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jCross | all galleries >> Galleries >> What I Did Today > May 25, 2022
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25-May-2022 jCross

May 25, 2022


Another combination touring and relocation day. On the way to Price, Utah, we took a detour off the route to visit Crystal Ball Cave. It was quite a detour because it was along a 40 mile gravel road. Turns out the road was in very good shape, but we took it easy. The cave is on the Bates Ranch. It was discovered in 1956 by the family. It is under control of the BLM, but the Bates Family is the custodian.

Our guide was Kiersten, the granddaughter of Mr. Bates. This cave is unique because it is filled with calcite crystal formations. The theory is that the cave was flooded for millions of years allowing the crystals to grow. There are some of the usual cave formations like stalactite , stalagmites and cave bacon, but the calcite crystals are the stars. There was also some Iceland spar crystals in there. Calcite, Iceland spar and limestone are all different forms of calcium carbonate.

Today's photo is of Ginny sitting in the throne as they call it. It is a blob of calcite crystals which has been hollowed out by an unknown natural process. If you look carefully, it is like an inside-out geode. At the very top you can see the calcite crystals are long and tapered. They are also shiny on the inside because they are covered with dust on the outside.

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