RV Saga

Day 5 at the Indian Well Campground

We have been practicing extreme water management at the Indian Well Campground. The campsite gets good sun most of the day so the solar panel of the trailer was charged up pretty good. By the end of day 5 here, we still have full charged battery, 1/3 tank of fresh water, both the gray tank and black tank are between 1/3 to 2/3 full. We have water supply about 100 feet away from the campsite, so we usually got water and washed dishes. Washing dishes and taking showers are the two main drains of the fresh water and they fill up the gray tank fast. We easily filled up the gray tank in just one day when we stayed in KOA campgrounds.

Golden Dome Cave (4), Lava Beds National Monument

Golden Dome Cave (4), Lava Beds National Monument

We went to the Golden Dome Cave this morning. This cave was more challenging. We saw the challenge right away from the narrow entrance and the steep stairway. A family of four were getting down into the cave. That gave me a sense of security because we had company. Even as skinny as I am, my back still hit the wall of the entrance so I had to hug the stairway to go through. Stephen also made his way down. We felt the second challenge immediately when we started walking on the rough floor. I was glad that I wore my good hiking shoes. The floor was filled with protruding sharp rocks. Only the edges by the walls were less rough.

Golden Dome Cave (3)b

Golden Dome Cave (3), Lava Beds National Monument

Golden Dome Cave (1)

Low Ceiling and Big Rocks Blocked the Way. Golden Dome Cave (1), Lava Beds National Monument

Soon we came to a pile of giant rocks blocking the middle of the cave. We crossed the lower rocks on one side to get through. I reached to the wall for balance as I walked through the rough terrain. The lavacicles were black. And we started to see some golden color on some of the lavacicles. The dazzling golden color comes from the colony of bacteria in the water on rocks reflecting lights. NASA shows interests in studying the cave bacteria. For more information, please go to smithsonianmag.com.

Golden Dome Cave (2)

Golden Dome Cave (2), Lava Beds National Monument

There was a divide in front of us. The family went to the left. Stephen turned to the right and I followed him. We didn’t go very far on this way because it didn’t have much to see. So we returned and entered the left section. There were quite a few low ceilings where we had to duck down to get through. There were more golden colors on the ceilings and the walls as we went deep into the cave. We finally caught up with the family. There we were standing under a dome that was covered with shimmering golden color. The family kept moving on, but we started to return.

Golden Dome Cave (5), Lava Beds National Monument

Golden Dome Cave (5), Lava Beds National Monument

I was a little worried about getting lost in the cave because of the divide. The only light sources were our miner’s lamps and a flashlight. We chose to go to the right at the divide. As we came to the pile of big rocks, a guy was heading in. I felt relief that we were on the right direction.

“It’s nice to see someone coming in!” I greeted him.

“Yes! It was so dark when I turned off the flashlight.” He replied loudly. I told him that there was a family in the cave and there was a divide up ahead, and the left should be the main section. After climbing over the rocks, we turned off our lights and it was pitch dark in the cave. It was creepy in the total dark cave! But the Golden Dome Cave is worth the adventure, and it is my favorite cave.

It became real cloudy again in the late afternoon. But it finally cleared up before sun set. We had the campfire going and waited for the celestial show – Perseid Shower. The International Space Station flew by at about 9 p.m. It was a warm yellow dot moving constantly from north to south in the clear evening sky. The sky got darker and more stars appeared in our vision. The meteors shower started with some quick strikes. They disappeared in a blink of eyes. I had to gaze at the night sky and didn’t want to miss any. The Perseid meteors I saw flew from northeast to southwest. The most brilliant one travelled across the sky with a long dazzling streak that ended with a bright dot, then disappeared. After seeing 9 meteors, I said goodnight to the milky way and the twinkle stars.

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