I have expressed that some of the places I write about are secretive — locals have discovered and cherished these spots, and have expressed unease at me revealing their locations to any yahoo with a WiFi connection. I’ve wanted to share these places, but, being a local myself, I want to preserve their obscurity. Like the newest hipster accessory, visiting these spots is only cool until everyone starts doing it.
I think I’ve found a happy medium. Below is a Vine consisting of a series of visual clues that will lead the astute viewer to the caves. You’ll need a little local knowledge and Google to find out exactly where they are, and, if you do, you deserve to see them.
Dozens of caves dot this particular area, but the entrance to the largest one is sequestered behind a chain-link fence plastered with a Private Property sign. Whose property, I don’t know.
Multiple cave-mouths open into a dripping chamber hundreds of feet wide, the flat stone ceiling supported by massive pillars of rock. The floor tumbles down to an underground lake that’s still frozen even though the outside temperature reads 80. A raft sits entombed in the ice.
After exploring the front chamber, I started the half-mile walk to the back of the cave. Light quickly began to dissipate and the temperature dropped a good 30 degrees. The cave was still too wide for my flashlight to find either of its sides.
Once I got a few hundred feet from the main chamber, it dropped to pitch black. Still, with my flashlight, I revealed multiple structures down there — squat cement buildings, some with several rooms, as well as a three-story tower that reached the cave ceiling.
I was vaguely concerned that I was going to be consumed by Orcs down there, and my fears were not generally allayed by the preponderance of Nazi graffiti scaring the walls of the buildings.
Farther down, I was unable to get many photographs due to the lack of light. Piles of ancient equipment were tossed over the cave’s floors.
My greatest find was cars — yes, multiple cars — from the 1930s, abandoned and rusting, frozen into the mud.
My flashlight fading, I booked it back towards the light. I exited through a different entrance and was transported back into the heat of the forest.