Dealing with Anxiety

For those of you who know, and for those who don’t, I have been dealing with some major life changes within the last 6 weeks of returning home from the road trip.  Finding my purpose again, trying to figure out where to live, and dealing with the D word, my life has been turned upside down.  From walking Disney Parks with a smile on my face and my phone streaming the magic, I wake up with anxiety attacks which last the entire day.  I start to feel normal, try to run, walk, and it all floods back and the anxiety is like a gorilla that sits on my chest. It doesn’t want to move, it doesn’t want to feel anything but pain, sadness, and grief.  I can’t eat, but I sleep a lot….my body is most calm when I sleep and the dreams and thoughts of what “would be” seem to fade off more and more each day. 

Oh, I have listened to the podcasts, read the self-help books, found a therapist, journaled and then some….and yet the pain remains.  I have been dealing with this for a week now, and yesterday wound up in the Hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack. You all know I am a happy person, I tend to be joyful and see the best in life. But yesterday was like a 1000 pound gorilla sat on my chest, and I couldn’t breathe.  Scared, in shock, I went and got checked out.  Thank God, my heart is ok, and that I was told I had a very severe anxiety attack. Then the Wellness clinic I headed to for an assessment so they could give me the best options to deal with it all. Outpatient program I can start in the middle of the month (no openings right now) but until then, Xanax has become my bestie along with a very high dosage of CBD oil.

Here’s the kicker, I was fine a month ago. I had a hold on this and was damn proud of how I was processing so much, and then I was promised another road which I got excited about, and then it was ripped away.  So the wound that was on it’s way to healing was violently opened up and then left to bleed out. I know I am not the only one who must feel this type of anxiety, and frankly, it’s just uncomfortable to wear.  I am not this person, I like to smile and sing in my car, not cry on the couch or scream in my pillow.  I was happy, I was fine.  I feel absolutely cheated out of who I was, a brain chemical that has somehow switched on that it overrides the rational side of what truly is.

I never knew it could be like this, convincing yourself to shower, to take another step, to get out of bed. I never knew that so many things could trigger the anxiety during the day, that it would be like a movie on repeat in your head so nothing else could be focused on.  I have tried to shock myself out of it, something that would just jolt me out of this sadness. I went to “Hellsgate” Haunted House in the Chicago area, and the entire time, I didn’t blink. I walked through the haunted cemetery, woods, and then house, without blinking at the scare actors jumping out at me.  I fit right in, I was the zombie they didn’t know they needed. I was hoping to get so scared from something that the real Amy would jump back into my body and I could move on with my life.

I am taking a trip with Kyra soon, a Mom and Daughter adventure, and I am hoping that will help a lot. Getting out of this area I have been grieving in and see my “constant” Kyra will help and just being able to love and focus on someone else should help.  I ask for your prayers and good thoughts…this is very new territory for me and the pain is just a lot to bare.  I know I should be thankful for what I have in my life, I do, and I thank EACH OF YOU who have reached out to pray, message, call, or just love on me.  Sometimes these situations can make you feel like you are lost, alone, and when you are rocking on a couch and bawling, it feels hopeless and endless.

I share this with you today because I was encouraged to share an update and I have always tried to keep it as real as possible. We can share with others without oversharing, and yes, we don’t have to share at all. I feel talking about it will help someone else, that my pain and struggle may help someone else out there right now feel not so alone.  As I posted on Facebook, “I’m not okay, but I will be.”  To all of those dealing with anxiety for whatever reason- I see you, you are not alone, we will get through this.

Day 72: Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

The temps reaching into the 100s here this week, I devised a plan that would minimize the amount I would need to be in the hottest times of the day.  This morning, and going forward the rest of the week, I get up and out as early as possible and enjoy the cooler temps and then be done early afternoon before I get heat exhaustion from driving my hot car. (Same concept at Disney World- in early, out early, enjoy cooler temps and less crowds that way). 

Today I got to “Zoo Boise” right away at opening at 9 a.m., which made for a quiet visit AND a great parking spot near the entrance!  $11 admission, (which I thought was cheap for a Zoo), and I headed in and just walked around. I had zero agenda, just like I like it. I had sandals on today…sandals means Amy is in chill mode, and tennis shoes means I have lots to walk.  Funny how shoes can change your mood so much, but they were nice and cool, having my toes exposed to areas with fresh, cut grass felt SO GOOD.  I meandered from pen to pen, taking pics, enjoying my Coca-Cola tic tacs, and just relaxing. Here are all the animals I took pics of, my favorite being the lion who was being fed while I was there.  

Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise

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Zoo Boise
Sand Cats

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The zoo was worth the money, but it was annoying to see all the plastic netting up all over the Park- I assume a pandemic thing maybe, but it was everywhere.  Lots of buildings were shut down, but they were still giving their personal animal encounters. You can feed a bear, the giraffes, or the penguins here- they were booked solid for the day but it’s something to look into if you are wanting more of an experience out of the Zoo.

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Next door to the Zoo was this beautiful Rose Garden. I really wanted to play with Alice here and sing “We’re painting the roses red..” It was stunning, and I can imagine the wedding and senior pics that must be taken here.

Rose Garden Boise Idaho

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And on the other side of that was the Boise Art Museum.  For $5, I thought why not? I am not big into the Art Museums and Galleries, although I really enjoyed the one in Milwaukee and the Smithsonian one in Washington D.C.  I was with JT at the Milwaukee one and I remembered how hard we were laughing because I just wasn’t “getting” some of the ideas behind the art, but that’s what it is. And Monet in D.C.? Can’t beat that! This one was very small, took under an hour to walk it and read some of the narratives. It was ok, I like to support anything in the Arts so if you have time, stop on by.

Julian Davis Park

Boise Art Museum

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It’s now after 1 p.m., and I am famished. It seems that no matter when I leave my hotel room, I still eat lunch about 2 pm every day and dinner by 6. The idea is to grab another Wendy’s Strawberry salad, they are SOOOO good!  BUT as I am passing the “Discovery Center” I see “TITANIC EXHIBIT NOW OPEN!!” Yeah, I didn’t even think about it, I turned into the parking lot, grabbed Walter, and headed in.  $18, the most I had spent for admission to something in awhile, and was handed my boarding pass for this amazing ocean liner. I was sailing from Cherbourg, my name Mrs. Amin S Jerwan and I got lucky with second class. Traveling alone, I had just visited my family in Switzerland and eagerly awaited my reunion with my husband back in New York City. What could go wrong?  (Having done the Exhibit in Orlando several times and elsewhere, I was eager to see what they had from the wreck).

Boise Discovery Center - Titanic Experience

Boise Discovery Center - Titanic Experience

There are two different types of “Titanic” experiences when it comes to these types of attractions. One is an exhibit, set up for a couple of weeks so not a lot to them, and then the permanent ones like the ones in Orlando, Vegas, and Branson. (Yes I will be doing Vegas and Branson ones on this trip). This one was pretty plain, but they had a couple of things that REALLY stood out to me.  Plain I mean they have big pictures of the ship, the inside, etc… in Orlando you can stand ON the full size grand staircase, put your hand on what would have been the cold iceberg, and have a huge piece of the ship on display. Basically you are immersed there, here you felt like you were at a small gallery for Titanic. Anyways, I was still happy to see it…especially when I saw that they had one of the FAMOUS CHERUBS from one of the many staircases. It looks a lot like the “Grand Staircase” one but they note it is only similiar. Still from the Titanic, it’s from the other side of the “C” staircase, same concept, the real deal.  I squealed with delight, it was a first to see one of them. 

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My second favorite thing was the life size display of what, how big, etc… the life boats were.  When you stand on the image, you realize how much room they really did have.  They could have saved hundreds more, but the fear of capsizing them kept them from filling them. Did you know that only one woman was saved from the cold sea? Read her story with her pic below.

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My third favorite thing was that they highlighted some of the stories that I did NOT know about here.  Again, read below…. Pretty shocking and amazing. Oh I have also included my ghost app (GHOST LEGACY) hits on here so you can see what the spirits were saying to me in the Exhibit. They believe that objects carry residual energy, from those who touched them and used them, so I let it play and I screen shot the words as they come in.  You don’t have to believe me on any of it, I do, and I have had WAY to many come through to not believe it doesn’t work.

I enjoyed seeing all the real artifacts they have removed from the wreck, and learned today that the reason any paper made it, including money, is that they were stored in leather pouches or wallets. Leather doesn’t allow anything to eat through it, so the sea life wasn’t able to wreck them much. Case and point is the money below, including the $5 bill MADE here in Idaho AND the bill, and only bill, to have an Indian Chief on it. All found on the Titanic.

So did I live? Did I make it back to NY City? OF COURSE I DID! At the end they have a list of all the names of who survived and who perished. Takes a bit of time to find your name, but I did and she made it back to her hubby.  I HIGHLY suggest this exhibit if for nothing but seeing the cherub. No stickers or postcards, so nothing to buy so I headed out to my car and looked to my left and saw a grocery store- SCORE!!! I had been needing spinach and blueberries for my smoothies in the morning, and was happy to grab some snacks, watermelon, salads, and Coke Zero.

