While recently visiting Georgetown, Texas for a wedding, I had a single day with which to explore this small town just north of Austin. Browsing the collection of tourist attractions, conveniently set by the entry doors, I saw a flyer for the Inner Space Caverns. I chuckled at the name, thinking of the 1980’s movie “Inner Space”, and wondered if I’d feel a few centimeters tall walking through a cave. I also wondered if my claustrophobia would kick in. Right on both counts.
I don’t have a lot of experience spelunking – I’d been once while traveling in New Zealand and the experience was positive enough that I was excited to do it again. Alas, the “extreme version” of their cave tour, which involved crawling through tight crevices with only a headlamp, wasn’t an option, so I opted for the cave tour, a mile walk through with a witty tour guide determined to educate and entertain.
While the jokes were better suited for the children in our party, I did learn the difference between stalagmites and stalactites (hint: “g” is for ground, meaning they form upward, and “c” is for ceiling, meaning they form downward”);
…that while some rocks allow water to seep through to make formations, others simply absorb moisture (demonstrated by our guide who threw water upwards so we could watch it quickly disappear)…
… not all cave drawings are sadly a sign of history – these were painted for ambiance twenty years ago…
… your imagination is still the lens to wonder, as our tour guide shared stories of what people saw within the formations, including a fairy tale story about a prince, a dragon, and a princess.
I found out later (from my Austin-based friends) that Inner Space Cavern is considered a cheesy tourist attraction rather than a local adventure, but despite the obvious simplicity of walking a mile underground, there is something intriguing and wonderful inherit in seeing a rock formation thousands of years old. It’s a great reminder that everything in life takes one step forward then another.
Oh, and take it from me, ask your tour guide to keep the lights off a little longer. Full darkness is an experience difficult to find in our brightly lit world.
Inner Space Caverns, 4200 N Interstate Highway 35, Georgetown, TX 78626