June 9: Cavern

Down from Shenandoah skyline drive, I visited a cavern. There are many caverns in Shenandoah valley. Luray Caverns is the biggest one. There are some caverns in my hometown Oita but the cavern is quite different from them. This is the signboard at the entrance. Large parking lot, hotel, gas station, museum, restaurants, gift shop, and even an air port surround the cavern.
Ticket price was $13 per adult. At first I felt it was a little bit expensive, but after an hour guided tour, I was quite satisfied. This is called "Perfect Mirror", a really mystic scene.
A charming guide on the left explained about the formation of the cavern. There are many shapes of formations including "Cinderella Castle", "Snoopy", "Christmas tree", and even "Fried Eggs." All the participants laughed and enjoyed the marvelous power of time and nature.
The world's only Stalacpipe organ in a huge dome of the cavern. How to play music...
Each organ key is connected to a formation with electric wire and rubber tipped plunger. The plunger strikes the formation according to key movement and amplified to produce wonderful music. More than 250 wedding ceremony are held annually under the music performance. How wonderful they would be! This time I enjoyed "The song of Shenandoah", metallic sound echoed the hall.
"Wishing well." I threw coins with my wish. The well has produced millions of coins having a value approaching $500,000. The proceedings are given primarily to national health organizations for medical research. Annual coin amount is recorded on the blackboard on the right.
This is the gate to exit about 70 steps up. Tour fatigued people or disabled people can use this hand-rail lift.
Today's extra. My husband Ken found a place named "Hot Spring" on a map of Virginia before he left Japan and he insisted to visit the place saying "I will by any means bath in a hot spring in eastern states." He asked a friend in the US about the location of the spring, but it seemed to be not so famous that even the friend didn't know of it in detail. This is the site. You can see the steam coming out of the ground, yes, this is a real hot spring. There are a big hotel complex like a castle and healing spring nearby. But unfortunately we couldn't find a room in the area. We have been at a loss and forced to wander looking for a bed. Finally we got a reasonable B&B in a local town. We were relieved and could make a report on our trip like this.

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