Texas Outdoors: Touring Natural Bridge Caverns in a whole new light

It’s hard to imagine the awe the original explorers of Natural Bridge Caverns had, when the first saw it. Now you can see what it looked like, to them.

GARDEN RIDGE, Texas — I have been through Natural Bridge Caverns many times, but never quite saw it in this. The caverns is now offering a lantern tour allowing people to see it in the same light original explorers did.

“And so this is a carbide headlamp…and this is kind of like what they might have seen” says our guide Donna Weideman, as one of the other guides lit a carbide headlamp. The light you hold is a small, kerosene type lantern only with L.E.D. light and batteries. It give the formations, stalagmites and stalactites a totally different look.

The tour is at a much slower pace than regular tours, as there is much less light. But, the light and what is beyond the light is what draws you deeper into the caverns. What is normally a 30 minute walk along the almost 1 mile path, now take 45 minutes to and hour.

While the original explorers had little light and slogged their way through, sometimes two feet of mud, we still have the luxury of the concrete walk ways, steps and bridges to get over, what would have been very difficult passages.

The tour still takes you down roughly 211 feet below the surface, but with your guide nararrating the original explorers journey and describing how and what they had to do to document that first day, you find yourself waiting to take that next step.

At the end, you stand on a landing area and they turn on the overhead and surrounding lights, and you are once again amazed by the size and grandeur of the Grand Room of the cave… one of the areas most amazing, natural sites.

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