Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Hogswatch!

I'm in the middle of Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett. I like to read this book every year at Hogswatch. The Hogfather has gone missing and Death is filling in while Susan, Death's granddaughter, tries to figure out what, exactly, is going on. Excellent book.

Some quotes from Hogfather for your reading enjoyment:

"Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on."

"Everything starts somewhere, though many physicists disagree. But people have always been dimly aware of the problem with the start of things. They wonder how the snowplough driver gets to work, or how the makers of dictionaries look up the spelling of words."

"Real children don't go hoppity-skip unless they are on drugs."

"She'd become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do. And she'd taken to it well. She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella."

"The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head."

"+++ Divide By Cucumber Error. Please Reinstall Universe And Reboot +++"

"Millennium hand and shrimp."


Happy Hogswatch, everyone! I hope the Hogfather was good to you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Enter The Haggis: The Brink Lounge, Madison, WI, 11/11/09


Readers of this blog and others who know me are probably aware that I have been a big supporter of the Toronto based group Enter The Haggis (some of you may be tired of hearing about them, but you really need to check them out!). Last Wednesday they made their third appearance here in Madison, WI. They've been here about once a year since their first show in the area and, although Madison hasn't been a particularly lucrative stop for them on their tours (it hasn't helped that every time they've played Madison it has been a Wednesday night), each time they have had a better turnout than the time before. This year, I volunteered to work on their "Street Team", which means that I did what I could to help promote the show. I was pleased that there was standing room only last Wednesday. I'd like to think that my efforts were partly responsible for the large crowd in attendance, but who knows?

Why, you may ask, did I work to promote someone else when I really ought to be spending more time and energy promoting my own musical endeavors? The answer isn't entirely clear, even to me. I can only say that listening to their music and seeing them perform has brought me an awful lot of joy since I first heard them about three years ago and I'd like to share that with other people. Besides, a group this good deserves to be able to make a living playing music. They'll either burn out after a few years or they will have enough success that they'll find it worthwhile to continue. Personally, I hope it will be the latter.

ETH is unique, in my opinion. Great song-writing, five stellar musicians, brilliant arrangements (every note they play serves the greater good of the song rather than trying to impress people with their virtuosity), their songs span a wide array of styles and they appear to have a great time playing together. It's a rare combination, and it doesn't hurt that they're also very nice people off the stage. After Wednesday's show I chatted with (pestered?) individual members of the band and found it rather refreshing that, after all the touring and gigs they have played, they still seem surprised that people find them to be exceptional.

As I've come to expect after seeing them five times, it was a great show. I urge everyone to see these guys if they come anywhere near you.

Here's a clip from their recent appearance at Shank Hall, Milwaukee, WI on June 17, 2009. They're playing "DNA" from their latest album, "Gutter Anthems". This song falls into what I think of as their "pop song" style. It's representative of some of their music, but one song doesn't begin to illustrate the range of material they perform on any given night. To any guitar players watching this, take note of what guitarist Trevor Lewington's right hand is doing at about 2:15 and again at 3:55, and compare it to what you're hearing. It looks as if he's pounding out chords, but he's also playing a lead line at the same time. Kind of cool, don't you think?




Some more photos from The Brink (I should have taken more photos so I could have better shots, but I kept forgetting about the camera because I was engrossed in the music):

Craig Downie: bagpipes, penny whistle, harmonica, guitar and vocals.


James Campbell: drums.


Mark Abraham: bass, vocals.


Brian Buchanan: fiddle, keyboards, guitar, vocals.


Trevor Lewington: guitar, vocals.



Check out this live video of ETH and opener Zachary Scot Johnson at 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis, MN on November 10, 2009. ETH starts about 51 minutes into the clip.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More shameless self-promotion!

Mock flyer by Jeff Muendel. Sorry, Evel Knievel will not actually be appearing. The flyer was Jeff's idea of a joke. I thought it was pretty funny.


Greetings, once again, to all life forms who happen to have the misfortune of being visitors to this blog!

"What is it this time?" you may well ask. And well may you ask. Well, since you may ask, it's an opportunity to hear and see The Motor Primitives and still get home by bedtime! Is that awesome, or what? Wait! Please don't all talk at once! I can't hear myself type!

