Saturday, March 28, 2015

Russell Cave National Monument

Last night we packed up our car and hit the open road. We made it to Chattanooga where we spent the night. This morning our long awaited road trip vacation began in earnest. We drove from Chattanooga down into Alabama and the Russell Cave National Monument. We met an old friend of ours, Dana, who we had worked with at Carlsbad Caverns NP back in 2002-03. Dana brought along her husband and their young son, who is just a little bit older than Sierra. Sierra really enjoyed playing with her new friend!
joseph and Sierra
We walked to the entrance of the cave,
walking boardwalk
Russell Cave
which is a major archeological site, and checked out the exhibits just inside the entrance.
inside cave 2
inside cave
looking out
Then we hiked a short portion of the nature trail
walking trail
and saw some spring wildflowers in bloom
white flower
trillium
more flowers
and the rocks and sinkholes
sinkhole
associated with a karst landscape.

As we were preparing to leave,
sitting down resting
the volunteer at the front desk offered to let us try out our skills with an atlatl. Sierra would not make a very good hunter as she demonstrated she would rather groom the deer with the feather flights on the spear,
Sierra brushes deer
brushing deer
than kill. After "brushing" the deer's fur for a bit and checking out the enormous pine cones near the atlatl demonstration area,
big pine cone
we hit the road for lunch and a night at our friends' house!               

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