Natural Bridge Caverns

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Just outside of San Antonio lies the Natural Bridge Caverns.  These caverns are set up differently than any of the others we have been to, to date.  There’s more than just the caverns, like zip line adventure courses and mazes and other things.  But we were there for the caves.

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The bridge was created by a sink hole that opened up the caves for exploration.  Four college kids got the land owners approval in the early 1960’s to explore the area to find an entrance.  Eventually, they found a hole that was 11 inches wide to squeeze themselves through to enter them.  Luckily, we didn’t have to go through that same hole, because there’s no way I could do it.

Now, while the formations and how they’re made are the same as other caverns we’ve been through, that’s where the similarities end.  To start with, the caverns get hotter the farther down you go.  Secondly, there’s a relative humidity of 99%.  That’s like a summer day in Florida.  And you go down ramps and stairs a total of 180 feet below ground.  And back up that far.

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These spots on the ceiling are former bat roosts.  As mammals, their skin lets off all sorts of oils and dirt, which inhibit the cavern growth, and that’s how this can remain, even hundred of thousands of years later.

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The water that drips down throughout the cavern is crystal clear and part of the aquifer that supplies San Antonio with all its water.

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This water has surged through the ground, washing away all the softer rock, leaving behind strata that easily shows the age of this area.

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There are still some cracks in the ceiling, where the ground cracked hundreds of thousands of years ago, to create the space where the water came through.

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After making your way down 180 feet, through half a mile of caverns, you then have steps and ramps back up through an enormous cavern.

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For the tour we took, the Discovery tour, prices are $23.99 for anyone 12 and up, $14.99 for anyone 3 to 11 and free for under 3.  There are other, more in depth tours available, including ones where the only light is provided by lanterns and ones that go even further into the caverns.  They warn if you have a bad back or bad knees or are claustrophobic, this might not be the best tour for you.  There are lots of slick areas, from the water, and steeply angled ramps, so be warned.  It was a lot of fun, but we needed a breather when we were done.  I would definitely recommend this tour.

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