Diamond Caverns

At the beginning of the year Aaron and I were planning what we wanted to do this summer for a family vacation, and after a Stake conference talk from our Stake President, encouraging us to seek for holy experiences in our life, we felt that a Church History vacation would be the perfect thing. Neither of us had ever been to Palmyra or Kirtland, and with both our children and us studying Church History in Sunday School this year we thought that we would be in for a very special vacation. We hoped that our children will be able to look back on this with great memories and their testimonies strengthened.

We started back in March talking up this great experience, and the kids were all so excited. Brooke came home from school one day and said, “At school today I told Ms. Shields that I am going to the place when Joseph Smith prayed and saw God” It makes me sad that I am not always as forward with this truly wonderful news of the gospel as she is. What an example she is to us.

As the months and weeks edged closer to our trip, Erika would ask on a daily basis how many more days until we go see where Joseph Smith was. It made the trip even more enjoyable to be able to look forward with such excitement to it. Since we would be driving we decided to find a few fun stops along the way to make the time go a bit faster for us. The first stop on the list was the Diamond Caverns in Kentucky. As we walked around this amazing place Aaron and I kept turning to each other and saying” Why have we never been here before. This is so cool!” It was a great reminder to me that we have some pretty amazing places to vacation all within a six hour radius of our home. It’s exciting to search out some more spots-we are already planning next years trips!

We planned on leaving early Monday morning to be able to make it in time to tour through the cave before they closed. Time was on our side and we happened to cross over into the Central time zone for just a few hours. It was enough for us to make the last tour of the day. The entrance to the cave was barred off with a gate, and as our guide unlocked it and we started our descent down the stairs both Abby and Erika started to get scared and cry. Oh, no I thought. The poor people in our tour are going to wish they had not come with us. After we passed the first section of steep stairs though-all the tears vanished and were replaced with oohs and ahhs. We were all in complete amazement of what lay before us.

Diamond Caverns blog

I wish the pictures could do justice to how amazing this was. It was like a whole other world right beneath the ground that you would have never guessed was even there. We saw stalactites and stalagmites, cave bacon and cave popcorn, cave “diamonds”, got dripped on by lucky cave kisses, and saw smooth amazing rocks that were cut a hundred years ago showing what the inside of a stalactite looks like.

 Cave bacon blog Stalactites blog Walking through canyon hall blog

At one point in the tour our guide turned off the lights so we could see how dark it was in there. You couldn’t see your hands in front of your face. It reminded me of in The Book of Mormon when there was darkness over all the land when the Savior died. She said that in the early tours they would use a candle and demonstrated by covering up part of a flashlight how light that would have been. You couldn’t see much. It makes me feel that those early visitors were really missing out. There weren’t any bats down there like I would have imagined, and most bugs that live there don’t even have eyes because it is so dark there isn’t anything to see.

Family picture cave blog

We walked from one formation to the next for an hour-at every turn being more amazed by what we saw than the last thing. We thought of Granddad Starbuck and his love for rocks. We thought we should definitely bring him with us next time we visit. The coolness of the cave felt so good, it was hard to leave and walk back up to the hot muggy air of outside.  As we got into the car to continue our drive, the consensus was a resounding 8 thumbs up for stopping. It was the talk for the rest of the day until we finally arrived at the hotel.

We promised the kids a late night swim when we arrived, and true to our promise we made it with 30minutes to swim before they closed for the night. 30 minutes was all our crew needed. We went down to the pool, and were amused by the sign on the wall  informing us that no more than 5 people in the pool at a time were allowed. We got a good laugh out of that, then jumped in for a swim-all 8 of us. The kids couldn’t jump in fast enough. all their pent up energy from the day in the car was being unleashed. Squeals of delight filled the room for the next 30 minutes, then a nice warm bath, cozy pajamas, and off to bed until tomorrow's exciting adventure.


The Simon Family said...

Sounds like an adventure! Fun! You'll have to fill me in on how the road trip went as we are planning on making the trip in the next couple of years. The photos are great! What were your camera settings?

Lisa said...

I want to know camera settings as well. These are great picutres for inside the cave! Glad you had fun!

The Starbuck Family said...

It looked so amazing in there-I was hoping the pictures would turn out without having to use my flash. I varied the ISO between 1000 and 1600, f 2.0 and ss 1/80 or 1/50. The last one I used the flash. I had my 35mm on my camera.