In the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, there are several caverns you can visit. I chose Luray Caverns because (1) it was right on my way north and (2) it advertised a Stalac-pipe Organ and how could I resist that?
This place is smaller and not as deep as Carlsbad Caverns (120 feet down compared to Carlsbad’s 700+ feet below ground) but you get way closer to the formations and so that was a big win for me.
Luray has a big, shallow pool that does amazing reflections of the stalactites hanging down (above and the photo at the top of this post). I could have stayed all day taking photos there.
This is a great example of how close you get to the formations. No camera zoom required, everything is just an arm’s length away. In a few cases, you actually have to walk around a column in the middle of the walkway.
Here’s the Stalac-pipe Organ. It uses over 300 stalactites spread over a wide area to play about 30 notes.Took the inventor 7 years to get everything set up and working.
Here’s a closeup of one note’s installation. The sound is quiet but clearly musical, like a muted tiny pipe organ. Cool thing to have seen and heard.
So if you get near Luray Caverns, it’s definitely worth checking the place out.
There is life in shadowed caverns.