Well Weed is a town that has souvenirs. So if you want a t shirt that says " I <3 weed", this is the place to be. Not much else though, and definitely no starbucks. Finally convinced Paul to try the Via (instant starbucks) which I drink almost exclusively. He was very reluctant and remained his pre starbucks surly self. We went back to the hi lo coffee shop for breakfast. I had the Shasta mountain,which was a gigantic pancake, then a medium pancake, then a small pancake with a stack of scrambled eggs on top. Paul had chili, which he didn't eat and just pushed around with his spoon like a bratty little kid. We had ruled out Portland as a destination, due to it being so far away. I kind of wanted a few days at home to relax before having to return to work and normal life. So the new plan was spending the night in Reno. on the way, there was a state park with lava beds and lava tubes that seemed worth checking out. I really don't enjoy the outdoors. I mean really. We had been to the volcano park in Hawaii and I thought that was pretty awesome. So I figured that it was something outdoorsy that I could at least tolerate. When we got there, the first thing we saw was a bunch of frontiers people camping.
Kind of weird, but whatever.
The park ranger gave us a map, took our $10 and grilled us about the possibility of our being carriers of white nose disease. Apparently some sort of bat affliction. She recommended skull cave and said we should stop by the gift shop to get flashlights, watch a video, etc.
Paul stopped to pee. I never have to go, so I was reading the map she gave us. It said that flashlights were free loaners at the visitors center and that helmets were recommended inside the caves. I figured it would be a good idea to get a helmet seems how in reality I should walk around with one on full time with the amount of spills I take.
We drove the 8 miles to the visitor center. Paul kept jumping out of the car to take pictures of random rocks and shit.
It was mostly just piles of black rocks.
We passed the turn off for skull cave. Paul wanted to go back, but I was like "no! We have to go to the visitors center first!"
We got there, did a loop around the parking lot and started to head back out.
" no! I want to go inside!!!"
He was totally annoyed with me, still fiending for starbucks.
"because the lady said we had to!"
" she said we could watch a video, IF we wanted!"
"but we need flashlights!"
For some reason I didn't want to bring up the helmet thing.
" I have flashlights"
"well, I want to go in"
He was totally pissed. But relented.
I made a beeline for the helmets. No pink ones or ones with lights attached. WTF.
They did have these though.
In case you can't read the fine print. These are bags that you poop in and then carry around with you until you find a trash can.
I picked out a white helmet and went up front to pay. Paul had been wandering around with his hands in his pockets to keep from strangling me.
He asked about the borrowed flashlights and cheered up considerably when the ranger told him they were free to borrow. They even gave us two! Then she guilted him into buying a helmet too, saying people come in all the time with their heads all bloody from bashing into low rocks in the dark.
"well, I do hit my head alot" be said.
He seemed less grumpy as we got in the car to head back to skull cave (so called because of the various animal and two Human skeletons found there)
I wanted to put my helmet on right away. I was that excited about it, but he insisted that I wait until we got there.
We pulled up to a tiny parking lot at the end of skull cave road. Paul wandered around and found the entrance while I modeled my helmet.
"is it all the way on your head? You have to have it adjusted right!"
"yes" I sighed
Still angry and starbucks withdrawing.
Walked down some steep ass steps to the cave entrance. Luckily there was a handrail that I kept a deathgrip on to keep from tumbling head first into the jagged rocks below. Although my helmet totally ruled, there was no chin strap. That thing would go rolling for sure if I ate shit like I normally do.
The mouth of the cave was massive and a little spooky.
It was dead silent.
Inside was even quieter with only occasional water drops falling. It was super cold and the bottom of this cave had an ice floor that you could walk down and
see. We were whispering because I insisted that we were supposed to. I don't know why. It just seemed like the thing to do. We were about this far in
( I myself am technically a middle aged broad, but I never cackle!)
We hugged the wall and pretended to be looking for bats. None of those bitches were wearing helmets!
I turned around to shrink even further away from them and hit my head on a rock...helmet! Yay!
We kept walking and it got colder and darker. You could see your breath with the flashlights. I found something weird on the wall that looked like fossilized skulls. My picture of it didn't turn out, but of course pauls did! He kept making me stop for pictures and blinding me with his flash.
Check out the orb! It totally was haunted.
Eventually the old ladies came wheezing past us, bitching and moaning about having to walk back up the stairs.
We waited til they were well past us, before we took the last sets of stairs to the cave floor.
It was getting even colder and we paused a lot to look at all the creepy coolness around us. At the bottom of the steps was a chain link fence and gate which prevented people from walking onto the ice.
It was covered with dirt, but there were still small sections that the ice showed through.
I thought I heard something moving above me, but I ignored it so as not to go inti full blown freak the eff out mode. I tried to not think about every scary cave movie I had ever seem.
I even made Paul turn off his flashlight so we could see what the total darkness felt like.
It was a whole different kind of darkness. Then I started to really get freaked out. We made our way back up the stairs slowly.
Uphill, the mouth of the cave finally. The light was so bright and blinding it was unreal.
We were both super excited and wound up like we just won a marathon.
It was even enough to break Paul out if his starbucks funk.
Went back to the visitors center to drop off the flashlights. Paul made endless small talk with the ranger ladies (omg he's so effing charming!)
And I took the opportunity to snag a poop bag for him. He was really excited about it.
Made another Via with the rangers hot water.
Headed towards Reno.
-- Post From My iPhone