Cave of the Mounds: A great escape from protesting or anything else

Once again, a major protest at the State Capitol coincided with one of my outings.  I have to say that I was happy to be heading away from town. Protesting is noble, but it distracts me from what I love. For me, the best thing to do is to continue my work with kids and parents despite the chaos swirling around me.

It’s times like this when we need nature more than ever. We need to get away from the media and remember what’s really important. We need to be reminded of how beautiful our state is and it’s many natural wonders. We need to go to places right in our own backyards, like Cave of the Mounds, and experience one of those wonders.

Just 30 minutes from Madison, Cave of the Mounds remains a classic day trip. If you haven’t been there, it’s time to pack up the kids and go.

Cave "bacon" forms when calcite-rich water follows the contour of the cave ceiling forming drapery-like curtains. Note also the tiny stalactites.

The cave tour lasts about 1 hour and took us past beautiful cave formations: stalactites – or stalagnotites as Joan called them –  hang from the ceiling; stalagmites – or stalagnomites – grow from the ground up. There’s cave “bacon” that looks… well… like bacon and classic formations like Polly the Parrot.

There’s no better place to get a sense of geologic time and the power of water. Water drips from the ceiling adding ever so slowly to the ‘mites and  ‘tites.

Polly the Parrot formed when two stalactites dropped on top of a stalagmite, fusing them together into a parrotlike shape.

The cave promotes wonder and we all need that, especially when the world gets turned upside down.

I had just one small complaint. Just before leaving to eat our lunch, a staff member asked me to let her know if while eating we spilled anything on the chairs. I thought this was odd. Did she think we going to leave a mess?  I don’t know. Other than that, our tour guides were informative and courteous, and of course, the cave never disappoints.

What are your favorite natural escapes within 30 minutes from home?

Diane Schwartz is busy getting ready for summer at the Goodman Community Center. Five new folding bikes will arrive soon and she can’t wait to start teaching kids how to safely ride around town. As always, subscribe to this blog now to receive a free 11-page bubble activity guide. Thank you for reading.

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