Grand Caverns: “Cohort Zoom” Field Trip

Grand Caverns, the oldest show cave, discovered in 1804 by Bernard Weyer, was the site of another field trip for “Cohort Zoom.

On Thursday, June 24, eight members of Cohort VII (aka “Cohort Zoom” due to completing all our classroom work through Zoom), plus our instructor Peggy, were led on a personalized tour by guide Adam Nelson. It was a very pleasant 75°F when we arrived at the Caverns in the late afternoon; however, the 55°F cave temperature caused most of us to don jackets or hoodies.

In addition to its age superlative, Grand Caverns has many unique and beautiful shield formations for which it has received a National Natural Landmark designation by the National Park Service. Although the exact formation process is unknown, the growth of these shapes is around a calcite core. Another unique feature of these caverns is the abundance of vertical limestone bedding, indicating some pretty serious earth movements in the past.

During our tour, Adam pointed out where in 2004, a new section of cave was discovered, which more than doubled the size of the overall cavern. According to the story, the new section’s entrance was brought to the attention of a cavern surveying crew by the barking of a dog named Rosie.

Art Fovargue, Cohort VII, June 2021

The photo at the top of this post is of the group in the Caverns: l to r: Diane Lepkowski, Peggy Plass, Tina Dove, Anna Maria Johnson, Karen Milne, Steve Talley, Zack Perdue, Jeanine Botkin, Art Fovargue. Photo by Jeanine Botkin.

Click on a photo below to start a slide show to see them better. Thanks to Art for the captions! Thanks to Art, Jeanine and Diane Lepkowski for the photos!