Sunday, June 30, 2013

Caves

I was scared.  We were going way too fast.  And getting faster.  One wrong move..........

It was a road of loose blue stones.  The truck was bearing down on us.  There was nowhere to get off.  As we got quicker so did the truck.  The truck's bull bar filled the back window.  The corners seemed sharper than they probably were.  It felt as if we we on the verge of losing control.

It seemed a long time until we started going up a hill and finally the truck backed off.  Relief.  We managed to find a place to pullover and relax, letting the truck go past.

We were on holidays and on our way to Wombeyan caves, NSW.  It was 1988, the year I met my husband.  It was also the first time that I visited Canberra and Sydney.

The drive to Wombeyan caves made more of an impression than the caves themselves, which unfortunately I don't remember.  The battery in my camera must have been flat as there are no photos of the cave.   Or maybe because I was using a film camera back then, I didn't want to waste film?  Or maybe any photos were out of focus and did not make it to the album?

However I did find this souvenir of our visit in December 1988;

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge
We then continued on to Jenolan caves, about 120 kms further north, which were a lot more memorable and spectacular.

Jenolan caves 1988

Jenolan caves 1988
We must have had a fascination with caves at the time as on our way home we also stopped at Buchan caves.

Buchan caves 1988
How do you remember the difference between stalagmites and stalactites?

My mother told me; "mites run up your tights, which you can pull down"  
(ie stalagmites go up and stalactites go down)

For regular readers, you may notice that this is the first Sepia Saturday where I have gone away from old photos.  Jill at Geniaus recently made a good point - sharing some stories about ourselves was creating "Future Family History" records.

However,  I do have a photo taken by my grandmother, which immediately came to mind.  I am not sure where "The Caves" are.  The closest "caves" that I could locate are at Naracoorte, which is nearly 150kms away.  This would be nothing today but in 1929 it would have taken most of the day to get there.  A long way (too far?) to go for a day out.  There is nothing else to identify where the photo was taken.

Pilgrim Family
"Ready for Home - At the Caves - April 1929"

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38 comments:

  1. Well, I hate to be the one to tell you, but 1988 is a long time ago and the photos are therefore 'old'. And very splendid they are. I think you get the prize for being the only Sepian to have actually visited the location of the prompt image. Well done.

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    1. Nah. Not that long ago...............well doesn't seem that long ago anyway :)

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  2. I agree that those are splendid photos, Little Nell. However, the interiors of the last two look so intimidating that I don't think I could have gone inside them like you did, Sharon :) (I don't like closed-in places.)

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    1. Yvonne, it is quite open inside. My photos do not do justice to the caves, which are very hard to photograph. Maybe I need to try again with a digital camera.

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  3. Nice remembrance. It reminded me of a hair-raising trip to the Oregon Caves (U.S) in my childhood. Travelers shared the narrow mountain road with logging trucks. I crouched on the floor boards afraid to look. I was certain our lives were doomed each time a truck passed (we were in the outside lane).

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    1. Sharon, I think it was a log truck that was following us too. It wasn't as steep as some mountain roads but still very frightening for me as I am not a good passenger. I think my husband (to be) enjoyed it.

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  4. Good on you, Sharon. Look forward to hearing more of your stories .... and thanks for the mention.

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    1. Thank you Jill for your inspiration and also for visiting.

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  5. I think personal stories are interesting even when illustrated by other than old photos! I wonder if you'll come across those old negatives of your trip to the cave one day.

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    1. Kristin, I have a very large box full of negatives. I purchased a negative scanner so I can convert them to digital images. It is one of those jobs that will be time consuming and I will get around to it one day.

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  6. On a tour of Luray Caverns in Virginia, the guide told us to remember the "C" in stalaCtites for Ceiling and "G" in stalaGmites for Ground.

    I think 1988 qualifies as "sepia" enough -- 25 years. That's all that's required for a car to be considered an antique and many other things to be called "vintage."

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    1. Yes, that it an easier way to remember the difference.

      So what does that make us? No......don't answer that.

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  7. Stalagtites hold tight. That seems the simplest!

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    1. Another good one but I like Wendy's better.

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  8. I like that final photo of the Pilgrim family ready to make the trip back home after a day's outing, just the ticket for Sepia Saturday.

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    1. They do seem very well dressed for a day out a the "caves". I love that the entire family would get together and often go on outings together. We just don't see that today. Unfortunately Weddings and Funerals is the only time we get together.

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  9. I loved your account of the journey to the caves. As I remember the drive to Jenolan caves towards the end gets a bit perilous too.

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    1. Yes Alex. I seem to remember that it was quite a bit steeper and windier. Glad I wasn't driving but still nervous as a passenger.

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  10. The Buchan caves photo is especially beautiful.

    Wendy's way of distinguishing stalactites and stalagmites seems less confusing to me than the saying about mites and tights.

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    1. Buchan caves are pretty amazing caves.

      I agree that Wendy's way is easier, but when I was a child I probably couldn't spell either so mum told me stories that I could visualise and remember. It worked.

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  11. Well, being a simple southern USA type person, I don't wear tights, so stalactites were to be remembered as "holding tight to the ceiling." I really liked that last pic of the whole family, and so many children going to caves. It sure must have been a family gathering!

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    1. They often went on family gatherings. I have many photos. I do have the names on the back of the photo but too many to list here.

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  12. The interior cave pictures were beautiful & reminded me, once again, of the beauty of the Oregon Caves I trekked through years ago. I have to confess, however, the opening lines of your entry were what reminded me of the piece I had written - also years ago - called "The Journey" which I decided, at 9 minutes to midnight, to submit as my Sepia Saturday 'Plan B', so I must sincerely thank you for that promt!

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    1. Glad I could help. I enjoyed reading it too.

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  13. I have always believed that Sepia is a state of mind. And whether your photos are going up or coming down (photomites or phototites) they make a most enjoyable post.

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    1. Thank you Alan. Good to have you back.

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  14. Great start to your post. I've been ahead of one of those trucks a few times myself. Very scary. Love the photo of the group..the great hats.

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    1. Thank you Helen. Once was enough for me!



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  15. I'll take a good story anyday!! And you doth provide.

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    1. Thank you Joan. I enjoyed your lava tubes too.

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  16. Your photos are wonderful! Best of all was feeling myself right there from your opening words. A most enjoyable treat this was indeed!

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    1. Thank you for the compliments Karen.

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  17. That first paragraph read like a suspense novel!!
    It seems easier to remember the difference in French
    as stalagtites "tombent" (fall),
    and stalagmites "montent" (rise).
    :)~
    HUGZ

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    1. I was scared. Who needs roller coasters!

      I did French at school but never learnt those words :)

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  18. I never expected any of us to have visited the caves in the prompt. I guess we have never set out to visit any in the UK. Must do better = some time. Great photos to have.

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    1. I thought I may be the only person but have seen posts from 3 participants who have visited :)

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  19. Miles Of Caves! I Love It! & (it's true) It's The Going,Not The Getting There,That's Good.
    +I agree 100% about "Future Family History".We always are part of the 'journey' ourselves......

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  20. Nice photos, in 1988 I was switched from a poloroid camera to a Pentax camera who knew back then we would have digital cameras.

    http://www.amomspointofview.com

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