WOW… Luray Caverns!

August 23, 2019

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Well Mummy and Daddy just went to see a REALLY COOL tourist attraction here in Luray, Virginia yesterday… so I need to tell you lots of stuff about the place. It is called “Luray Caverns” and man that place has it going over there! They have the caverns, a toy museum, a vintage car museum and an outdoor maze… all for one ticket price! Now, here is the really interesting part… THEY ARE DOGGIE FRIENDLY! YES… you are allowed to CARRY your small doggie INTO THE CAVERNS or if it is a service doggie they can WALK ON A LEASH. Regular doggies CANNOT WALK ON LEASHES. They have kennel facilities for bigger doggies because they don’t want anyone leaving doggies in the hot cars!! That is BAD!  You can bring little doggies in the caverns in a stroller if it is a SMALL STROLLER but there are fragile stone objects to be careful of, and you are in a large tour group of about 35-40 people who are all trying to listen to the guide at the FRONT of the group, soooooo…. Mummy decided not to take us. BOY, was she glad she made the right move on that one! There was a baby in their group that screamed and hollered for half the tour making it IMPOSSIBLE to hear with his screams echoing all over that cave, and then there were two 8-10 year old girls who were playing tag with each other, squealing and laughing and running in and out of the group… while their mom pretended to not know who they were. All of the other visitors were telling the girls to please behave and go stand with their parents… it was mayhem! Mummy said if we had been there she KNOWS the girls would have been crowded around our stroller wanting to play with us and making us BARK… with our BARKING then echoing everywhere! At one point they reached a stalagmite (those grow up from the floor) in the middle of a narrow path and she and Daddy looked at each other and both said, “OMG, the stroller would have NEVER FIT around that thing!” ???? And many of the paths along the 1 1/2 mile tour took a steep upward trajectory which Mummy said would have been pretty strenuous on Daddy to push us up such steep hills for so long!!! ????? So in the end, they were VERY GLAD they left us at the AIRSTREAM to take a nap. If you only have ONE PUP to carry, then no problem…. but Mummy DOES NOT ADVISE TAKING A STROLLER IN THERE!!! And if your pup is a BARKER… leave them at home… they will be disruptive to the large group like those misbehaving children were.

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Now… let me tell you about the caverns because you should try and see them! Mummy and Daddy were thrilled that they went! They are the 3rd most visited caverns in the USA, with about 500,000 visitors each year. They were discovered in 1878 by 5 local men who found a huge limestone outcropping near a sinkhole that had cool air coming from below. Thinking that a cavern might be there, they started digging… and 4 hours later, they had created a hole big enough for the smallest of the men to squeeze through and explore by only candlelight! Later, they discovered some bone fragments embedded in the calcite, and other traces of human life, like charcoal and flint, was found embedded in some of the stalagmite.

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Luray Caverns holds many natural wonders, such as: columns, mud flows, stalactites (these formations form from the ceiling, downward), stalagmites (these formations form from the floor, upward), flowstone and mirrored pools. The caverns are best known for their “Great Stalacpipe Organ” that taps into stalactites of various sizes to produce tones similar to a xylophone, tuning fork or bells… which makes a musical sound! They actually gave a demonstration of this and it was amazing. ??

The tour stopped alongside a shallow body of water called “Dream Lake.” The surface of the water reflected the formations that hung just above it, giving it an eerie optical illusion. It appeared to be very deep but the tour guide said it was about 2” at its most shallow and 20” at its deepest parts. Further along the 1 1/2 mile path was a “Wishing Well” where you were allowed to toss in coins and make a wish. The coins are later collected and donated to charities. From 2011-2017 they donated $282,335 from just the money that came from this Wishing Well!!!

