One of the first “world’s largest” features you reach early into Cathedral Caverns in north-east Alabama is “Goliath” the world’s largest (known) column. It’s impressive stats measure 14m tall and 74m around! When you reach the chamber that houses this massive formation, the path splits off to both the left and right, encompassing the column. All the people in the group headed to the right, so I decided to go left to get a good ‘scale’ photo with people in it. Normally I don’t like people in my landscape photos, but in cases where great magnitude is involved, they can actually add to it. You can see the blurs of people walking during my long exposure behind the railing.
Lost in Time
The “lost bridge” is a remnant of the former trail thru the caverns, built as an attraction by Jay Gurley in the late 1950’s. The pale green water looks very placid this day, but strong storms have been known to raise water levels quickly. The handrail is a small section that is left of the original pedestrian path leading into the depths of accessible cave. Due to a small amount of TNT used by Mr. Gurley in the early developement of the cave as an attraction, you can now enter a sealed section of the cave sytem, a natural area that can reach “true black.” There is no natural place on earth that true black can be acheived other than underground. When all the lights were turned off, your other senses kick into high gear. It’s a strange feeling being in that sort of place; your eyes are open but there is absolute nothingness in front of you. Sounds seem to brush past your ears, and every breeze tickles your skin with a teasing sensation of the unknown.
Staged at the massive entrance to Cathedral Caverns, an extensive underground cave system, with a mile long walking path, this cabin stood powerful against an incoming thunderstorm. The caverns themselves house a few records of their own, including the largest column in the world, “Goliath,” and the largest flow stone wall.