Friday, March 15, 2013

Shakedown with the Hub, Donahue Sea Caves

It was a miracle March afternoon. The sun felt warm and I cleared the debris from the bulbs emerging in my front gardens. Our boys' birthdays are three days apart. (I know, I know, however did that happen?) They were getting along, excited for five teenage boys that would descend on our house for a sleep over. After the previous weekend's party with 11 year old rambunctious boys in our basement, I wasn't in good mental shape to endure another party without some time outdoors. I begged The Hub for a ride alone—our first of the year together—before the wild evening ahead.

I let my partner choose the route. He suggested we stop at Donahue Sea Caves. It's a park we've meant to explore for three years—silly, really—as it's only three miles from home. I frequently pass it on rides around town and realize, dang, I need to stop and find out what's down there. I'm glad he made the decision.

We walked the bikes down the gravel road and locked them together. To access the cave—I believe there's only one, contrary to the word "caves" on the sign—we scamper across an icy pond to the entrance. Winter is the ideal time, obviously, for an easy trip.

There is thin ice near the edge, but the water isn't deep. With boots you could probably wade the fifty feet and explore the back reaches. We plan to return in summer with our kayaks, paddle among the pond's cattails and see what it's like inside the cave.

To skip ahead, we returned the following day by car with our oldest boy, who was obviously lagging after a late night. The temperature had risen to 50F, not ideal for moving across the pond's surface, which had turned to slush overnight. I quickly moved to the opening.

He was fascinated with the rock. He made this mom nervous, of course. But boys will be boys and, fortunately, he is the cautious one.

By then I found out Donahue Sea Caves are limestone dolomite, formed by waves when Lake Champlain was part of the inland sea over 10,000 years ago.

Our boy climbed to a keyhole view. He was scared to descend. My husband coaxed him down the frozen, mossy chute and his pants were a muddy mess. He was a trooper though, and despite his grogginess went on to walk another two miles of trails behind the high school.

To get back to our bike ride.. We checked on camp—er, I should say he checked on camp after his gander across the lake. I spent time on the shore, marveling at the snow waves and expansive beach—unusual for this time of year.

Our hour away from our sons turned into two. But such is life on a bike. Often I want to keep riding, until reality begs me homeward.


  1. What great biking destinations you have there.

    1. Yes, Randy, because of the lake there are lovely places to picnic or bike tour, however we have limited segregated paths. I'm jealous of all your rail trails and multi-use paths.

  2. Odd isn't it how we often overlook visiting interesting destinations right next door to us....Thanks for sharing this with us..Looks really interesting and worth a visit....



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