Now back in my hotel room for the day, enjoying the cold and watching “Signs” on tv. I see a nap, a workout, and then more writing in the rest of my day. Hope you all had a great day, see you tomorrow!

Driving throgh Oregon

This is what I do for a living, so every donation helps!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 71: Tuesday, August 10th, 2021

Miracle of miracles, I got a solid 8 hours sleep last night.  Either it’s all the driving or stress of finding gas yesterday, but I slept hard and it was AMAZING. You truly know you’re an adult when the best thing about your day is sleep. This week is a bonus week for me because I only had a couple things planned, so everything else I find is extra!  It is supposed to be in the 100’s several days this week, so I am going to have to be careful with my car that has no a/c right now.  Sometimes it just FEELS better to stay in my nice, ice cold hotel room and watch tv.

On my Paranormal wish list of things to do across the Nation, many a Prison can be found.  I have always been fascinated by them, and then you add history with the ghosts inside every cell, they’re pretty cool to tour.  My first Prison tour was Joliet in Illinois, and you really didn’t get to go in the cell areas, because the main building was literally falling apart and they are trying to save it.  Waverly Hills was all about a guided ghost tour, so again, you weren’t on your own to really explore (that costs extra and boy will it cost you there to do an overnight alone!). I LOVED that ghost tour, but it would have been cool and terrifying to do alone.

Idaho State Penitentiary

So today I wasn’t sure what to expect, just what I had seen on an episode of “Ghost Adventures.” I knew the place was haunted, so I came prepared to talk to whoever wanted to talk back. They have sort of a compound going on there, the Penitentiary, the Warden’s home, the Women’s Prison Block, the trail to Table Rock, and the Botanical Gardens next door.  They have you park in this huge, gravel parking lot behind the homes and the Table Rock trail, but there was ZERO signage on where to walk to the Prison. I wound up asking a local who was going to his car how the heck to get to the entrance, which he kindly showed me the way. 

Idaho State Penitentiary

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$6 entrance fee, masks required in the Main building, and the tour is self-guided. I LOVE those words, that means “Amy can take her sweet ass time” – which I certainly did. They opened at 10 a.m. and I didn’t walk out until 12:30 p.m.  They have SO many buildings to tour, including Maximum Security, the Cooler, 3 Cell Houses, a Rose Garden, Shirt Factory, and Barber Shop. 

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Let’s start with the Rose Garden.  This is where the gallows started on the property, where the men were put to death by hanging. The Rose Garden was beautiful, I kept thinking what beauty was covering stories of horrible deaths. It felt peaceful, but I couldn’t shake the feeling I was being watched. There weren’t many touring today, so 90% of the time I was all alone. Even with the big, bright, ball in the sky shining down on me, the place couldn’t feel darker.

Idaho State Penitentiary

Idaho State Penitentiary
The gallows were in the grassy area…
Idaho State Penitentiary
The Gallows Outside

The Dining Hall from 1898 burned down, and all that is left is the shell of what was. They designed it to have lots of light, and they entered across this huge ravine dug around it.  The pic will show the men were not allowed to talk, and they all had to face one way while eating.

Idaho State Penitentiary
The Dining Hall
Idaho State Penitentiary
Dining Hall in 2021

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Idaho State Penitentiary
Inside the Dining Hall

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I couldn’t get over the “dungeons” they had placed in several spots. When the men were unruly, one point of punishment would be to put them in the ground where they would feed them and that’s it. They looked like storm cellars that people used when they didn’t have basements, but it must have been so hot with the sun baking those metal doors. Maybe cooler underground? I don’t know, every time I saw one it creeped me out.

Idaho State Penitentiary

Idaho State Penitentiary

Speaking of cooler, they have a building called “The Cooler” or “Siberia” where you were put when you REALLY screwed up while in Prison.  These cells had nothing to them, and walking into the tiny building felt so heavy on my chest, I didn’t stay in here long. It’s located in a corner, far away from everything else, including it’s own shower area for only these confined prisoners. There cells had NOTHING to them, I pictured a man just sitting in a corner and scraping his fingers on the wall from boredom. Creepy area.

Idaho State Penitentiary

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Next I toured the Barber Shop and Dorm, right next to each other. These were Museums, meaning they had walls of information on inmates, and it was fascinating to read. I probably spent a good 30 minutes alone here, all very interesting.