If you haven't gotten a chance to see us with our new drummer, Kenn Busch, now is a chance to see us with our new drummer Kennn Busch! Hopefully, you will have other opportunities to see us with our new drummer, Kennnn Busch, but life holds no guarantees, so why not come and see us with our new drummer, Kennnnnnnnnnnn Busch, at this time? And, to top it off, you will also get to see the legendary Hum Machine in a rare appearance.

Who? The Motor Primitives and Hum Machine.

What? Ummm..., The Motor Primitives and Hum Machine.

Where? The High Noon Saloon, 701 E. Washington Ave, Madison, WI, 53703.

When? Friday, October 23, 2009. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., music starts at 6:00 p.m.

Why? Because we like you! And, if you don't show up, I might cry (but in a sincere, sensitive and manly way, not in a manipulative, stupid, lame and weasely way like Glenn Beck).

How much? $4. Seriously. It's ridiculously cheap..., errrrr..., wait..., ... our marketing department is now informing me it prefers the word "affordable" over the word "cheap." They also like it when you use the word "value." Okay, whatever, it's ridiculously affordable (wink, wink, nudge, nudge.) A great value. (I refuse to use the phrase "bang for your buck", though. I'm just not going to do it, regardless of the hand-wringing it may cause our marketing department.) 2 for 1 drinks on top of it, or so I'm told. Bring the whole family. If your kids are under 21, they must be accompanied by one or more parents.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

On the radio...

Hi, everyone. First of all, please accept my most sincere apologies for my absence over the last few months. Getting used to my new job has taken more energy than I would have anticipated, leaving both less time and less energy for blogging and blog reading. Funny.

Anyway, I thought all my loyal readers (how can someone be a loyal reader when there is nothing to read? That must be one of those "If a tree falls..." kind of questions. Maybe I should have written "loyal would-be readers.") might be interested to know that I was recently interviewed on Northern Spirit Radio's weekly show called "Song of the Soul". If you're interested, you can listen to it here.

I enjoyed talking with host Mark Helpsmeet and having the opportunity to share some music that was meaningful to me in a spiritual sense. First, I had to make sure that the fact that I'm not affiliated with any religious or spiritual organization or philosophy wouldn't be a problem for the show. It was also a challenge to pick music that fit the theme of the show rather than choosing music just because I like it. Of course, everything I chose was something I like, but the theme guided my selections. I found the most difficult aspect was weeding it down to 25 minutes worth of music. Mark was able to edit the music to fit the time slot, so not all songs are presented in their entirety. If you wish, you can seek them out in full.

Warning: you might think from the presentation that I'm a real musician. Don't be fooled. I'm just another hack who likes to play and has enough skill to get by.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gainfully employed!

I had a second interview today, after which I was offered a job. I start next week. I'll be working at Spruce Tree Music, a local independently owned store which sells and repairs stringed instruments. Guitars, violins, harps, ukuleles, etc. It sounds like my duties will be varied, from cleaning, tuning and setting up instruments to answering phones, helping customers, and learning repair. I'm pretty excited about it. The salary is a little lower than what I was earning at my previous job, but I'm okay with that. It's going to be a relief to have a more regular source of income, and working for a local independent business, not to mention working with musical instruments, appeals to me as well.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Woo hoo!

I had a job interview today. The first interview, actually, the first call, I've gotten since being laid off about a year and a half ago. That must mean the Economic Crisis™ is over, right? But, seriously, I think the interview went pretty well and I'm pretty certain I would like working there. I hesitate to mention where or what kind of job it would be at this point in time, in case I don't get it. I'll write more about it should the position be offered to me.

When I was younger, I tended to be pretty confident when I interviewed. After all, I was offered a job every time I got an interview. I've even turned down job offers in the past. Things are different now, though. For one thing, the only time I ever lost a job before was when the company I was working for went out of business, and the new owner hired me almost instantly. Aside from that, I had never lost a job for any reason. In addition, a year and a half of no calls when applying for jobs has shattered my confidence. Whereas I used to feel that it would be a mistake on the part of a prospective employer not to hire me, now I find myself wondering why anyone would want to hire me. I'm old, unemployed, no college degree, etc, etc, blah, blah, woof, woof, woof. We'll see what happens. At this point in time, there's nothing I can do but wait. Wish me luck.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Anniversary, continued

We had rather grandiose plans for our anniversary and, although some of our plans didn't come to fruition, we went out to dinner at Peppino's, one of Madison's oldest restaurants. Neither of us had ever been there before and we thought it would be nice to eat there at least once while they still exist. The service, food and atmosphere were all excellent. It was a very nice dinner.


