Longhorn Cavern State Park, Burnet, Texas

November 9, 2020 6 of 8

I think this is my 6th post for today. Maybe it’s my 5th. I was, like, well, I can always look at the place where I paste all of my posts for the month for NaNoWriMo counting purposes, then I realized that I don’t copy that part of the post over because I feel that would artificially inflate my word count. I’m not even that sure if my Gratuitous Amazon Links should count.

Agh. Never mind. Longhorn Cavern.

These are the stairs down to the caverns. My first picture showed more of the top of the stairs, but I was afraid that part would be too overexposed (and I was right — I mean, just look at the top of this picture) so I slid over to the right and took this one, which I also think is more interesting.

First, a warning. Since I had Mila with me, I couldn’t go in to buy a ticket for the tour, so I haven’t taken the tour yet. I do intend to sometime. Whenever I have the time and energy to go all the way to Burnet again.

I wouldn’t’ve been able to take her on the cavern tour anyhow (I just double-checked that with the tour website), so I definitely didn’t take the tour.

There are three things that make the park interesting. The first is kind of standard if you’ve been around here very long — the hiking trails. It was pretty warm, and while I’m getting Mila used to strangers, she was a little tense with strangers, since she was so far from home (I’ll bet that Burnet smells different from San Antonio to a dog). I’m hoping that she’ll get better about that, since I want to be able to use her as a travel buddy. As a result, we didn’t get to see all of the trails. We did the trail near the cavern entrance, and the Backbone Ridge Nature Trail. The Backbone Ridge Nature Trail connects the second interesting point:

There are a number of Civilian Conservation Corps (“CCC”) structures in the park. I believe that I’ve gone through this before, but given the nonlinear nature of this blog, I’ll do it here. The CCC was one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, and it may have been the one that was most popular with the general population. The men who worked for the CCC were housed in camps and given food, work uniforms, medical care, and an income that works out to less than $3 per hour in today’s money, quite a lot of which were sent to the men’s families.

The CCC was employed in building flood-prevention structures, reforestry, and also in building structure to improve public lands, including parklands. There are three CCC structures at Longhorn Cavern State Park. One, the administration center, is next to the visitor center at the park. This building has a deck that is reachable without going into the building, so Mila and I went up there. There is a cabin, and an observation tower. The cabin is used for storage and the observation tower had this metal spiral staircase that I didn’t like the looks of, so we didn’t go up there.

And, of course, the third thing is the cavern itself. Mila and I walked down to the entrance of the cavern, which has stairs and arches and things that I think are also by the CCC.

The cavern was formed by water filtering through cracks in the ground during what’s known as the “Llano Uplift,” which I don’t really understand and will have to research. I eavesdropped on one of the tour guides and he said that there are relatively few caverns formed this way, and even fewer (I think he said four?) are open to the public.

Now for the Gratuitous Amazon Link. I really need to catch up on my nonfiction reading, to give this section a little more variety. Alas, this is another kidlit book. The Secrets of Solace is the middle book in a trilogy by Jaleigh Johnson set on the planet of Solace. Interestingly it looks like the three books of the trilogy are independent stories. The first two certainly are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.