Cave 1980

We are on a lava flow in Idaho. The temperature is in the high 90's, the rock is even hotter. We have come to the middle of it so that as far as you can see there is only the foot tearing spikes and valleys of basalt. Just off the path is a small opening, the cave we have come seeking. I enter, switch on the flashlight and start down. It's not a long climb but my hands are bleeding by the time I reach the bottom. The temperature now is just about freezing. I am shaking from the cold and I can see my breath in the flashlight beam. There is a pool of water on the cave floor and I wade into it. There is ice under the water so I move carefully across it. I turn a corner and have to step up to enter another cavern. This one is covered with blue ice, small spherical nodules covering the walls and ceiling. They sparkle as the light hits them, like some pirate's treasure. In the corner the swirl of the ice and lava form the ancient bones of past spelunkers. I am taken with a sudden fear.

Epoxy Resin, Glass, Rag
Copyright © Victor Young 1998

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