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Idaho State Penitentiary

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3 House, built in 1928, was the first one I toured of the cells. Because I wasn’t able to have such freedom at Joilet like this, I was shocked I could walk in and out of cells, up and down floors, it was so cool!! Every building I left my Ghost app play out, and I will post some of the words I got with this. Basically I took pics, video, then let my app run while I walked around and explored.

Idaho State Penitentiary

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2 House was the oldest house, built in 1911. These were incredibly old, smaller cells.  A scary vibe in this one, wasn’t a fan of being alone in here.

Idaho State Penitentiary

Idaho State Penitentiary

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Idaho State Penitentiary

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4 House, built in 1952, was the largest one. Lots of floors, housed the most, and this is where they had kidnapped several of the guards and the prisoners held them hostage. 

Idaho State Penitentiary

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Idaho State Penitentiary
The Officers would use this hallway to check in on the prisoners through small windows.

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Idaho State Penitentiary

Idaho State Penitentiary
The small window on the inside of the cell that the Officers would peek in on them.

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Idaho State Penitentiary

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5 House, built in 1954, was Maximum Security and Death Row.  THIS ONE was crazy to be in!  Exploring while thinking about the most dangerous who inhabited here, but then to go to the second floor and see the 4 cells that held the Death Row inmates was surreal. Right off their cells, a single, ominous door. They all had to stare at it from their cells, knowing the journey though door was the last walk in their lives. And not death by injection, oh no, nothing humane like that. They walked through that door to a hanging noose. They would be executed by hanging, with a trap door underneath. They would stand on the doors, the noose around their neck, the trap door would open, and they would be hung. Then dropped to the room below, and taken out the doors down the stairs, to the outside to a hearse and then the Cemetery.  A window in the viewing room would allow the “watchers” to view this gruesome hanging…and I couldn’t stop staring through it. I couldn’t get over that 10 people were hung in that room, and that someone watched it. I was in this area awhile, I just couldn’t get over it.  I took video in this area, will post it on Facebook- make sure to follow my page.

 

Idaho State Penitentiary

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Idaho State Penitentiary

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Idaho State Penitentiary

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Idaho State Penitentiary

Idaho State Penitentiary

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Idaho State Penitentiary
Where they hung the noose from…
Idaho State Penitentiary
The trapdoor the body fell through.
Idaho State Penitentiary
The lever pulled to open the trap door…

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Idaho State Penitentiary
The room beneath the gallows…where the trap door dumped the body.

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Idaho State Penitentiary
The doors the body would be taken out of to the hearse and then Cemetery.

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The last building I toured was the Shirt Factory, basically the laundry area. They really didn’t like them “loafing” – this term is found all over the grounds. Apparently with their schedule, they worked most of the time to help the State’s budget. They even built the Warden’s home, a STONE home.  Cheap labor I guess.  I hit the gift shop, because EVERYONE has a gift shop, and grabbed my sticker and a bottle of water. On the way out, they have the Women’s Ward on the outside of the Main Prison, which I thought was odd. Apparently they HAD to keep them separated this much because of the harassment they would endure. They were so worried about the women that there house is actually surrounded by it’s own separate wall, with the Warden’s home between the two areas.  Because it’s outside the Main prison, you can tour the Women’s area without paying.

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Idaho State Penitentiary
She’s 48?????

I headed out to find lunch, loving that Wendy’s Strawberry Summer Chicken salad so I picked one up and a cold soda and I headed back to the Hotel for some sweet, sweet air conditioning.  I am parked for the rest of the day, the heat really does wipe me out. Hoping to get my car fixed soon, see you all tomorrow!

Driving throgh Oregon

This is what I do for a living, so every donation helps!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 70: Monday, August 9th, 2021

Another slow morning, up way too early in the Pacific time zone.  People have asked me how I am doing with it, well, I was up at 3:30 this morning, that’s how I’m doing. I am not at the same point long enough to get used to it.  So, I just go with it. I wound up working on my schedule, some exciting things coming up, and then I fell back asleep around 8 for a good hour before showering, packing, and heading out.  The bed was VERY comfortable, and I enjoyed the vibe of my “Grandma” room. I turned in the house key, yes, it was regular key, and I headed out.

