We went with Mark's cousin and the kids on a walking tour of Marvel Cave. As the guide described it before we began, it's over 600 stairs, 1/2 a mile long, and the equivalent of going down a 60 story building to go up a 50 story building, in order to ride the train at the end.
I have to admit, before we began, I was a little nervous. He said it was a strenuous trip, not recommended if you have breathing issues (I have asthma), bad feet (I'm still recovering from the achilles tendon issue from 2 1/2 months ago), bad knees (yea for arthritis!), plus a slew of other things that I -don't- have (:
Frequently as we went along, I felt like we'd paired the two weakest links-- myself, and my youngest nephew, who is 4. Surprisingly, he never once got scared or worried, just held my hand and walked the entire thing!
This is a picture Mark took with his cell phone once we got down the first major flight of stairs, looking down.
At the shoe (if you looked straight up, the ceiling looked exactly like the bottom of a man's shoe), they turned out all the electricity. It was pitch black. Unlike most of the cave, that was around 54 degrees, this room was 10 degrees warmer. When the original explorer got here, and tossing pebbles over the side, never heard them hit bottom, he thought he was in hell. The reason they never hit bottom? The cave floor was absolutely covered in guano. Fortunately, miners harvested the guano a century ago, so now, us walking tour folk wouldn't have to worry about stepping in it (;
When we got to the end, it lucked out perfectly that all 10 of us were on the same section of the tilted train. When it started moving, my nephew laughed and laughed! He said, very excitedly, "I'm gonna have to tell my Daddy about this! I got to ride a -train- for the first time!" And I was very proud of all of us. We did it! We did the walking tour with no mishaps and a lot of fun (:
It reminds me of (and proves) a motivational quote a friend of mine shared on facebook the other day:
“Always go with the choice that scares you the most,
because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you. ”