Trip Summary

Group 1

The trip began with a 45 minute bus drive from the UW - Eau Claire campus to Crystal Cave.  When we got to Crystal Cave, we were introduced to Blaze Cunningham, the tour guide and owner.  The tour started with a look at a sinkhole in the back yard of visitor's center.  The sink hole was formed in 1982 because the  limestone beneath had dissolved over time and could no longer support the sediment above. 

Once the group had gotten in the visitor's center, we went to the basement where the entrance to the cave was enclosed by a glass entrance way.  The reason for the glass entrance way is to keep the humidity from the cave from warping the wood in the basement.  From the basement, we went about 15 feet down to the first cavern and then another 15 feet to the second cavern.  This cavern was fairly large.  The cavern was about 12 high and about 25 feet across.  The collapsed sinkhole could be seen from this cavern. 

From the second cavern, we went into a number of different cavern's.  In one cavern we could see three different species of bats hibernating for the winter months.  In another cavern, there were great examples of stalactites and stalagmites.  These features are formed from the dripping of water from the ceiling, stalactites, and falling to the ground, stalagmites.  We saw a cavern called the Ballroom.  The Ballroom is a huge cavern that has held a seventy person wedding in the past.  In these lower caverns, the temperature stays at about 48 degrees Fahrenheit  year round. 

   

The tour lasted the entire afternoon and took us to 70 feet below the surface of the earth.  The formation of Crystal Cave is very interesting and ongoing event.  There are volunteers in the cave during the spring and summer month's digging out new passage ways and finding new caverns. 

Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5
 

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