Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 60

RIGHT: Shenandoah Caverns contains fragile
formations and what's known as "Cave Bacon"
in Shenandoah County, Virginia.
BELOW: Kaylin Ketola is a tour guide for
Skyline Caverns in Front Royal, Virginia.

MORE ONLINE!

Follow Joe's Journey to discover
"Caves, Cabins & Cuisine"- from
Virginia's Shenandoah Valley to
the Tennessee mountains.
Also find complete contact
information for caverns in
the Southern Appalachians.
blueridgecountry.com/caverns

BAT BOY AT LOST
WORLD
You have likely heard of West Virginia's
"Moth Man." But the "Bat Boy" may
have flown past you.
"Oh," says Steve Silverberg, the owner
of Lost World Caverns near Lewisburg,
West Virginia. "That's our other claim
to fame: the original article in the
Weekly World News about Bat Boy.
They said that this was the cave that he
was found in."
Stories of the half-bat, half-human boy
appeared in that supermarket tabloid
during the 1990s.
"I have pictures of him in the cave,"
says Silverberg.
Then, with a grin, Steve Silverberg appeared perhaps like Steven Spielberg,
saying, "I think they should do a Bat
Boy versus Moth Man movie."
So ... what's the truth to this?
"There isn't any. It's 100 percent
made-up," Silverberg says.
But, hey-what about the pictures?
The evidence?
"It was a sculpt," Silverberg says.
"And, in every picture, they just had
him turned in a different direction."
-JT

60

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

You'll find a "Potato Chip" at Ruby
Falls.
Look for "Cave Bacon" at Grand Caverns as well as Shenandoah Caverns.
Also on the walls of Shenandoah,
you'll see bumps. "And we like to call
these bumps our cave popcorn," says tour
guide Jessica Sager. "So we have lots of bacon and lots of popcorn."
I marveled at the capitol dome of
Shenandoah Caverns plus another capitol
dome at nearby Skyline Caverns.
Still, at Skyline, you won't catch Ketola always calling it that: "I think it looks
maybe more like an elephant's foot stuck
in bubblegum," she says with a smile. "Or
maybe an upside-down ice-cream cone."

BE PATIENT
Skyline Caverns is among the newest to
form, Ketola says. "We're only 50-to-60
million years old. So we're still like teenagers in cavern years. We have a lot of
growing left to do."
That goes for the nearby Endless Caverns, says manager Michael Stewart. "You
are standing where somebody was standing in 1925, and they saw the exact same
thing-except for maybe an inch less of
formations."
Be patient.
"It takes about 120 years for one inch
to form," Ketola says. "So, in about 2,000
years, that stalagmite and that stalactite

will join to form a column. Now, you can
come back in 2,000 years and see when
that happens-and get your super-senior
discount."
But seriously, folks.
"This is something that is beautiful
now, 100 years from now-and, as long as
we're able to preserve it, 1,000 years from
now," Nauman says. "It's all natural. We
didn't have to do anything for it to look
that gorgeous."


http://www.blueridgecountry.com/caverns http://www.BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019

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Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - Cover1
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Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG1
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