We decided to hit up one of the many caves in the area. And we decided to do the cave that also had an adventure park outside of it. So glad we did.
The cave was utterly terrifying in the best of ways. We've done other caves in the past and most you go through horizontally. This one you go through a narrow walk way, which for the claustrophobic people in our group got a little sketchy (I have no fear of tight spaces) and all the sudden come upon a huge drop off (of course it had a fence up), but it was shocking nonetheless (I am afraid of heights). Then you go down a semi-open spiral staircase from the 1920s I believe, and that is enough to take ones breath away. Poor Peyton cried then entire way down and I didn't dare carry her for fear of falling myself and Wes had Jovie. So we held hands and I did my best to act unafraid although inside I was crying a little myself. Kati got so nervous carrying her baby down she ended up turning around and heading back up and waited for us.
And though I make it sound just straight scary it was truly incredible and I am so happy we did it. For more info on Moaning Caverns (which it is called) go here or Google images. Or better yet ask Peyton because she LOVES to talk about it and remembers so many details neither Wes nor I even knew she heard. We had a good laugh as she told my parents about it because at the time she seemed too scared to listen, but honestly, she heard all of what the tour guide told us and now talks about it with nothing but happiness and a glimmer in her eye.
Next time Wes said he is for sure doing the adventure course which allows one to propel down the cave. I don't think I will be joining him, although it did look somewhat fun. A 13 year old was coming down as we were going back up the stairs. Did I mention she was doing it alone?!
After going through the cave we went up to the surface to get in some more adventuring. Patrick and Shaun really wanted to do the zipline. Shaun asked if he could go down with the horse head and the workers all liked this idea so much they had him bring down their go pro and have Patrick video him. When Patrick failed to work the go pro correctly, the manager told Shaun he could go again for free if they could video him. So the manager and Shaun went again and he got another ride on the house. See how that head ended up paying for itself?!
Meanwhile, the Huefner kids were all trying out the rock wall. Wes and I thought Peyton would wuss out (as she is not the most daring of kids) so we opted not to do it. As she watched her cousins she begged and begged for a turn. I told her if I paid for her to go she couldn't be wussy. Well, she proved me wrong and gave it all she had! She got up to the top and each time she got tired and let go, she would quickly find a new peg and keep on going. I was so proud, impressed and humbled. I am actually glad she watched for a while first and made the decision as I believe that made all the difference in how she did it. Jovie was really mad she didn't get a turn, but I don't think her little arms or legs could have reached quite yet. Next time.
That night we finally had the opportunity to go to the main street in Angels Camp and check out the frog competitor "Walk of Fame" where they post the name and distance of the best hopping frogs each year. Remember how I mentioned this town is famous from Mark Twain's frog hopping story. The first frog, Dan'l Webster, is the one from the story that went 0'0''. As we were walking main street we happened upon the little Farmer's Market where the whole town must have met. Let me tell you, Angels Camp and the surrounding areas are small so I think these kinds of things are a BIG deal. It was a funky little market but I loved it!
And I have to include this picture because it was a big part of what we did each night and sweet memories I will cherish. Watching the deer below us each night as we had dinner, played games or watched movies.