Luray Caverns: Not my week to blog, but I have something to say!

I went to Luray Caverns yesterday, I place I used to love visiting! This trip wasn’t like any other, however,  and I know that it is because of what I have learned in Global Problems and other environmental science classes. Despite the fact that the tour guide explained very loudly and clearly that NO ONE is to touch the rocks due to the sensitive nature of their formation processes, I saw at least 20 GROWN ADULTS putting their hands on everything they saw! What really blew my mind and infuriated me was one instance in which a little girl told her father several times, “Daddy! You aren’t supposed to touch!” His response: “Aw, it’s fine. They just have to say that.” Next thing I know, the little girl was putting her hands on the rock walls and running them alone the sides as we moved through the tour.

I guess you could say I had an epiphany in down in those caverns. If mankind hand never stumbled upon these caverns, gone down and illuminated them, then the beauty of this place would NEVER be seen by a single soul- it would forever remain a glorious secret in the darkness.

Had humans never discovered Luray Caverns (and others like it), then I guess you could say there would be a great loss of opportunity to appreciate the beauty of nature. There’s no denying, something “magical” happens when feel completely awestruck by the infinite power and beauty of nature. We feel a deep, spiritual, primal connection to the earth in places like this. This connection is what has inspired me and many others to dedicate our lives to protecting these places. Therefore, this is a certain necessity for people to be allowed to experience this feeling of connection to nature.

The problem is, you can love something to death. I fear that within the next 100 years or less, Luray Caverns will no longer be an awe-inspiring place of wonder- but a memory of what once was. So I ask this question:  How do we bring mankind into contact with nature- so that he or she may be filled with the love and inspiration it brings- without destroying that very nature?

7 thoughts on “Luray Caverns: Not my week to blog, but I have something to say!”

  1. This post really struck me because i remember as a child taking school field trips to the caverns and being inspired from an early age to love natural science. It is so disheartening to see that even in the face of certain glorious beauty human kind is willing to put that beauty at risk just to touch it for a second and give in to those human desires of ownership. We think we own everything and it is truly not the case. If anything mother Earth owns us and it is our duty to constantly repay her for what she has given us.

  2. I really like how you decided to blog about this. I have experienced similar issues outside of the realm of environmental issues. It is very frustrating when people feel that they are above the rules, especially adults. Those adults are supposed to be teaching their children respect, and from what you described that child was not being taught how to respect nature (or rules!). This is where the problems begin with entitlement. If every person feels entitled to “whats theirs” then we will never be able to change for the better as a society.

  3. This always boggles my mind. It’s very similar to trail maintenance in state parks like on the AT trail. People need to respect them or else they won’t look the same ever again. Especially in your case with those caverns. I don’t really understand how people can be so ignorant at times. Maybe it’s because, as we are eesc majors for the most part, we understand that everything we do has consequences. Our actions don’t only have consequences some of the time…I’m sure the cavern workers are very adamant about not touching the walls, but do they explain why?

  4. I feel like humans always feel entitled to everything so we just destroy everything in nature. I think that adults always think that the things people say are just a warning rather than a rule they have to abide by. I hope that they were the only people to do that because everyone doing it could really hurt the caverns.

  5. I’m glad you blogged about this, because what parent’s teach their children is so important for the future of the world. If parents worked to teach their children to respect nature and to care for the environment and sustainability, then the future would undeniably be a better place. But that dad at the caverns who told his daughter it was fine to touch the walls didn’t do that, and wasn’t teaching her to respect the environment.

  6. i have been to the caverns many times myself and i feel the exact same way. it amazes me how ignorant people are even after they are told not to touch the rocks by someone who knows way more about them than they do. i would really like to see the caverns flourish for a long time but the only way that’ll happen is if we educate the public more on the fragility of the earth.

  7. I’m glad you decided to blog about this. I have been to the caverns before and I feel the same way. Humans feel entitled to everything especially nature it seem and many people probably don’t even understand why the rules have been put in place. When if in fact everyone did do this they could really hurt the caverns and cause many problems.

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