Afterward, we took a walk in Tenney Park, which is very close to our house, but, aside from skating in the winter, we don't visit it very often.


A beautiful evening spent with a beautiful woman. What could be better?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Anniversary #22!

Today is the twenty-second anniversary of the day Ms. Geranium (a.k.a. Luminiferous Ether) and I got married. Hard to believe it has been that long. Equally hard to believe is that she has put up with me for that long. Happy anniversary, Suzy, the love of my life and my best friend. I love you!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Appliances-SFB: More Than Enough

I'm trying to finish getting all those Appliances-SFB clips up on the YouTubes. I think, after this one, I have four more to go, and then I'll be done. Yay! Three out of the four that are left are covers of other people's songs, and I'm trying to get permission from the writers, although I don't know if it's necessary. There are an awful lot of videos on the YouTubes of people playing songs written by other people, and I seriously doubt that they all got permission from the authors.

Well, then. Here is "More Than Enough", written and sung by guitarist William Siebecker while Tom Laskin takes over on guitar. If you can understand the words, you'll find that, even though he wrote the song during the reign of The Greatest President In Our Nation's History™, Ronald Reagan (believe it or not, I succeeded in writing that without barfing - anyone who knows me is aware that I consider Ronald Wilson Reagan, a.k.a. Insane Anglo Warlord, to be among the worst presidents we've ever had and it is his policies which have culminated in the mess we're in right now), or possibly during the reign of King George I, the song is still relevant. That's kind of a sad statement, but it's true. Enjoy!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ed Goes Paragliding: The Movie

Coming soon to a theater near you! Look for it on DVD, VHS, Beta, Laserdisc and Those Little Movies You Make By Drawing Pictures On The Pages Of A Book And Flipping The Pages Really Fast™!

In my last post I promised I would get this up "soon". So, here it is. I'll post the video first, then I'll write some stuff that, hopefully, will be at least somewhat relevant and interesting. I figure the video is the exciting bit, at least for me, so you can watch that and then, if you feel like it, you can read the stuff I wrote. My apologies to those of my regular readers (yes, it's hard to believe, but, for reasons that are beyond me, I seem to have a few regular readers) who have already seen the following video elsewhere.

Here's the video!!!!!!!! (Some of you may know about the significance of the excessive use of exclamation points. Some of you may not. If you don't, I'm sorry, but I really am not at liberty to explain. The best I can do is say "read Terry Pratchett!!!!!!!!!!")




My last post was about the trip itself. In this post I am writing about the flying that occurred during the trip. Many people have asked me if I was scared to do this. It's a simple question, but the answer is not so simple. I will try...

Before I left home I was excited, but not scared, to go paragliding. Once we arrived at the site, as I looked down from the top of the hill, yes, I was scared. It was difficult for me to imagine running off the top of that hill. However, Bill, my friend and instructor, was very adept at preparing me for what I needed to do. After two days of training on the ground, which included a couple of small "flights" of a few seconds or so, what scared me the most was the possibility that the weather (wind speed and direction, mostly) would not allow me to fly. Once it was time to attempt a real takeoff, I had enough of a feel for what it would be like that it didn't feel dangerous anymore. Don't get me wrong, I was not under the illusion that I had become an expert. Far from it. Further, I was fully aware that there was potential (mostly due to pilot stupidity) for bodily injury and/or death, but I was confident in the fact that Bill was a meticulous, experienced and knowledgeable instructor who also has a superb safety record, that he had prepared me very well for the site and conditions that we would be dealing with, and that he would not put me in a situation where I would be taking any undue risks. He has, in the past, turned down his fee and refused to let students fly because he felt it wasn't the right thing to do (they were not ready or they didn't have the proper attitude to fly safely) so I felt pretty certain that if Bill thought it was time to fly and I felt it was time to fly (and I tend to be pretty cautious about such things in my old age, unlike my wild and reckless youth when I was, like many young people, nigh invulnerable), then it must be time to fly.

