The guides worked there, not just leading tours, I suspect, for they knew their subject well and readily answered all questions that asked. This was just entertainment for me, but there are passages there for the expert spelunker, who would appreciate the significance of this cave, one of its kind east of the Mississippi. For families, there are picnic tables and grassy play areas with a great mountain view--a good place to spend an afternoon. One word of caution: the walk down is easy, though sometimes wet and slippery, not for those with unsure footing, and the hike back up is a tad strenuous.
The highlight of this 45-60 minute tour was probably the light show. Before complete darkness, the guide had us position ourselves for the most advantageous viewing of stalactites and stalagmites lighted according to the Hallelujah Chorus. Okay, that's really "touristy," but it was late, almost dark outside on a winter Sunday. We had a two-hour drive home, but didn't want to go yet. The music isn't my favorite classical choice in some settings, but in a cave, it worked! Be aware that I'm not recommending this on a sunny afternoon in summer unless you really like caverns or have never been to one. They have a website: www.laurelcaverns.com with information on rappelling and field trips.
, West Virginia
February 6, 2001
From journal A Summer Working (and Playing) in the Laurel Highl