Another Strike: Trip to the Glenwood Caverns

I feel like I should rename this blog something like “All the things NOT to do when you have a camera.” A few weeks ago, we decided to take a spontaneous trip to Glenwood Springs to visit the Glenwood Caverns. After packing up the family, I grabbed my DLSR camera. I figured this would be a great opportunity to get some great pictures of Glenwood Springs and it’s many attractions.

After a long drive, we ended up in Glenwood Springs. One of Glenwood’s biggest attractions is Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. It started out as a couple of caves. But in recent years rides, stores, and eateries have been added to make it a small amusement park. To get to the park, you need to take a gondola ride up the mountain, which is part of the fun.

We arrived at the gondola entrance, and the LO looked up at them in wonder. I was so excited to take him up and show him around. We got in the gondola, and that part went well. I got great pictures of my husband and LO looking out the window. I also got some great shots of the sprawling town below us.

The problems started once we reached the top. We waited in some very hot weather waiting for the tour guide for the cave. We were able to get the LO in some shade and I kept wiping a damp washcloth over him to stay cool. He was such a good boy, just looking around at everything. The tour guide came and gathered the first 20 people in line for the next tour – we of course were numbers 23 and 24. As we waited for the next guide, I heard the first tour guide say that there were no large bags allowed in the caverns, and no food or beverages. No problem, I had saw lockers for rent back up by the gift store. I quickly ran up there, rented a locker, and ran back down just in time for the next tour. This will be great I thought: My husband would have the LO on his back, leaving me free to snap some great cave pictures.

Our first hurdle came when the tour guide was unsure of our baby holder backpack. It was an older one, so it would only work on the back. I assured that I would follow behind and make sure the baby’s head was safe. The guide agreed, and I made sure to stick right behind my family and make sure all was well. This was when I realized the second issue. I was wearing my prescription sunglasses, and had stored my regular glasses. This was going to do me no good in a dark cave. I was figuratively kicking myself, but took off the sunglasses and resigned myself to blurry vision. Then as we started walking, I looked into the backpack carrier holding the LO. I grabbed out my DSLR camera. That was when the LO decided to cry.

Loudly. Very, very loudly.

Everyone turned towards us, including the tour guide. Even with my blurry vision, I could see the look of “Oh no” on her face. I could feel everyone staring at us, probably wondering why did we ever think it was a good idea to bring a baby into the cave. I stood there holding my camera, trying not to feel like a bad mom.

At this point though, LO had had enough. He didn’t like the cave and he was letting everyone know it. His cries echoed off the cave walls, making them sound louder than they actually were. I could feel the displeasure rising from the other members of the tour.

At that point, I quietly approached the tour guide and asked if we could head out. She eagerly agreed, and had the rest of the group wait while she brought us back the way we came. Once we were back out in the sunshine, the LO stopped crying almost instantly. Now tired and embarrassed, we headed back towards the gondola. The gondola assistant asked how our trip was. We told her about the LO, and she said that Oh yeah, babies do not like the change of pressure inside caves. Info that we would have REALLY liked to know beforehand! Oh well, we thought. Maybe it will be a funny story for when he is older.

In the end, I ended up with only a few blurry images of the cave and a couple of decent shots from the gondola. My big plans had once again went sideways. And I had the added mom guilt of my poor LO getting scared in a cave.

Moral of the story: This mom has a long way to go with balancing photography and family adventure. And also. . . BABIES DO NOT LIKE CAVES!!!


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