With my two eldest starting school in just over a week, we are trying to cram some last minute outings before bidding adieu to summer vacation. Because, well I believe a tired kid....is a kid that will go to bed, and stay in bed later that night!

Also, when I say "cram".....I really do mean cram:  as in tight places.

The other day we were off to Bonnechere Caves  for those unilingual people reading, that loosely means "good food" -- which seems a strange way to describe a cave.  However, it describes more of an entire region, not simply just the cave.  In particular, the Bonnechere River, which flows around and into the caves; which I assume was well stocked with fish species way back when it received its name.
*as always, click to enlarge pics"

Anyhoo....so speaking of good eats, it sounded like a good way to start off our morning spelunking adventure.   Pancakes anyone?


Then we all got in the van for the approximately hour drive to the caves.   It was a nice day, not to warm.  But when we arrived, they mentioned that it was a good 10 degrees cooler in the caves --- HA - to all those people who call me anal for keeping extra clothes in the car!  Jackets donned, off we went!  Or rather...down we went!

 Kind of reminds me of the entrance to that cave in Indiana Jones.

And yes, there were spiders.


But no bats.


The kids were disappointed. 


Me...ok, it would have been kind of cool, since I know it is just little brown bats, not like big vampire or anything.

Right? 




Alternate, or original entrance via huge sink-hole that cave founder Tom Woodward discovered.


No, the general public is not allowed access via this route.

Slightly less sad than learning no bats.


This is our fearless guide, "can't remember his name so let's call him Bob".   Bob did a fantastic job - he know his history and how to make it exciting and humourous.  And Zoo Zoo didn't make it easy for him, yelling "out, out, OUT!" from the back carrier almost constantly.   Plus, Angel Girl was in constant chatter mode.


At one point, Bob thought it would be way cool to turn off all the lights.   I thought the kids would freak out - because That Is Dark!   I don't think I have ever known such darkness.   How does this little guy find his way around when no one is in the cave?

crayfish
And, I did get some confirmation that the SlimFast and gym routine may be finally showing some results, since I was able to squeeze down this passage way with the kids.


Stalactites (from the ceiling)





The really cool thing is that the cave walls are very wet....but not dirty.  That's the limestone.

Here's Angel Girl coming through a passageway.








The other really cool thing is the Fossils!

Sadly, my cell phone didn't capture the pics very well.

 
But if your kids are interested in fossils, definitely plan a trip to the caves (or one in your area) because this really is Nature's Schoolhouse.  


The tour was really informative and entertaining.   It lasted just under an hour, and then we were back outside where the sun had really warmed up the day:  which was perfect for our picnic lunch by the river and the waterfall.


And of course, the prerequisite funny tourist pics



The whole family really enjoyed the caves.  I daresay that it will likely be the first of many trips.  They already want to go back in the fall -- for the fossil hunt they say - but I know it's because Bob said that is when the bats move back into the caves.   Just in time for halloween.  How quaint, but I will be sticking with some home-made holiday crafts, methinks.