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The temperature in the cavern is a cool 54 degrees all the time, so make sure to wear a light jacket when you come. We were educated on the color variations in the rocks and told that the yellow, brown and red colors are from minerals in the earth that seep into the water.  The red and yellow is from iron. All of the formations in the caverns are calcite, which is a crystalline form of limestone. Calcite in its purest form is naturally white, and “Titania’s Veil” is the perfect example of this pure calcite.  To put all of these formations into perspective, the tour guide told the group that it take 120 years to form just 1 cubic INCH of rock… and then he told everyone to look at the SIZE of some of the formations. The caverns are estimated to be MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD!!! Along the way the guide pointed out spots of GREEN that were growing on some of the formations, and even on spots on the ceilings. He said the color GREEN is not something that they expected to find in the caverns and when it was finally tested, it was found to be MOLD. They discovered that we, the visitors, were bringing microscopic mold spores into the caves on our clothing and it was being released into the humid air once inside the caves. One way that they try and control any further damage to the rocks is to limit the amount of LIGHT that they receive, so all of the lighting is set on timers. As a tour moves through an area, the lights behind them go OFF, so the tour guide warns everyone to stick together, lest you be left behind in the DARK… all alone. He said that after 2 weeks alone in total darkness a person will go mad… and after 3 weeks in total darkness, you will go blind!!! Mummy and Daddy inched up closer to the middle of the group at this point. YIKES! ???

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As they entered a room called the Giant’s Hall, there stood the best example of a stalactite and stalagmite coming together to meet in what is called the “Double Column.” It stands 47 feet tall and is the tallest one in the caves. Everyone could be heard whispering their “favorite” type of formation, and Mummy said that hers was the “Drapery Formation” because it was soooo elegant the way the rock just rippled over and really looked like the folds of a real drapery! The rock is only about 1/8” thick in places and their guide said that you can hold a candle behind one of the thin folds and actually see all of the layers that make up the folds!!!! WOW! Can you believe how COOL NATURE IS?!?!?! The guide told them that Luray Caverns is still an ACTIVE cave, which means it is still growing and forming. Every so often Mummy felt a “drip” on her head or another “drip” run down her face. The guide said these “drips” were droplets falling from the ceiling and were “kisses” from the cave… a sign that you would have good luck for 1 year for each kiss. Mummy whispered to Daddy that she was “all kissed up” and needed to dry off when they got back to the car! ??? They finished the tour by seeing a memorial that was dedicated to all of the men and women from the area who had lost their lives fighting for our country. The Luray Caverns tour was just a very professionally done tour where everyone learned so much. Try and stop by and see it if you are ever near here… you will be glad you did. ?❤️???

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Jeanie Drane
Jeanie Drane
3 years ago

Wowza,that sounds awesome,i love cavererns, the amazexme too,all the stagtites hanging down, i always,want to touch thrm ,the tour guides say u cant from the oil frim our skin ,so glad u both got to enjoy ,sorry so mant interuptions, wish the girls could have gotter to stay longer, but ur always,right about ,their safety, love u all have a grear time, the adventure coning closer to the end, wow where did the time go,i uave read ur post everyday,seems like u all just got started,life flying by, prayers, love sent to u all like the story abloutcthe drips on… Read more »

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeanie Drane

Ms Jeanie we have loved reading your comments all summer! Every day we look for your messages! ?? Mummy and Daddy loved the caverns but in the end they were really glad that they didn’t take us! There were many places where you stand at very high overlooks and peer down in a deep abyss which would be dangerous if your little furbaby happened to escape from the leash!!! So just because you CAN take your doggie somewhere doesn’t mean you always SHOULD! Take into account the PLACE where you are going and how well you can control the crowd… Read more »

Mary Hamilton
Mary Hamilton
3 years ago

My mummy has been many times through the years, but never knew it was doggie friendly! I must admit, I would have probably been barking cause mummy says I don’t know when to be quiet ?. My brother does tho ?very cool place! Can doggies in strollers go into the maze?

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary Hamilton

They didn’t ask about taking them into the maze, but they had heard that the caves WERE doggie friendly so they asked about that when they went to buy the tickets… just so we could report back in our post. Mummy had already decided not to take us but there could be others who want to bring theirs.

