The trip home worried me. I felt like after so much time on the road I would feel like “I wish I had flown so I could be home already”. So to compensate it tried to plan a lot of fun stops for the way back.
Our first stop was Penn’s cave in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania.
The drive there from Connecticut was quite the experience. I didn’t realize we would be going through Amish country so that was a really fun surprise. We passed carriages on the road and saw people plowing the farm with u motorized plows. My daughter at one point said “did we drive into the past?”
We got to Penn’s cave around 6:30. Just in time for the last boat tour at 7. My research had said this is one of the best times to go because the last boat is usually less full. This was not the case with us but even with a full boat we were fine.
We brought warm vests and jackets because I had read that it would be chilly in the cave. It was 53 degrees so really not that bad…especially for us Edmontonians :). We also learned an interesting fact. Caves have the inside temperature of the average temperature of the area they are in. Year round. That means Penn’s caves is 53 degrees winter and summer. Pretty cool huh?!
At first the kids were scared. The cave is dark (they have lights inside but from the outside it looks really dark) so it can be daunting. There was one kid on our boat who decided not to go. The tour guide promised that if they went to the first room and were still scared he would bring them back. Once we got going the kid’s fears quickly went away. The cave was beautiful inside. We got to see fool’s gold and stalagmites and stalactites. We saw an under water spring. We exited the cave and saw deer, baby ducks and a beautiful nature area. The main gift shop also sells these bags of dirt that you can take outside and mine for precious jewels that can be found in the caves. If you come for the last boat be warned though that the gift shop closes at 7 so you won’t have any time in it.
Penn’s caves is great and we highly recommend checking it out if you’re ever in that area. There are also many other caves and tourist activities in and around that area. Especially around Penn State University.
Next stop Chicago!