What a great family experience! I wasn't sure I could deal with being inside a cave for 4 hours, but I survived and loved it. Our guide was Jerry. We could tell that he loves what he does. He told us he's been caving for over 30 years and it shows. Jerry extremely informative and ready with answers to any questions we had. Now, on to the cave tour.
When you arrive to Raccoon Caverns you meet with your guide to go over safety and the tour itself. You're told ahead of time to wear a long sleeve t-shirt and long pants since it's cold in the cave. Your guide will give you gloves, hard hat with a light and knee pads.
In my opinion elbows pads should also be used.
You enter through the show cave. This is where people who just want to see a sliver of what a cave has to offer go to see. They have this area lit up. Then your guide has you turn on your head light and your cave experience starts. At this point I started to wonder what I had done and why had I chosen to do it for 4 hours. For some reason I had thought that the cave WAS going to be lit up. We were crawling through tiny holes, going over a canyon with a 6 to 15 foot drop, belly crawling through something called the "birth canal", looking at fossils,sitting in pitch darkness.
Whatever longsleeve shirt, pants and shoes you wear, make sure you are ready to put them in the dump. We really got muddy. But well worth it. A couple more thing: shoes, belts. The best shoes are hiking boots. My kids and I had sneakers on and a lot of areas were very slippery. My husband had his boots on and handled the slippery areas better. Don't wear belts or anything on your clothing that could did into your body as you are crawling around. I got a couple of bruises from my belt.
Truly an incredible experience that I would do again. My husband and 2 kids, 9 and 11, couldn't stop talking about afterwards. This wasn't even the main part of our trip. Go to Raccoon Caverns and ask for Jerry.
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