Nearly 25 years ago I saw Lost World Caverns on a highway map for West Virginia and decided to stop and check it out. In the days before the internet all I knew about the place was that a cavern was involved. Even now, to find the place using an old-fashioned search engine, like Google, you still have to type something about caverns. Thankfully, www.WVyourWay.com let me find the place without even thinking about caverns or typing anything in. That way, when I searched for Dinosaurs and Natural History, I was able to find just what I was looking for.
So off I went and I took a date with me. We got there early so there wasn’t a crowd to deal with, but the owner suggested we take the tour first since a few busloads of elementary kids was on the way. My date was from the city, so I knew my chance of scaring her was pretty good. This was my second date with her, but would I get a third?
We walked down the tunnel which was a much easier way in than the original entrance, which was a straight drop somewhere around two or three hundred feet. Actually, you can still see a tiny chain ladder that was used. I call it tiny ‘cause it appeared less than a foot wide.
Keep in mind that the temperature drops as you enter the cavern, so bring along a light jacket if you want to keep from shivering. If I recall, the cavern stays at a cool 55 degrees year ‘round.
The fact that these tours are self-guided played right into my hands as I thought of what I was going to do to scare my date. As we walked along the path and viewed the myriad of formations, I came up with an idea. I wanted to wait until we were deeper into the cavern, though. One of the good things about Lost World Caverns is that so much is packed into the place that you can pretty much see everything caverns have to offer in one giant room. It’s almost like someone collected all the different formations and placed them there for safe keeping.
As we reached the lowest depth of the cavern, I said to my date, very matter of a fact, “They say there’s something that lives deeper in these caverns, but I don’t believe it myself.”
The city girl looked at me wide-eyed and asked, “What are you talking about?!”
So I told her how there was some kind of creature that was alleged to have been spotted down here several times. When she said I was just trying to scare her, I simply asked, “Why do you think we’re on a self-guided tour? They can’t get tour guides to come down here ‘cause the locals know all about it!”
At that her eyes grew as big as saucers and she inched closer. My plan was working to perfection. I had forgotten about the cave bear sign, but when my date saw it, my story gained even more credence when I suggested they had to call it a cave bear since the description of the creature matched nothing else anyone had ever seen. By this time she wanted me to stay very close to her the rest of the tour.
Once you leave the cavern take the time to tour the little museum and the expansive gift shop. If you like dinosaurs, you’ll love seeing the fossils and giant bones. The gift shop has something for everyone, including fun things for the kids. You can even do some gem stone mining while you’re there.
And fella’s, if you want to have a fun date, take your girl to Lost World Caverns. Not only did I get a third date, but it looks like I just might end up marrying that city girl!