We celebrated my birthday (and escaped the 98-degree day) by exploring Laurel Caverns, Pennsylvania’s largest and only low-calcium limestone cave. Unlike caves with high-calcium limestone, Laurel Caverns has long, steep passageways leading into rooms with sandy floors and cathedral-like ceilings. Every Pittsburgh kid spent summer car rides to the Laurel Mountains, and this was one stop in the journey; judging by the groovy red lights (and the amazing vintage postcard book I purchased in the gift shop), not much has changed since my parents took me there in the ’70s. There is graffiti on the walls from the 1890s, I imagine, from picnickers taking a break in their travels, eating sandwiches by candlelight. And the rooms felt cozy with the soft dirt padding our footsteps and the warmly lit rocks, but it’s a cool 49.2 degrees all year round.
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