World Travel Wednesday: Linville Caverns


I’m really glad I live in North Carolina. It is such a beautiful state, and there are so many amazing natural features “from Murphy to Manteo,” that I think we all tend to take it for granted most of the time. When I was in elementary school, we visited Linville Caverns, a cave inside Humpback Mountain with an underground stream, stalactites and stalagmites, blind trout, and an atmosphere of dark, drippy, quiet strangeness. At one point on the tour, they wedge you into this tight little passageway and turn out all the lights to show what it was like when it was first discovered and how no light from the outside gets in at all. I guess that’s the only time I’ve ever been in complete darkness, and it was the only time in my life that I’ve ever experienced terrifying claustrophobia. I couldn’t breathe. I wanted out immediately. Even when the lights came back on, I was so freaked out, I practically ran out of there. Except I couldn’t because you can’t even stand up all the way in some places. Interestingly, I have never felt claustrophic like that since then, and I never had before that happened. Things that make you go “hmm.”


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