the water go? Well, at the bottom of this crater, there is a crack in the limestone rock into which the water gradually seeps.
As the water goes through this crack, it soon reaches other flows following other cracks, and finally a large spring flows out of the ground somewhere in the valley below.
Limestone is mostly calcium carbonate and primarily the material bones, egg shells and sea shells are made of. This material is partially soluable in water, and over centuries a small stream flowing through a crack in limestone rock can form a cavern.
Inside each of these caves we see many strange formations, staglamites and stalactiles of pure onyx, which reflect light from our lamps and flashlights. As we walk through the passages, we can hear water dripping or falling in some places, making a musical sound. And upon further observation we might find water flowing fast over a shelf of the limestone rock.
The pot holes in the rock are warn deep and almost always contain small pieces of limestone rock which are perfectly round in shape. This being caused by the rock chips rubbing together and rolling around in the water current for years and years and finally becoming round.
It is common to find as many as a dozen in one pot hole, and all of them being round and polished.
Afterhtought: They are made of the same materials as pearls found in the sea shells and are much larger in size.
The first marles played with by our ancestors’ children were cave pearls and were genuine marble too (Calcium Carbonate).