Spelunking at Maquoketa

Yes, yes, I'm late in putting this up; I know. Yes, I am fully aware that I am three days late, and I feel terrible about it. However, given that my entire weekend was devoted to the company of A., I knew that I wasn't going to get around it. Furthermore, with the amount of homework I have been doing, it just wasn't possible. As such, I am currently sitting in the second-floor conference room in the Main Library, hurriedly posting pictures of our adventures as Maquoketa Caves State Park on Saturday. (Which was amazing, by the way.)

However, my pictures are not so amazing. I literally would whip my camera out of my pocket and snap a picture as I was walking (not my usual style, but that's okay). As a result, I have a lot of seemingly-random shots of trees and rocks and a stream named Raccoon Creek. (I live in Iowa; don't judge.) Furthermore, my pictures do not and
cannot capture the beauty of the caves. Neither could A.'s camera, and neither could anybody else's. The cave system, creek valleys, and limestone cliffs are just something you have to see in person.

Raccoon Creek

Some giant crack in the limestone next to Dug Out Cave.

Just as we (meaning A. and I) have a habit of violating statues and fountains, we also made a point--along with the rest of our group--to violate this fallen tree.

Don't worry, though--we left everything just the way we found it...

These are a few of the rocks that I climbed. They were a few feet away from the NO ROCK CLIMBING sign.

It was worth it.

This may or may not be the Natural Bridge. I cannot remember. Either way, it was a cool rock formation. On the backside of it, there is an alcove in the rock. Our friends decided to crawl over and into the crevice, resulting in a scolding from the Park Staff and several tense moments of "I can't get back!"

Just a staircase; there are many around the park. This happened to lead up and over the hill next to the formations in the above picture.

I believe this was the entrance to the Dancehall Cave (the one that is around 1000 feet long). I think this was the Upper Entrance, but don't quote me on that. All the entrances were magnificent; pictures cannot capture the shrouded stones, sunlight beams, and greenness of the moss. They couldn't capture the squelch of mud underneath my shoes, nor record the gentle drip drip of the water from the cave walls.

Balanced Rock

This was taken from the platform where Balanced Rock was.

....I had to include this awkwardly amusing photo. It just looks semi-wrong, and implies the ambigious meaning of "spelunking." Kudos to A. for taking it and "allowing" me to use it.
*wink wink*


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