Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Back to Plato's cave
Have you heard of those books "1000 things to do before you die?" Or maybe you saw the movie "Bucket List"? There are things we should all do at least once before we shuffle off this mortal coil. Reading Plato might be one of them, though the things to do are generally more cool places to see. Going to the ice caves by Cornucopia, WI is one of those things you just definitely do or see, at least for us here in the north.
In Plato's allegory of the cave, we're all supposed to be in this cave with images projected in front of us and we don't know about the greater reality outside. But, hey, these caves were pretty cool. And mind-opening enough that I felt like going in was bringing me a greater reality.
Hans and Noah and I went this Sunday, along with the poodle. And it was fantastic. Literally. You should do it.
It's a long schlep along the ice and snow dunes to get there, over a mile with some pretty treacherous footing. Once you're there, the real fun begins.
At the point of land, there is about 300 yards of cliff line full of nooks and crannies.
Maybe 2/3 of the nooks just dead-end in a dramatic overhanging cliff. It was just enough curvy sandstone to take me back to canyons and gulches of SE Utah.
About 1/3 of the nooks lead to something even cooler: real caves, low down caves, carved by splooshing waves over the centuries. A small entrance leads to larger caverns inside. Hans would go first, down on his tummy, then Noah or I would follow.
My favorite was a long narrow tunnel, out of the way enough that most of the visitors don't find it:
Follow the link above or this one for directions. For us, it was 1 3/4 hour drive from Duluth, and with a stop for late lunch at the Village Inn on the way back it was nearly a full day.
Now that we're back to the dim "reality" of computer screens, I'm not so sure I like this real world.