Crows circled above smelling my fear as I descended the deep dark portal. A shaft at least four stories deep with no wall to steady the descent it was a free fall suspended by a dubious rope. Dug by guano miners during the depression as they looted the bowels of our earth.

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Once down we weaved our way through majestic stalagmites and stalactites until a giant glittering lake opened before us. The glitter came from the calcite coat so even one loose stone would shatter decades of build up. It looked like a vast lake of glittering diamonds gleaming in our headlamps.

Then a few more tunnels and turns before we halted to undress, a necessity prior to entering the inner sanctum of Christmas Extension. This pristine cave was absolutely full of blinding bling radiating out from tiny little perfect crystal universes. Each one a pure dainty fairy land where light, dust and sweat had never ventured to tarnish their glow.

The wondrous beauty beggars description as it felt like we had entered a vast universe of tiny galaxies and none of us would have been surprised had we spotted mythical creatures or heard heavenly chords. Silence enveloped us as we absorbed this spectacular natural creation.

Let’s avoid mention of the arduous return up that perpendicular portal …

MLMM – tale weaver – photo thanks to Dave Bunnell on google