Prior to beginning training, looking at the hill, I tried to imagine what it would be like to run off the hill. In reality, or, at least, in my reality, after the hours of practicing technique, it no longer felt like running off the hill. The best description I can give would be something along these lines: One's normal frame of reference is one of connection to the ground, or being part of the ground. If you jump into the air, you feel disconnected until you are in contact with the ground again. During takeoff, what I experienced was a smooth but rapid shift of my frame of reference from being part of the ground to being part of the glider. Rather than running off the hill and jumping into the air, letting go of the ground, from the moment I began my run the glider began to support me, and the glider lives in the air. The ground simply, very gently, went somewhere else. Or, to put it another way, the ground was like a train that I had been riding for a long time. I had gotten off the train and the train was leaving the station. It was really quite easy and not scary at all.

[Of course, I said "very gently", which was what it felt like at the time, but I had a number of rather dramatic-looking bruises afterward. I don't even know for sure when I got them, as I was only aware of the task at hand during training and takeoff, but they were all located where the harness straps were in contact with my body (upper thighs were the worst - all purple, puffy and ugly, but there were also bruises where the chest-strap crossed my torso and where the "risers" made contact with my upper arms.) I suspect they were mostly inflicted during takeoff practice and, to a lesser extent, takeoff itself. How? Well, this is what takeoff is like: When you begin your run, the glider is just a limp assembly of fabric and lines lying on the ground and attached to your harness. You run as fast as you can, with the risers crossing over your upper arms, holding the "A" risers in your hands to bring up the leading edge of the wing first. Once the leading edge begins to come up, the cells of the glider fill with air and it becomes quite solid. At this point, the glider is perpendicular to the ground and feels like a solid, immovable mass. Imagine trying to pull a tree out of the ground by tying some lines to it, attaching them to a harness and running as fast as you can away from the tree. When you reach the end of the lines, imagine the jolt you feel. Unfortunately, that tree isn't going to come out if you stop there, so don't stop. Keep running. Now pull up another tree using the same technique. Repeat for a few hours a day for two days. I think that's where the bruises came from. Once the wing comes up overhead, there is much less resistance to your forward momentum, but those first few seconds are fairly, umm, let's just say forceful.]

While ground handling, Bill remarked several times that I was catching on quickly. The problem was, I didn't know why, or what, exactly, I was doing right. After a while, I made a few mistakes, which, believe it or not, gave me more confidence. For one thing, the mistakes helped me to understand what I had been doing right. It also seemed like something that had to happen sooner or later, so I was pleased to find out, while still on the ground, what happens when things go wrong. I suspect that my many years as a folkdancer were a big help in this regard. Bill continually reminds you that the glider's job is to fly and your job is to run and do what the glider wants you to do. You can't win if you try to fight the glider. All the feedback you get from the glider about what you need to do is tactile. You can't see it very well when it's directly overhead, so it's important to be able to feel what is happening with the wing. Much of this is also true of folkdancing. When doing line dances from Eastern Europe, couple's dances from Scandinavia, etc, you learn to function either in a line or as a couple, and you have to rely on feel and balance and move accordingly. Ground handling with the paraglider felt an awful lot like dancing. The glider pulls you in a certain way, so you need to respond accordingly, sort of thing.

When you're taking off, as you run you feel less and less weight on your feet. Next thing you know, you take a step and your foot doesn't touch the ground. You see the ground falling away from you. Then, at some point, you look down. All you can see between you and the ground is your legs dangling beneath you, useless for the time being. Wow.

That's my convoluted and rambling answer to a brief and simple question. Maybe there's a future for me in politics. Vote for Enriched Geranium! He can say nothing for a long time! (Paid for by the Committee to Elect Enriched Geranium.)

To anyone reading this who has an interest in learning to paraglide, I heartily recommend contacting Bill at Flyaway Paragliding. You may need to travel to Colorado or California, but plane tickets can be pretty cheap. You'll have a wonderful time and, if the weather gods smile upon you, you'll get a chance to do some flying. You'll be in the hands of one of the best in the business.

