Sunday, January 30, 2011


Around Christmas time, our good friend Colette mentioned that she had won a snowshoeing and spelunking trip at a benefit auction. Ha ha, the last thing I ever want to do is go down into some dark cave. I think those were the very words out of my mouth.

So, yesterday we put on snowshoes and went off into the woods at the edge of Corner Brook in search of a series of caves formed by thousands of years of the Corner Brook stream running through the limestone rocks.

It also was Colette's birthday yesterday, so it was a festive and snowy affair.

The stream took on a Henry Moore-ish look. Only better, actually.

Our guide, Maria, thought we should go down a steep hill and then back up on our way to the cave, just for fun you understand. Challenge #1, she called it. You have to love those energetic young people and their cute ideas.

Some time later, we made it to the mouth of the cave, removed our snowshoes, and started in.

This was Challenge #2 - climbing down a small rock wall inside the cave. And then, of course, climbing back up. It was not the first time of the day when I was grateful that I do about 50 chaturanga dandasanas five to six times a week. I jokingly told Colette to engage her bandhas (she often comes to my yoga classes where this is something of a mantra). She didn't look so amused for some reason.

Here is what it looked like in the cave. When we reached our destination within the cave, we switched off our headlamps and experienced profound darkness. Finn and I kept our hands on each other's legs but I tried to just experience it, not seek out light, not freak out from the feeling of claustrophobia that was lingering at the edges of my thoughts. Maria told us that complete darkness like that causes a lot of strain on the eyes because we naturally seek out light, so our eyes were working overtime trying to find some light. Then she told a story about blind horses and coal miners. I am not so sure it was the story that I most wanted to hear right then, but it was interesting in its way.

Actually, the whole experience was a lot of fun. It was very kind of Colette to include us in her big adventure. Laying in bed last night, I did feel very grateful to not be in a cave. Being on the surface of the Earth - neither under it nor above it - is a wonderful thing.


Newfoundland Fibre Artist said...

Sounds like a good hike! And I agree its nice to be on the "right side of the sod"

dorinalouise said...

that was a wonderful adventure. thanks for sharing it. my parents took me to some caves when i was six or so. i remember the guide turning off the lights and plunging us into utter darkness.

i love the photo of the stream. there is just enough grey shadow to make the snow look like white popovers, amidst the black stream water. it's so soft and cold and satisfying.