Emma Morcroft joined The Caverns team in December 2021. Since she had never been on a cave tour before, that was her first order of business. Read her first person account of her first time taking The Caverns cave tour—and join us for your very own underground adventure soon!
Growing up in a large city I didn’t encounter many caves. It wasn’t until I moved to Tennessee that I even thought to tour one, but I have a slight fear of small spaces, so I was in no hurry. That is, until I joined The Caverns team. It was time to put my fears aside and boldly venture underground.
Before leaving Nashville, I took a look at The Cavern’s website for the answer to my first question, what should I wear on the cave tour? Not even owning a pair of hiking boots, I was pleasantly surprised to read “wear comfortable shoes.” So I threw on my city-slicking Doc Martens and work out attire to stay warm and made the short 90 minute drive to The Caverns in scenic Grundy County, TN.
I’d soon learn the ground underneath the interstate I was driving on could be likened to Swiss cheese. Tennessee’s geological foundation is largely made of limestone, which erodes easily. That and the many underground lakes and rivers led to the formation of roughly 10,000 caves in the state.
As I turned onto Charlie Roberts Road, I was greeted with a gust of fresh air and the lovely feeling of being in the countryside. I parked in the spacious lot outside the gift shop emblazoned with a mural of a salamander. I would later learn this was a Tennessee Cave Salamander, the official state amphibian as well as The Caverns mascot, which everyone lovingly refers to as “Sally.” Inside the gift shop, I met Ben, my guide for the tour.