The Crystal Cave Makes Me Weak In The Knees...
When you hear the words "Crystal Cave"... I don't know about you, but for me... My eyes turn to stars and I get all weak in the knees!!
My family and I had the opportunity to go camping and visit the Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park, California in September 2018. Can't believe it was over a year ago!
Now, I have been there once before when I was a wee little one (probably 9 or 10 years old). I remember my experience still like it was yesterday, it had a huge impact on me then...but going back as an Adult was much more eye opening. It really meant so much to me to be able to visit there again and take my family with me to experience the loveliness of the Crystal Cave!!
I'm going to go over my experience with you both as a young one and now!
My Youngster Experience...
Let's 1st start as a young one...I remember going camping every summer with my family as a kid. Did I like it? Not as much as I do now. Funny how we all change as we go through life. So what I recalled of our Sequoia trip back then was the bears!! I remember them coming into our camp and having to scare them off by banging pots and pans together. We also went to The Crystal Cave when I was little. I remember the spiderweb gate!! Oh my gosh I loved that gate! Funny, as I'm writing this I'm realizing things... that must have left an impression on me, and one of the many reasons why I love spiderwebs and spiders so much. I have quite a few spiderweb tattoos, if you didn't know that before... now you do! I also decorate my house with spiders...if you look around, you will find some pretty unique ones hanging out!
Why the Spiderweb Gate???
They made this special spiderweb gate so that the bats who live in the cave have access to leave the cave, allowing them to come and go as they please...but keeping us human and larger creatures OUT! The Spider on the web actually is the lock! The webs are big enough for the bats to fly right on in and out without any issues! Pretty smart, right?
Ok ok...back to the story!
So after entering the cave, I remember as a kid being so cold!! I remembered it was super pretty in there with so many stalactites and stalagmites everywhere. This was my 1st time learning about all this stuff that I recall. One thing that stood out to me then was how dark it would get when they turned off the lights!! Holy shit man... I remember them telling us to put our hand in front of our face... nope, couldn't see it!
I remember being scared like what if I fall down one of the caverns surrounding us?
All and all, it was a very impressionable experience, and obviously one I didn't forget!!
Our Visit in September 2018...
So... when we spur of the moment booked a trip to go camping in Sequoia for my Hubby's birthday, I knew The Crystal Cave experience would be a must!
Lucky for us... we were able to get our reservations! By the way, it's a really good idea to book online ahead of time (that's what we did) spots do fill up fast!
Tours are only offered Spring through Fall seasons, just as an FYI.
Saving The Bat...
When we got there and checked in, they made us all step in a solution of bleach water before entering the cave. They said the reason why is because the Bats are coming down with a super horrible disease called WNS or White Nose Syndrome. It's pretty heartbreaking to have heard about this, as I love bats so much!! I would Love to own a bat, if it was legal.
What happens is when the bats are hibernating this fungal infection takes root. It looks like white fuzz or small mushrooms that grows out their nose and it ends up suffocating them and making them do weird shit...that endanger them like fly during daylight hours, etc. It eventually causes death! It's super sad and it all started happening in a cave in Albany, New York around 2007 and has spread to others caves since!
They had us clean off our shoes because it can be carried on your shoes & clothes from cave to cave causing it to spread. We definitely do NOT want that for our bats here! There is no cure for it at this time and that is why we have to do our due diligence to keep the caves clean for our bat friends!
I was grateful that the Crystal Cave did this added step for these sweet creatures of the night!!
After that, we carried onward for a hike. This hike was lovely, a few different waterfalls along the way, lots of poison oak too...so you have to be careful!
I took a video of our adventure, but just so you know it's all really just snippets... a little here and there type stuff because as I wanted to document this experience...I also want to actually experience it!! I didn't want to be seeing it all through the screen of my phone.... so you will see what I mean when you watch it.
We ended up arriving at the mouth of the Cave!! Before arriving there, our guide told us we needed to be very quiet because their was a nest of baby birds at the highest point of the cave and we didn't want to scare them. You will notice in the video how quiet we all were, that's why.
Let's Talk Crystals!!!
