One of our most entertaining stops was Laurel Caverns. If you peruse the website, you'll notice lots of photos of people in acid wash, with big hair. And you might think that the photos are just really, really old. But, no, people who visit Laurel Caverns really look like that. It was a slightly different (and, frankly, far more likable) demographic than all those perma-pressed Frank Lloyd Wright groupies.
So we paid our ten bucks, worked our way underground, and joined our enormous tour group. The men had ponytails and were all decked out in Harley-Davidson t-shirts, leather vests (yes, in June), and boots (yes, in June). Their wives wore standard-issue Mom Shorts and flip-flops. Their kids, one of whom rocked an awesome mullet and trucker cap combo, dashed about, pointed at things, and screamed their heads off, as kids are wont to do in enclosed, echo-y spaces. Oh, except for one kid that whinged the entire time we were there. Her feet hurt, she didn't like the dark, and from there it was just sort of an incoherent whimpering for the next 55 minutes of our tour. I know it's child abuse, but couldn't we have fashioned a muzzle for her?
So, the tour. We looked at rocks. We touched stuff. Our zippy tour guide cracked corny jokes (one of the biker dads grinned and told me, "I want three of what she's on.") Then the tour guide flipped off the lights so we could experience total darkness, and the little ones immediately set to hollering. Awesomely, the guide continued her spiel over the din. Suffer the little munchkins.
And then I noticed what was weird about the whole experience. Not that the moms were all younger than me and had an average of four children apiece. Nope, I had sort of expected that. What I noticed was what they named their children.
"Devon, get back here!"
"Madison, please slow down!"
"Amelia, stop that!"
"Cheyenne, share the flashlight with your brother!"
Yes, suburban yuppie names have penetrated rural Pennsylvania. I don't know why, but that makes me sort of sad.
PS: No, we didn't go to Kavernputt, which I imagine I will regret for the rest of my life.
Photo Credit: Tim