The following is a true story, only the names have been changed, to protect the guilty.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Quarry Hill Nature Center

 This past weekend the family and I headed down to Rochester for a cave tour at Quarry Hill Nature Center. From a posting on face book by my friend Tim, I thought it would be a fun way for all of us spend a Sunday. As I'm sure all you folks down in Rochester already know, the park is awesome, and has lots to offer. In addition to the bi-monthly cave tour, we planned on fishing, and fossil hunting to round out the day, and make the most of the 150 mile round trip. When we got there, we were amazed at the amount of stuff they had in the nature center building. This included  large and small fish tanks, skulls, bones, insects, an indoor bee hive, lots of amphibians, countless other items, and a life sized tyrannosaurus skull replica. Lynn and I had a hard time getting the boys outside for the tour, as they were all checking out various areas of the building.
This is what it's like to be a sea turtle ?
 The cave was only a half mile (or less) walk from the nature center. It was very hot out (90++) so going inside was a cool relief from the muggy heat. I'm not sure you could really call it a cave since it was hand dug by a patient and several others from the State Hospital as a form of treatment in the late 1800's. The cave was used to store food for the patients long before the advent of modern refrigeration. The inside was not a lot to look at, it consisted of a main corridor lined with rooms on either side. One large room was used solely for the storage of apples and was much bigger than the rest. The tour was well worth  7 dollars  for the whole family and satisfied my need to get on the other side of the gate and see what's inside.
The entrance 

Spooky right?  Where are the ghosts?

This is the group that Tim assembled. Tim is in the tan shirt, the guy on his right is Greg Brick, author of  Subterranean Twin Cities, it was nice to finally meet him. 

I got to ride this, anyone ever see one before? This is the first one I've ever seen, and  tricky to ride.
 After the tour we went back to the main building and looked around some more. We got walking directions to the fossil hunting grounds and we were off. We didn't find any dinosaur bones but had fun chipping away the rock for some invertebrate specimens. Did I mention it was really hot, we skipped the fishing and opted for frosty's from Wendy's on the trip home. We had a great time........ thanks Tim, and Quarry Hill Nature Center.
Where's the dino bones ?

There are fossils in here if you look close.

Just a few more hits and I'll get it.


  1. Whats up with Dylan and the squirrel?
    Hope he is OK.

  2. Nice pictures of the inside of the cave! I used to go there when I was a kid. It wasn't sealed off then so it was always an adventure to go there with friends and never know where they would pop out from. The Junior College used to turn the cave into a haunted house for Halloween. They would put bars up on the little room entrances and have some lighting. Inside the barred rooms were students dressed up in scarey costumes. It was quite frightening!!!!