Caves of Backbone offer hidden vistas for visitors

20150912_163619_HDR Cave2By: Austin Reyhons

Austin Reyhons Photos

In this edition of Photo Expeditions we pack up and head out to Backbone State Park located in Dundee, Iowa, approximately a 50-minute drive from the high school. Senior Nate Llewellyn and I start off the trip by exploring Backbone’s well known caves.

When approaching the massive rock structure, the entrance to the cave looks small in comparison. We crouch and shuffle as we delve deeper into the wet, muggy cave. The air was cool, like the smell of fall, and stale with the scent of mud.

As we continue, the top of the cave rises, allowing us to stand and let our legs breath, all the while not having the ability to see a thing outside of the boundaries of our flash light. The floors and rocks had a layer of grainy mud that had the consistency of sand spread thin on a surface. Stalagmites were reaching up for the top surface, which, under the blue of the flashlight, gave the cave an eerie vibe.

When the cave’s top stooped low and the sides spread wide, we finally gave in and committed to crawling on our bellies to continue onward. We slid across the cold rock like turtles feeling the walls of the cave, which were glossy and wet.

When venturing out and seeing the sun burst through the trees and reach into the cave, we realized how magnificent the dark void of the cave really was. As we leave, looking back, the exit to the cave seemed immense compared to before.

Come back next time for the second day and more of Backbone State Park.

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