Thursday, August 12, 2010

Longhorn Cavern

Aeons ago, the coastal plains of Texas bent downward.  A Central Texas area known as the Llano Uplift remained stable and the Hill Country was born.
  Map from University of Texas at Austin website Geologic Wonders of Texas

Over time, soil eroded.  Water percolated through the limestone.  Caves were formed as the rock dissolved.  And in a few places, underground rivers carved dramatic flowing caverns.

Longhorn Cavern is one of those.  About 14 miles northwest of Marble Falls, visitors step down into geologic time.  

Sunlight faded as Denny and I joined ten other mortals for a visit to nature's negative space.
One and a quarter miles of wandering through cool damp otherworld. 

Past angel-wings of stone dripping into being,




a water-carved terrier,

and crystals glittering overhead.

One massive inner cathedral extended up beyond light.


The guide told stories.  Hidden outlaw treasure, a Saturday-night speakeasy frequented by church members who gathered there the next morning.  

We walked, our hearts beating slower as time receded into the reality of rock.


Copyright 2009-2010 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

13 comments :

Ms. Moon said...

Awesome, Lady. I love the deepness but it scares me too. Thanks for the images which I did not have to go underground to see.

Birdwoman said...

Beautiful pictures of a very special place.

N2 said...

That last one of the lighted underground chamber looks like a storm cloud formation at sunset. Beautiful!
x0 N2

Pam/Digging said...

What a good time of year to go and beat the heat. I can't believe that "terrier" was carved randomly by water--amazing!

dianne said...

Great photos of such an amazing place Kathleen, the colours and the natural formations are beautiful.
xoxo ♡

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Gorgeous photos! Thanks for posting them.

Love you guys. Have a great weekend!

SB

Patchwork said...

Aeons ago, was when I went to Longhorn Caverns for the first time...with my parents.
I've been back several times since...with kids and then, grandkids.

This spring, I took a couple granddaughters to Natural Bridge Caverns. It's a good one, too. More strenuous, though. We felt like we'd had quite a workout.

Thanks for the memories...

~~Linda..

SECRET PEPPER PERSON: said...

Speechless. Had no idea Texas had any thing like this! Thanks for the tour.

lulumarie said...

Absolutely breathtaking. That last photo made me think of Georgia O'Keefe. I can just imagine the direction her paintings might have taken had she seen this inspiring place!

Elizabeth said...

That's fantastic -- there's something terribly romantic AND creepy about these worlds of stone underground.

deb said...

I've always wondered if I'd have the courage to venture into caves... these photo certainly tempt me. Stunning.

and I say yes to your bird guess on my post. It was so full of prickly weeds I wasn't able to get any closer so did a zoom lens guess.

Me said...

Wow. . . what an amazing thing to bear witness to. I see the pictures I'm going to have to put seeing a place like this on my life's wish list. Awesome really is the proper word for it. . .

Elizabeth Westmark said...

I've only visited one cavern -- it was Tuckaleechee (say it, it's fun!) in Townsend, Tennessee. Would love to visit Carlsbad and other caverns. The angel wing formation is fantastic, and that last shot makes me think of a tour of a big brain.