Sharon Hook
Sharon Hook
3 years ago

Good Morning Everyone,

I am glad you enjoyed your day at Luray Caverns. It sound so interesting. I am sure you are off on a new adventure today. Have a fun safe day.

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Hook

Our parents had fun at the caverns and we enjoyed exploring the beautiful Shenandoah Valley area! ?❤️?

Sharon Sweat
Sharon Sweat
3 years ago

When I was a teenager, my family visited these caverns. I was in awe of it the. I am sure that I would love them more now. So glad you are having such a great vacation. Love all of your posts. Kisses to all.

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Sweat

It is something that you could see many times because you will see a new formation that you missed each visit. There is just soooo much to see! They actually filmed part of a movie in this cave in the 70’s: THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT, which was a great movie, by the way!.. with Susan Sarandon.

Lynn Davis
Lynn Davis
3 years ago

What a beautiful adventure! We love visiting caverns, but have never seen those. Thanks for the tour! ❤

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Lynn Davis

These are definitely worth a visit! They have headsets available but Mummy and Daddy were not told about them and it would have been nice to have that since when you are in the back of the large group, it is hard to hear the tour guide… especially when kids are making noise.

Johnna Wheeler
Johnna Wheeler
3 years ago

Love the great places and detailed reviews you share! Wow!

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Johnna Wheeler

This was a really interesting place to visit! ?❤️??

Troy J Howlett
Troy J Howlett
3 years ago

Wow. Looks awesome. My favorite po art of living in Kentucky years ago was I could go tour another cave, cavern, etc there were so many.
I

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Troy J Howlett

Mummy and Daddy love going on cave tours.Also… on a totally unrelated topic… Mummy loves scary movies and a GREAT ONE about a cave is: The Descent

Lynn
Lynn
3 years ago

Have you visited Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico? If so, how do the 2 compare?

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Lynn

Yes, they went there and it was FANTASTIC. It was GORGEOUS! In their opinion it was prettier with crystal-like formations that sparkled like little diamonds. It was more more grand in scale but Luray Caverns is still quite impressive.

Sherri Davis
Sherri Davis
3 years ago

I love the drapery formation the best! I bet that was the coolest thing going through those caverns! Thank u for the pictures! Mummy and Daddy were. Very smart in taking y’all back for a nap. I am sorry there experience was not enjoyable because of the girls and the baby. Sometimes people should leave their kids at home so that us grown folks can enjoy things more.

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Sherri Davis

They still enjoyed the tour despite the children, but people REALLY need to be considerate of others. Our parents left us behind because they felt we would be a distraction to others on the tour… in addition to it possibly being not completely safe for US and the rock formations.

Susan Thomas
Susan Thomas
3 years ago

I’m soooooooooo glad your Mummy and Daddy got to see the caverns! I haven’t been in them since I was probably 9 or 10 years old and I know back then they didn’t allow doggies in so they’ve changed that since I went in. I still have a small record that I got there when you play it tells a story of the caverns. It is so amazing in there but I remember being afraid of getting trapped down there and I held onto my Mommy’s hand the entire time! LOL Shame on those parents for not making their children… Read more »

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Susan Thomas

There are so many natural wonders in the USA that people just never see… we need to slow down and take more time to enjoy the things around us! ?❤️??

Susan Calvert
Susan Calvert
3 years ago

What a wonderful experience! I’m sorry the kids and baby made it a little “challenging” to enjoy. (Some parents really need to exercise more control over their children.) I love to explore caverns and find them fascinating. I think my favorite formation is Titania’s Veil. Thank you for the informative tour!