Once again, I'd like to say thank you to Ms. Geranium, my mother, siblings, daughter, and, of course, Bill for the trip and the flying instruction. Now I just need to find a way to do some more of this.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Birthday Present

I know, I know, I'm a little overdue for a new post. Yes, my birthday was in April. Whatever. Sorry. Anyway, on my birthday (well, actually, it was the day after my birthday, but there were scheduling complications) the lovely and talented Ms. Geranium presented me with a round trip ticket to Denver. I looked at it and thought, why would she be giving me a ticket to Denver? The only reason I could think of was to visit our old friend, Bill. It just so happens that Bill is also one of the most respected paragliding instructors in the region. I've always wanted to learn how to paraglide, and the birthday present included paragliding lessons! Ms. Geranium had planned the whole thing, got my mother, siblings, and even our oldest daughter to chip in to help pay for the trip, and, on top of that, what with all the people involved, she still managed to keep it a secret until my birthday (well, actually, as I mentioned before, the day after my birthday.)




Wednesday, the day I left, the weather was pretty nasty. Even at 36,000 feet I could see clouds that were higher than we were, and the plane was bouncing around like, well, like something that is bouncing around quite a bit. We eventually got beyond the nasty weather (somewhere over Nebraska, I think), the sky cleared up and, aside from seeing another plane scream past us in the other direction at a distance from our plane that seemed to me to be closer than was intended, the flight was pretty uneventful.

Bill picked me up at the airport, we stopped at a park in Boulder and ate our Fraboni sandwiches. (Fraboni's is an Italian Delicatessen in Madison that makes the best sandwiches. Bill, as a former Madisonian, stipulated that the price of my paragliding lessons would include, among other things, such as signed CDs from the various bands in which I play, sandwiches from Fraboni's, so I picked some up before going to the Madison airport. I was feeling nice, so I also bought him a bottle of Fraboni's secret sub sauce.)

Me with a partially eaten Fraboni's #1 in hand.
Photo by Bill


We did a quick paraglider transplant from his car to the car of his other student (unbeknownst to me at the time, the reason for the transplant was that he needed to make room for all the gear with which we were going to fill his car) and headed to Bill's cabin in Coal Creek Canyon. Bill checked the weather forecast on his computer, which, apparently, he had been watching throughout the preceding few days, and decided that it was not looking good for paragliding on the Front Range, which meant... Road Trip! We were leaving in the morning for the Western Slope on the other side of the mountains, 275 miles from his house. Whilst getting some of my stuff out of his car, I saw some sort of creature running around in the dark. I tried to get a photo of it and went back inside.

"Hey, Bill! There's some kind of critter running around outside. It looked like kind of like a fox, but I can't imagine a fox hanging around your house."



Bill informed me that there were two or three foxes in the area that frequently came around looking for raw chicken. You might wonder why they would expect to find raw chicken at Bill's house? Hmm...

While Bill was feeding raw chicken to the foxes, I had the opportunity to get a few more pictures.




The next day, we packed Bill's car full of camping and paragliding gear and headed to the other side of the mountains. We took our time getting there, making a few stops along the way.


Bill in front of his house.



We drove past this house, made famous in the movie Sleeper.


Stopped at Loveland Pass. (Click on the photo to embiggen it so you can read the orange sign.) Climbed up those stairs in the background so we could get above 12,000 feet.



At 12,000 feet, even those few steps took the wind out of me.



Heading down the other side of the Continental Divide, the rocks changed color. Something to do with cutting through different layers. You might even think it made a case for tectonic shift. Nah! God just made it all that way 6,000 years ago to confuse the scientists.



Stopped to take a bike ride in Glenwood Canyon along the Colorado River, sometimes under and sometimes next to I-70.




The water looked a little rough, but Bill decided to take a dip anyway.



Nice t-shirt.



The Book Cliffs. I guess these guys extend all the way into eastern Utah.



Checking out a potential flying site, Bill decides it's too rocky.
Ankle and toe breaking territory.



Here's a big pile of rocks.



Another hazard for the would-be paraglider: cacti! They were all over the place. Pretty, though.



By the time we got to our campsite it was getting dark.



This is what I saw when I woke up the next morning.



Our campsite.


Bill and I spent the next morning scoping out the various flying sites he has used in the area. Actually, Bill did the scoping. I mostly followed him around and took lots of pictures. We met Bill's other student, Amanda, and spent most of that day and the next training on the ground. It was Amanda's birthday, too! Happy birthday, Amanda.



This is Amanda. Hi, Amanda!
Amanda was an excellent camping and flying companion. She was further along then I was in the paragliding certification program, so I was able to watch and learn from her. She seemed to have no fear. She's a very fun and nice young woman. Bill told me he thinks she is going to be an excellent pilot.



This is Amanda's colorful food.



This is Bill sampling some of Amanda's colorful food.



Bill and Amanda climbing in the Big Ol' Cottonwood tree in our campsite. They found some ticks in the tree. They got out of the tree rather quickly. Smart tree.



The Colorado Beer Bottle Bush. Its flowers look enough like beer bottles that yahoos will pollinate it running from bush to bush looking for beer. Or, maybe, beer actually grows on trees.... er.... bushes in Colorado.



The Car Commercial™.
"The 1988 Suzuki Sidekick. It takes you where you need to go. (Standard Equipment: two out of four electric windows actually functional.)"



The horny toad.



The wind sock. Sometimes it was nice to us.



This town ain't big enough for the two of us.



Amanda training on the ground.


Amanda demonstrating takeoff position.



There she goes!



Bill actually got one photo of me all decked out in paragliding gear, waiting for the wind to cooperate.



On the way back to Bill's house we made a stop and hiked up to Hanging Lake, elevation 7,200 feet.


So, I did get to fly, despite the brevity of my trip. It was more fun than a barrel of monkeys. (Why do people say that? Would a barrel of monkeys actually be fun? I sort of doubt it.) Okay, whatever, it was lots of fun. I want to do it again. I still can't believe Ms. Geranium did all that for me. It was a truly inspired birthday gift. Thanks to Ms. Geranium, the rest of my family and Bill! You're the best!

Coming soon: Ed Goes Paragliding, the movie.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Coolest field trip, ever!

Late in February, I had the pleasure of chaperoning a field trip to Pop's Cave near Richland Center, WI, with Sparkly Seacow's 7th grade class. I've been meaning to get to putting these pictures up for some time, but, for some reason, I haven't had energy for blogging, or much else, in recent months.


First we had a 90 minute bus ride. Then it was over the "river"...


... and through the woods.
I got the sense that some of the kids on the trip had never been out of the city before. Several of them seemed a bit scared. Our family has done a lot of camping, hiking and things of that sort, so it was odd to witness the reactions of people that don't have that opportunity.


Down a hole into the cave.


This is a view of the hole as seen from the inside. Since I had to use a flash, most of the pictures won't actually show what it looked like while we were inside. Once we got away from the entrance, it was much darker with the only light coming from our flashlights and headlamps.


One of the walls in the first chamber.


More of the first chamber. Most of the parts of the cave had names, but I don't remember all of them.


A wee bat. We tried not to disturb them, but just imagine a bus-load of middle school kids coming into your bedroom while you're trying to sleep. Poor bats.


Some of the kids taking a rest. That's Sparkly Seacow in the green jacket.


One of the teachers waiting for the mob to pass through a part of the cave called "The Birth Canal." We had a couple of adults go first, then some kids, more adults, more kids, ending with adults.


That's me waiting for the mob to pass through the birth canal. I got to be last. Those helmets sure look dorky, but I would bet that there wasn't a single person who didn't clonk their head in that cave at least a few times.


The tail end of the mob heading for "The Birth Canal."


This is probably my favorite picture of the bunch. I think you know the name of this passage.


Some of the rocks were translucent and would glow if you put a light on them.


Sparkly Seacow crawling through "The Mole Hole." It leads into a small chamber big enough to seat about five people.


One of the other adult volunteers squeezing through a tight space.


What a great trip! It's not often one has the opportunity to see a cave like this. The cave is on private property and it's pretty amazing that the owners of the property allow schools to visit. I hope the kids appreciated it as much as I did.