After a super tight squeeze (surprisingly for my chest, not stomach!), we ended up in this large open space. Sorry it is so dark, but the flash can only do so much in situations like this. ;)
If you can see Don, he is looking into what the following photo shows........the forms created here are referred to as "bacon" somethings. I missed out on some of the tour guides information, but did hear him talking about them being named after a breakfast food.
More organic forms......
Which are above this crystal clear pool of water...........
This is the same pool but looking towards one end.
The beginning of many stalactites......if I am not mistaken, I believe these are called "straw" stalactites because they are small, thin, and hollow.
This is a stalactite which has a stalagmite growing up from it. The theory is that what you see on the bottom pointing up used to be hanging down and a strong flow of water broke it off, flipping it and when the water drained away, it became a base for the growing stalagmite, which is called "Polly", as in parrot, because of its shape (tallest form on left).
More colorful (due to various minerals, etc) organic forms.......
To see some of the last sections, we walked through a man made tunnel. It was drilled and carved out alongside several sections of cavern so they wouldn't be ruined and because they are narrow, or short in height, making it hard for "explorers" to get through easily.
That last sentence may be easier to understand when you look at the following photo, which was the end of the line for our tour. We had to retrace some of our steps, although about halfway back, we did go through another section that looped around and brought us from the opposite direction, back to where we started the tour.
What wonderment the Cave of the Mounds brings to thousands of people. To see the landscaped area above ground and then realize that underneath all of that is something so spectacular is astounding!
After our exploration of Cave of the Mounds, we got back into the car for more "country driving" (Don's words), with me driving and following his directions. Where did we end up? Find out in my Monday post. ;)