Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Barnstorming and Spelunking (Part Deux)
After our Lynnville lunch, we drove further east along Interstate 64, crossing the bottom of the Hoosier National Forest. Soon we exited the interstate and drove to Marengo, Indiana, to our spelunking destination, Marengo Cave, a U.S. National Natural Landmark.
Yep. Pretty Much
Click Images to Bigify
The official Marengo Cave website has MUCH better photos than Scowl-Face took with his Kodak digital camera (we didn't have my Library's MUCH nicer, but pricier, Canon Rebel EOS T3, about which we've blogged elsewhere). So it's low-res pix for us, I'm afraid.
Your Feline Roving Reporter checks out
interesting stalactites & stalagmites
(The ones on the ceiling are stalactites; the others on the floor are stalagmites. You can remember because the "g" in stalagmites reminds moi of ground. There are lots of other fancy names for cave formations, which the Marengo Cave folks nicely included on their website.)
Apparently, there's some stupid human safety law that says we felines are not allowed to enter public caverns along with tourist people. But we feline reporters have lots of tricks up our tails.
Scowl-Face took a variety of lousy photos, the best of which appears below.
I could recount the interesting history of Marengo Cave, but why not read the historical markers instead? Works for moi. Also take a peek at the Marengo Cave website.
Two words, Scowl-Face: solar glare. Just saying.
It was refreshingly cool in the cave--a constant 52.1 degrees Fahrenheit year-round--but the humidity is nearly 100 percent, so it's a tad bit damp for my taste. I was waiting for Ol' Scowlly to do one of his patented pratfalls, but he was more sure-footed than usual.
Thirty-three years ago, when Scowl-Face was a first-year law student, he studied (in his property law course) the famous case of Marengo Cave Co. v. Ross, 212 Ind. 624, 10 N.E.2d 917 (1937). Thirteen years later, Ol' Scowlly wrote about the case in his single claim to fame. Although the case concerned the law of adverse possession, it also illustrated the tort of trespass to land. If you enjoy reading briefs of appellate court decisions, have at it.
After the Indiana Supreme Court ruling in 1937, the Marengo Cave owners erected a brick wall inside the cave at the neighbor's property line, with a plaque attached explaining why cavern visitors could not further explore the portions of the cave beneath the neighbor's land. Ol' Scowlly's property law professor, Hendrick Hartog, who, it must be said, was (and still is, I'd venture) a brilliant legal scholar as well as a kind, thoughtful, dedicated teacher, told his property law class (in 1980) that he had visited Marengo Cave and saw the wall and plaque. When we visited last Saturday, however, both wall and plaque were gone. Apparently, at some subsequent time, owners of Marengo Cave must have purchased the adjoining land subject to the 1937 decision, so additional cave chambers were opened and explored.
We had great fun exploring Marengo Cave. It's well worth a visit. Great family fun! For my feline readers, however, I recommend entering through a sinkhole a few dozen yards northeast of the human public entrance. Fortunately, we kitties can see in reduced light, but you'll still need to wait until the tour staff has turned on the electric lighting. Otherwise, it's pitch black down there.
Your Roving Reporter On The Go,
Cauli Le Chat
P.S. "The Cave," by Mumford & Sons, was the band's third single, which appeared on the group's debut album, Sigh No More (2010).
P.P.S. Scowl-Face insisted I mention that the first edition of his torts textbook, which referenced the Marengo Cave case, is available in our Evergreen Indiana online catalog, if any cardholders wanted to check it out. In what parallel universe is that likely to happen? Just saying.