We have officially sold our house. We are homeless! Well, not exactly…we are living with my sister for the next three weeks. It’s me and my husband, our 3 boys, my sister, her daughter, the new renter, 6 cats, one little dog, and my mom.

Yeeha!

Life is going to be interesting, I think. But that’s what life is all about…suffering.

Anyway, in my last blog, I started chronicling about my trip back to Minnesota. To be honest, I’m kind of getting bored with that so I’ll only spend time commenting on our visit to Howe’s Caverns in New York, which we saw on the way back home. Having written about a world that takes place in caves, it only seems right that I should research these underground worlds. So, whenever I can, I visit any caves I can find. As proof, I plan to purchase a t-shirt for those caves I have visited (though on a few I will have to backtrack since I just came up with this idea). In any case, it should be rip-roaring fun.

Okay…so back to Howe’s Caverns. Like Niagara Falls, finding the caverns wasn’t as easy as I thought it should be. On the way to Minnesota, we took I-90. On the way home, we took I-80 through Pennsylvania and then cut upwards into NY…It’s cheaper that way (no tolls). On I-90 there were several signs for the caverns, but when we took the other way, there was nothing. When we were really close to the exit, we found one or two small signs for it. Again, to all you tourist traps, I need big signs – at least one telling me I’m close! When you’re driving 70 mph, you need something big and easy to read. Of course, I’m also not a big fan of giant billboards, so really, there’s just no pleasing me.

Can you just get to the caves part, Kristina? I can hear you saying that, you know, but the thing is, I wasn’t all that impressed with them. They weren’t very wild or majestic, simply underground. The walkways were nice and neat; there were even some stalagmites they let you touch. You can take a boat ride on a stream, too, all the way up to waterfalls, which, unfortunately, you can’t see. The best part of the tour was at the very end when we passed through this winding passageway. That was very cool. You can also pay more money and do real caving in parts of the cave, but only at certain times. I would probably have liked that more. The kids liked it, however, and they got caving helmets, so the side trip wasn’t a total washout.

When I was a kid, my family visited Crystal Caves in South Dakota and I remember loving it there. Here in NH, there’s a great place called Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves. It’s not one big cave, but a series of smaller ones you can inch your way through at your own pace. In one, you have to crawl on your stomach to get through. I totally loved that one and want to head back this fall and do it again, though I might have to cut back on the donuts. It’s a narrow space.

So, can I recommend Howe’s Caverns? Not wholeheartedly. I think it would be all right if you don’t like to get dirty or like your experiences well-organized and choreographed. There were several interesting and elaborate signs, however, along the way to the caverns that spouted an even better experience than Howe’s Caverns nearby called the Secret Caverns. You might try that instead…I think you might actually get to see the falls.

Try both, spelunkers, and let me know how it goes!

www.KristinaSchram.com