Oh man it was so lovey, just like I remembered! I was more aware this time of course...more aware of the minerals surrounding us! I would tell Jared and Kelsey... hey look that's Pyrite... or here is Calcite...and then the Guide would say... "ok over here is Pyrite and Calcite." Awesome... all my schooling has paid off!
The Crystal Cave is considered a marble karst cave, which basically breaks down like this...
Marble= Recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly known as Calcite or Dolomite.
Karst=A dissolution of soluble rocks such as Limestone, Dolomite and Gypsum. Having an underground drainage system with sinkholes within the caves. Sometimes forming Quartzite if the conditions allow.
The marble, or old limestone underwent Intense heat and pressure that transformed it into the lovely crystalline beauties we see today! This was something that went on over millions of years ago as the movement of the Earth's crust created the tall magnificent mountains we see today!
If you know your Crystals... you know that Calcite is not very hard on the MOHS scale (2.5-3)
With that being said, Calcite can and does disintegrate in water!! Let me tell you how sparkly and pretty the stream water running inside the Cave was?? I wanted to go splash around in that stream, If I could have I would! Again, my video doesn't do it justice!
As the Crystal Cave is made mostly up of Calcite... I thought it would be cool to share more information on Calcite.
Calcite: Coming in a variety of colors, Calcite makes up the majority of most marbles and limestones. Often found in every continent.
Each of the colors have a different added layer to help assist us.
Metaphysically... Calcite working with a bit of a gentle touch. It is cleansing, refreshing, revitalizing. It opens blockages and activates the energy systems, allowing you to view the world from a different perspective. Calcite has the ability to move energy through all the chakra systems within your body. It allows you to move past blockages you might be faced with.
A massive mound of Calcite inside the Crystal Cave!
I don't know about you, but he reminds me of the abominable snowman!
It was very cold in there, but that is to be expected in a cave right? Inside the cave it's a constant 48 degrees Fahrenheit, It was quite wet also. Inside there was water running underneath us. It was so lovely! I could have spent a lot longer there. There were some parts of the cave that would get really narrow, you would have to turn sideways to walk through some of the openings to continue! Neat huh?
We made our way over to the room where they turned out all the lights! Yep... just as I remembered it... pitch ass black! Couldn't see a thing!! I couldn't imagine being the 1st people to have found this cave and went exploring it! I bet it would have been quite scary in these pitch black areas.
We finished our tour and learned all kinds of amazing facts. I'm not going to share all of that here as you must experience it for yourself!
Then, back to the trail to hike back to the parking lot. Let me just say, the way back was a bit harder than going. The hike to the cave was down hill and well...what goes down, must come up!
It's funny because I was like, dude...how is this 1/2 mile hike kicking my ass? It was honestly the hardest 1/2 mile hike EVER! Then I realized... well part of it was because of the elevation! We were at the 6,000 feet elevation mark, no wonder it was a struggle! But... we made it! And was it worth it?? Hell YES!
I'm so happy I got to experience this yet again with my favoritest people!! Memories are what we can always keep!
A little Crystal Cave History...
The Crystal Cave was found on April 28th, 1918 by Alex Medley and Cassisus Webster while on a fishing trip.
It first opened up to visitors on May 29th, 1940
I don't want to give away any of the stories the Guide told us, but I will tell you that when the Cave 1st became open to the public, they allowed visitors to roam the cave unsupervised (without a guide).
Let's just say this lead to some deaths and injuries, not to mention people getting lost in the 3 miles of passages within the cave!
In 1982 The Sequoia Natural History Association took over the responsibility of the Crystal Cave, thus changing the way things ran.
Check out my other blog about the benefits of Tree Hugging!! There I feature some amazing shots of the Giant Trees of Sequoia!!
I feel so grateful to have had this experience with my family!! If you ever get a chance to go to Sequoia...I have to say, it's life changing!! It's such an amazing place, you feel so much more connected to yourself, nature and the Universe being there!
Go when you can!! I can't wait to go back sometime soon!!
Light, Loves & Lunar Hugs,
Bridget M. Shoup
"The Crystal Healing Gypsy"