Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Put the "Gee!" in Geology

One of the local attractions right down the road from our Ausable Pines Campground is something called the Ausable Chasm. It advertises itself as the "Grand Canyon of the East." A bit of a stretch, but it certainly competes with the other gorges we have seen. A chasm is a deep break or fissure in the earth, another word for gorge, actually. This is one of the country's oldest natural attractions, and goes back to about 1830 as far as visitors coming to see it. A very pleasant cedar chip lined trail path awaits you, cushy on the feet, which was great, because I forgot to put on my hiking shoes this morning when we set out. No worries, mate! Easy hike down to the gorge, waterfalls, or stay up top and walk the rim. Incredible geological formations which I can appreciate knowing a little about, thanks to the superb teaching of Mrs. Miller, at Angola Middle School in Angola, IN...where I used to assist in the science classroom, helping LD students. She would LOVE this trip! We saw one formation that was called Elephant's Head. You can certainly see why! There was a small rafting operation at the chasm, but tame in comparision to regular whitewater rafting. They have to lower the rafts and tubes down by pulley to the guys below waiting to go rafting. The rafting trip offered at Ausable Chasm starts PAST the rapids, the fun part, so it's a "float" down the river for about 30 min. with a guide who tells you all about the geology of the chasm. You can also tube it if you want to go on your own. We decided to hold out for the "big" water later on in Colorado or other white water rafting destinations. What happened to the luge ride today? Actually, it's the bobsled ride that Eldy is still considering. Because of the heat today (right around 90 with a LOT of humidity), we headed to the local mall to look around and cool off after our hike today. We are going to check out the bobsled and get more information tomorrow. There is a lot of preparation and waiting around before ever getting to take the ride with a brakeman and driver, so Eldy is not sure if this will be worth the wait. Stay tuned for Where's Eldo? tomorrow....

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