15 April 2017

Mud Caves & Claustrophobia

We went to the Mud Caves today.  I've been going there once every few years since I was a kid.  It's been about 3 years since the last time we went as a family, so I've been looking forward to going again.  Plus, on one of their recent boy scout campouts to the Mud Caves, Michael, Kolby, & Eli tried out a new cave with a rope to climb up, and a fun little slot canyon hike that I hadn't been to before, so I was eager to try those out.  We got there and went straight to the cave with the rope, but not too long after we started in I wasn't feeling great.  This cave wasn't too tight, but it wasn't one of the big roomy caves either, and it really got to me after a little while.  I started breathing quickly and feeling a little panicked.  And at the same time I knew it was just in my head and it wasn't logical.  Why would I start feeling claustrophobic now, after never having been bothered by it before?  We got to the area in the cave where it opened up a bit and it was time to climb the rope up to the next level up in the cave.  The rope part looked like great fun, but the narrow-looking entrance just above the rope looked just terrible to me.  Fortunately Michael was totally understanding about whatever I wanted to do.  I decided to go back out, and felt better right away just knowing I was going to get out of there.  I waited while Michael & the boys all climbed up the rope, and I climbed up too to help give Kolby a little boost up at the top of the rope.  Then I climbed down and went out and waited for them.  We tried out another cave that wasn't quite so tight, which wasn't as bad (although once it did eventually start to narrow more, I opted to go back and move on to the next thing).  After lunch we did the little slot canyon hike, which had one especially fun part where we each had to brace our arms & legs between the two sides and climb our way up.  Afterwards we decided to try taking some of the other dirt roads to get back out to the main road, which was a little adventure in itself, since we got almost all the way out one way and had to turn back because the rocks in one part of the dirt road where too big for our trusty-dusty minivan to handle.  Luckily we made it through the second dirt road that we tried without getting high centered or sinking into soft sand.  We did get to see some cool canyons along those dirt roads that we may never have seen otherwise, and we made it home all in one piece. 

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