Motel West Bend Oregon

 

So I get to play this game on driving days, especially new States. The game is this, what terrain will I be driving today?  I have driven cornfields, mountain ranges, big cities and small towns. I never know, it’s the roulette of roulette.  Today’s was actually pretty awesome (VIDEO on Facebook) which consisted of winding roads through large bluffs, hills buttes, and mountains.  On my first 2 hour drive of the day (a total of 5 hours from Bend Oregon, to Boise Idaho, I gambled with my gas tank. Don’t EVER do this! I thought I could catch a station down the road, but, nay nay, nothing for TWO hours while I drove in the middle of nowhere.  I prayed, I hoped, I watched my needle fall while I hoped I was getting closer to a town. I was never more relieved than to find a gas station and fill the tank…won’t be doing that again. Normally I have a rule of filling up every time I am going on a long drive, I just got cocky. You get used to doing the same thing for so long, you just think you have full control, and you get lazy.  I have also started wearing my mask again and hand sanitizing my hands again more.  Having that nasty cold is as close as I would like to get to being sick on this venture.

Driving throgh Oregon

Oregon Buttes

Driving Oregon

Driving Oregon

Driving Oregon

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I am now tucked in for the night, here until Saturday while exploring the Boise area. I am IN LOVE with this hotel, and I got smart and started getting a two bed room for the same price. It gives me more room to work out, and just more space in general. The TV in here is HUGE, so awesome!  And in walking distance is a Taco Bell and Subway, so I’m going to get salads all week for dinner. Lunch will be wherever I am in town at the time, that seems to be working for me.  I have to go find my next sticker, I got my Blockbuster one on now, and a couple others I found in my bag.  I think I will be finding ones all the time in the nooks and crannies of my many bags. The guy that checked me in is bringing me one tomorrow, how sweet! So that’s it for today…I am in Idaho, my first time, and I am going to enjoy this hotel because next week is camping…..see you tomorrow!

Side note, thanks to EVERYONE who have donated to my hard work. This is what I do for a living and it is WORK for me, so tossing me a couple bucks to my PAYPAL below helps me SO MUCH with everything needed. I love being able to bring you all of these amazing places so that YOU can do them as well. I work mostly on donations so thanks again!

Lava River Cave

Thank you for your support and kindness!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 69: Sunday, August 8th, 2021

I was so exhausted last night that I was out cold by 9 p.m…and then slept through the night until 6 a.m. A FIRST for me in a while, pretty sure I needed it. This hotel room feels like I am staying at a friend’s home, the bed is super comfortable, everything is decorated, just feel’s nice. It was my day off from working out, so it was nice to just take a slow morning and snail pace it for my day.

I headed out by 8:30 to catch the opening of the “Lava River Cave” right at it’s 9 a.m. start. I’ve learned that on the weekends, especially this summer, to get to ANYTHING right at open to assure my self of a spot or chance to see it.  I got there about 5 minutes to, and there was a huge line of cars waiting for them to lift the gate.  So I just played on my phone until they let us in, and then it was park and line up.  They count out so many people, then space it out that one group get’s the information about the Cave, and another group lines up for the next briefing.  A third group is then waiting back on the road, where they intermittently put the gate down during the day to space out the groups. Online it was STRONGLY recommended to wear layers to go into the cave, so I wore my brand new Forks sweatshirt.

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

They had us all sit down and explained to us all about the Lava River Cave and how it was formed. When the  “Newberry Volcano” erupted over 75,000 years ago, it sent lava down it’s cone and it formed lava tubes. These tubes were formed by channels where the lava flowed over and over again, eventually cooling by the surface. The cave was born from these tubes, and if the volcano erupted again, this cave would fill with lava the same way, making them bigger.  It cost $5 for a parking pass, or INCLUDED if you have the “America the Beautiful” NP annual pass.  They offered a lantern to be rented for $5, and I was ALL about that!  They hold your car keys until you return it, apparently someone had sticky fingers in the past. Once you have your lantern, or bring your own light source, it was time to take the walk down to the cave and then IN the cave.

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

It is SELF-GUIDED, which I was THRILLED about! You can take your time, but you don’t want to spend to much time away from the groups- it is INSANELY dark down there.  I was so happy I rented a lantern, because a dinky flashlight or my phone light wouldn’t have done anything, the darkness just eats any small light.  You walk down these steep, steel steps, which feels like forever, until you get to the bottom and then it’s watching your step for the mile in and out. It take about an hour or more to walk to the end and back, but oh so worth it. Terrifying, exhilarating, 42 degrees, and dark.  I explored on the way in and on the way back I ghost hunted. Yes, with ZERO wifi, my ghost app was picking up all sorts of words. The most interesting was “Gone person.” It was crazy scary and I LOVED IT!! 

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

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Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave