Current Status: On-Going
Date: Every 2nd Saturday
Time: After 5:30 PM
Lost River Caverns in Hellertown, PA,
is the Lehigh Valley's only commercial cave. It is also south
eastern PA's largest cave, measuring at almost 2000 feet. It has
been operated as a commercial cave since 1930.
Unfortunately 71 years of
commercial operation has left its mark on the cave. The heat and
light from the lighting system has given rise to ugly, unsightly, and
most importantly unnatural mold and fungus which now covers most of the
caves surfaces. Thousands of visitors have also left their mark in
the form of collections of lint on delicate formations.
On December 15, 2001, members of the
Greater Allentown Grotto chapter of the National Speleological Society
made the first of what will be many trips into the cave to clean it.
First the area to be cleaned is sprayed lightly with seltzer water (a
mild carbonic acid), then scrubbed with a soft nylon brush. Nooks
and crannies are scrubbed with a toothbrush. The area is then
sprayed for a second time with a mixture of 10% Clorox to 90% water to
kill remaining growth and retard further growth. Finally, the area
is sprayed with pure water to further dilute the chemicals used and
lessen the impact on the natural environment.
- Paul Lubaczewski