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Susan Calvert

Ohhh the veil was soooo beautiful! These little pictures really can’t capture the true beauty! They were HUGE!!!! And when you think that it takes 120 years to form just ONE INCH it just makes you shake your head in amazement! ??❤️

Daphne Parris
Daphne Parris
3 years ago

Those Caverns are Absolutely Awesome . But I’ve not seen them since I was a Teenager. Thank you for the walk down Memory Lane. This was exciting. I’d forgotten about the kisses. I too was drenched with those. LoL.

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Daphne Parris

Lolololol Mummy hopes that it is true about the GOOD LUCK KISSES because she is COVERED WITH LUCK NOW! ?

Joan Evans
Joan Evans
3 years ago

It really sounds like it was well worth the trip even with the noisy children and deaf parents. I’m loving this trip with you. ?

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Joan Evans

Thank you for following us this summer! Our parents loved the trip to the caverns despite the loud children on their tour. ?❤️??

Dawn Dupuis
Dawn Dupuis
3 years ago

Wow! Fabulous breathtaking photos! I remember going here as well as a child with my parents and siblings and aunt and uncle and two cousins. I must say my mom had 4 children and my aunt had two and we were well-behaved. I’m sorry to hear about the unruly children. I do remember the elevator going down, I was a little scared but as soon as the doors open and I saw the beauty it was truly amazing. I want to make a trip back to this awesome place so my hubby can see the beauty and I can see… Read more »

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Dawn Dupuis

They don’t take you down in an elevator anymore… you walk down a long outdoor winding path and into the caves through an outdoor entrance that just opened this year! They are always improving their place… it is HUGE… you won’t recognize the place!!!

Martha Esposito
Martha Esposito
3 years ago

It has been over 30 years since my family and I went to Luray Caverns. I loved that place. It is a great place to visit.
Sorry about the noisy child. The parents should of taken the child out.
Thank you for sharing this brings back lots of memories.

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago

It was a great tour despite the noisy children, but people really should be aware of how their actions affect others on large group tours like this. But our patents still enjoyed the caverns! … but it was also a big reason why they decided NOT to take us along even though it was doggie friendly. They weren’t sure how tight it would be inside the cabe and felt we might ruin the experience for others… so they left us at our trailer and we were perfectly happy there.

Deborah Bright
Deborah Bright
3 years ago

This place sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing. It’s on my list to visit when I’m in that area.

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Deborah Bright

You will really enjoy it… it was AMAZING!!!

Debra
Debra
3 years ago

Wow how beautiful! Too bad there were noisy children. The photos are gorgeous! Thank you for sharing!

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Debra

The pictures hardly do justice to how it truly looked in person. You cannot really get the feel of how ENORMOUS these features were!!!

Bethe Austin
Bethe Austin
3 years ago

Wow wow WOW
What a tour!
And though Mums says I am not a barker,
And having done ‘Gypsy’ with lotsa kids,
I would Not NOT been happy being there with crying babes not “wild child” kidlets”!
And Mums would have been sad not to hear every little. Snipet of the information and stories- yikes
But! What Fun you are All Having!!!!
We ( me and Mums ) have Loved reading your Vacation stories!!!!!
Tee Hee xxxx – Leetl LuLoo

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Bethe Austin

The parents still had fun but Mummy wanted to put the two 10-year-olds in TIME OUT… in a dark part of the cave! ??? One of the other visitors fussed at the kids and told them to BEHAVE and go Find their parents! ????

Debbie Fisher
Debbie Fisher
3 years ago

Your photos are beautiful!! It has been many years since we visited Luray Caverns!! I did not remember that the tour is 1.5 miles!! It sounds like Mama and Daddy enjoyed their visit…even with the unattended children!! We are sure enjoying visiting the Eastern US with your posts!! Thank you for sharing!!

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Fisher

Oh yes… they still had a wonderful time at the caverns despite the rude little girls. The baby could not be helped because he was just a baby. Maybe the parents were on vacation like ours were and had no one to watch him.. so of course they had to bring him. But it was cold in there and he had his bare legs showing so Mummy thought he might have been COLD!!!

Jeanie Drane
Jeanie Drane
3 years ago

Wow it sounds steep,deep,love reading ur posts everyday, i look forcthem lovecthe photos ,all so beautiful places yes the girls safety is most important,i always was that way by lexis,,prayers for safety, havexgreat times where ever to go next, kiss the girls, love to all❣❣❣❣❣❣❣❣❣❣❣????????????????????????????????❣❣❣❣❣❣?????????????????????????????????????????????❣❣❣❣???,

Laurie Heikoff
Laurie Heikoff
3 years ago

Those caverns sound amazing, little Millie! Thank you for sharing their history with us!!! ?

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Laurie Heikoff

They really were beautiful, according to our parents… and we were happy to get in some much needed nap time! ???

Shannon Henderson
Shannon Henderson
3 years ago

Hey Millie sounds like mom made right choice. It sounds beautiful. Love yall

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago

Oh yes… we have been needing a good nap so this worked out good for us! ???

Wendy Scoggins
Wendy Scoggins
3 years ago

That sounds great!

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Wendy Scoggins

Mummy and Daddy really enjoyed seeing the caverns. It is a place you could see again and again!

Carol Copeland
Carol Copeland
3 years ago

Very cool!

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Carol Copeland

Our parents really enjoyed it… the tour guide was very good and told lots of stories about the caverns.

Faye Lawrence
Faye Lawrence
3 years ago

WOW, AMAZING ..

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Faye Lawrence

Yes! I hope you can see them in person one day… they were beautiful! ?❤️??

Judy Alter
Judy Alter
3 years ago

That sounds like an awesome place to visit.

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Alter

They were really beautiful! If you are ever near here, try to stop and see them. ?❤️??

Ina Rohde
Ina Rohde
3 years ago

Your trip has been so interesting and educational. You pick up so much information and thank you for passing it on to us. (Glad the girls stayed in their cozy beds today. They probably needed the rest).

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Ina Rohde

Yes… we really needed to catch up on our naps so it was all good. ?❤️?

Hope Eber
Hope Eber
3 years ago

WOW, this is so cool! Brian and I love going to Caverns. You are right, Millie, nature is so COOL and God is so creative! LOVE, LOVE learning along with you. Continued prayers for safe travels.

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Hope Eber

This was a beautiful cavern and I hope that you get a chance to see it in person! ?❤️?

Patsy Smith
Patsy Smith
3 years ago

Those Caverns are absolutely beautiful. It is good that the Girls stayed in the Airstream.
Thank you for bringing back some wonderful memories from my childhood. Prayers for your safe travels. ?

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Patsy Smith

Thank you… we had a very good nap and Mummy plugged in a soothing doggie CD for us to listen to, so we had a relaxing afternoon! ?❤️??

Monica Karroum
Monica Karroum
3 years ago

Looks like a very great place to visit!! but since Moka is a super barker.. she can stay with my parents hahaha 😉 thanks for sharing 🙂 kissesss

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago
Reply to  Monica Karroum

??? Oh yes! Her barks would echo all over those caverns!!! Lololol

Dianna Reynolds
3 years ago

THIS IS FASCINATING. THE PHOTOS ARE BEAUTIFUL. WOW THEY ALL LOOK VERY LARGE. POOR PETS THAT WERE WITH THEIR OWNERS ARE FEL SORRY FOR. POOR PETS. AWE..
GLAD YOUR BABY’S WERE NAPPING.
THE CAVERN SOUNDS SO PRETTY. NARRATERS SOUND VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE. MAKES IT SO INTERESTING. LOVE TO LISTEN THEN.
ONLY CAVERNS I’VE BEEN IN WAS MISSOURI. WAS GREAT TO SEE.
THANK YOU AND YOUR BABY’S. THEIR SO VERY SWEET.

millie larue
millie larue
3 years ago

Mummy said they were beautiful but we really had a wonderful nap at our trailer so it was a nice day for everyone. ??

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