There are to different types of caves in all of California and only three in the world, so all you spelunkers California is great. You can even find caves in the desert of pinnacles national park. This year the Gateway 6th grade went to Pinnacles national park, in Pinnacles we did lots of things including hikes, games, rock climbing, and an amazing trip to the Talus caves.
Talus caves are made when lots of large rocks fall into a valley when these boulders fall they make small openings between them. Over a long time, smaller rocks begin to fill in and cement the big rocks together, then when it rains water runs through the rocks, which makes the holes bigger over time. Finally, plants grow all over the rocks to make them stable, super stable. With this many layers of protection from the sun, the caves are a low steady temperature, which allows bats to live in them all year round (that doesn’t seem like a big deal but it is). Over 14 species of bats lived inside of the Talus caves, one of the types of bats is called the Townsend big-eared bats, their ears measure a length of 38 mm. While hibernating these bats stay in groups of one or two. Townsend big-eared bats live for 4-10 years and the longest life recorded was sixteen years.
There were small waterfalls that were flowing from the reservoir above the cave, there were many squirrels that came in and out of the cave openings. The cave was pitch black and had no light coming through so it made it hard to see the surroundings.
There is a plant called miners lettuce that the miners ate when they worked in caves. Not too far from the Talus caves, there is a reservoir that holds many creatures, plants, and rocks. For hundreds of years, this area was just Barron, rocky place until the national park rangers decided to dam up the creek. Some of the animals that live around the reservoir are water snakes, fish, dragonflies, and squirrels. caves were eroded for years by miners looking for precious materials, but all they found were nests of bats and all the explosions nearly killed every bat that lived there. In lite of this, the national park services close the caves for half the year while the bats hibernate and give birth. Just a stone’s throw from the talus caves is a small reservoir full of many more plants and animals.
For hundreds of years, the area around where the reservoir is now was just a Barron, rocky desert until the national park rangers decided to dam up the creek. The reservoir is full of life, inside and out. Water snakes, fish, leaches and all kinds of frogs live in this man-made lake. The shade covered rocks near the water source, there are squirrels who feeble attempts to gobble up your lunch! However, when unknowing tourists see these adorable creatures, they can’t resist to give them some food, but after eating free food for years, the squirrels lose their ability to hunt for themselves.
After staying at the pinnacles national park not only did we have lots of fun but learned a lot along the way. Visiting all these beautiful sites really brings out the explorer in you. Whether it’s hiking, rock climbing, or camping you’ll never be disappointed in this glorious place. I would very much recommend spending time in Pinnacles National Park and remember don’t feed the squirrels!