Tales of Muhlesteins Far and Wide

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

We Braved Timpanogos Cave

I was relatively convinced that this Saturday wasn't going to be a great success in terms of having lots of fun. Gayla had meetings this morning and I just didn't have a lot of plans for the rest of the day. I needed to got some work done on the wheels for our car and wasn't too excited at the length of time I was going to have to wait to get that done. After Gayla was finished with her meetings, I could tell that Scott and Dallin were going to need something constructive to do or we were going to have a VERY long day.

Then it dawned on me. We had been saying for a long time that it was a shame that we had lived here for this long and never hiked up through Timpanogos Cave. That was enough to convince me. We packed up the boys and headed off. On the way I dropped off the car at Big-O and told them we'd come back and get it later. (Sure beats sitting and waiting for them to get stuff done.)

Here is Gayla and the boys at the start of our adventure. (You can click on most of the pictures to see bigger ones.) Scott doesn't look like he is too excited about hiking 1.5 miles up the hill. Dallin has no idea what he is getting into. We found out that there was a 1 hour wait before we could start hiking up to the cave. That is because there was quite a few other people that had the same idea as we had today. We called Big-O and told them just to put the keys in the car under the seat when they were done and we'd pick it up later. We weren't going to make it back before they closed.

The Visitor Center at the start of the trail has a movie you can watch. It shows a bunch of stuff about the cave for those that don't want to walk up and see it. It can also help pass that 1 hour waiting time before you are supposed to start hiking. Tim and Dallin were quite bored with the video and about caused enough noise that we didn't think anyone could hear so we decided to just start walking early. We figured we might need the extra time anyway. Once we convinced Scott that he could actually walk this far (he had no clue how far it is, but usually starts complaining about walking after 100 yards or so), his 5 year old legs outperformed Dallin's 3 1/2 year old legs. Dallin was not to be left too far behind though and did a great job.

Here is me and the boys about 1/3 of the way up the trail. (1/2 mile). As you can see, Tim was also working very hard to make it up to the cave.

The pictures below proves we made it. We rested for a while and the boys quickly regained any energy they lost. Scott and Dallin were a bit anxious when we entered the cave. They weren't too sure about going 500 feet down into the mountain.

At one point we passed a couple of park rangers sitting along the tunnelwaiting to do whatever job they were supposed to do. You couldn't see them until we were right there and since they were sitting, they were about Scott's height. He about jumped out of his skin when he saw them. I guess he just wasn't expecting people to be right there in the middle of the mountain. There is one point in the cave where they turn the lights off and let you see how dark it naturally is. Our group was rather close to the group ahead of us when the first group decided it was time to do that demonstration. Unfortunately, we were in the middle of a tunnel walking and not in the standing place. However, Gayla, the boys, and I were toward the end of the pack and could still see a little bit of light from the portion of the tunnel that didn't get turned off. We wondered what we were going to do for a bit, stayed still for a bit, tried to keep Scott and Dallin calm, and eventually they turned the lights back on.

Us at the cave entrance. Elevation 6730 Feet (1130 feet above the Visitor Center)

We saw many really cool stuff in the cave. Unfortunately, our camera just isn't that great at taking pictures in really low light. This one above turned out OK though. They warn you not to touch anything in the cave because the formations (like those above) are extremely delicate. They break easy but take millions of years to grow.

Coming out the other side, you can see it is a very long way down to the bottom of the canyon. Actually, you can't see the bottom of the canyon here.

All in all, we had a great time. As you can see from this picture, Tim was rather tired out from the hike. We made it back and noticed that a trip to Wendy's was rather necessary. We had brought lunch but no dinner. We thought the hike could justify the calories.


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