This past week Caroline and I have been fairly consumed with preparing for our Geology Day for American Heritage Girls. This year we were joined by several families from the two Knoxville troops, also. It's exciting to be able to have troops now to do events with here! (Background: our troop was the first in Tennessee five years ago; now there are about 8 including our two sister troops in Knoxville.)
Our day started with a tour of a little known cave in this area, Cherokee Caverns. Once a popular tourist attraction, the caves were heavily vandalized in the 1980s and are only open a few times a year and for special groups tours now. Pretty much no one in our whole group of 60 people had ever heard of Cherokee Caverns, so this was a great discovery (or rather a tip passed on from one of our moms).
It was pure bliss to step out of the hot sun and into the coolness of the cave. And after 2 hours in the cave, we were all rather chilly and happy to come out into the sunshine. For about 4 minutes. The next 2 hours--after lunch--we spent working on the geology badge in the mid-day sun. We were all melting (and so were the Snickers bars that we brought to demonstrate the core of the Earth and plate tectonics). But we all had a great time anyway. I did come home and collapse for awhile, appreciating the luxury of air conditioning.