Learn how to cave (safely) using simulator at Ruby Falls
It's no secret Tennesseans value the wonderful natural attractions in the volunteer state.
With over 10,000 known caves, Tennessee has more than any other state in the United States.
It's part of the reason why officials at Ruby Falls are celebrating National Day of Caves and Karst.
Missy Montgomery, digital media and public relations coordinator at Ruby Falls, said this celebration is much more than solely appreciating the beauty of these natural wonders.
"To not only appreciate the beauty of the waterfall, and the beauty of the formations and the cave itself but to really understand the importance of conserving a natural wonder," Montgomery said.
The event features several activities to educate the community about the impact caves and karst have on the environment.
One of those activities is a cave simulator, known as CaveSim. The simulator features 60 ft. worth of cave passages for people to crawl through inside a 24 ft. trailer.
CaveSim Owner and Inventor Dave Jackson said he came up with the idea while he was doing a cave rescue training in 2008.
"We had this giant jumble of picnic tables that was supposed to be a cave and we had a person on a stretcher and we were threading them through the picnic tables," Jackson said. "We did a second day of training that was underground and we did some damage to the real cave."
With experience in engineering, he decided he could create a solution to allow people to train for caving safely while minimizing harm to the cave.
"As your crawling through, you will hear a beep if you touch something you shouldn't," Jackson explained. "When you come out you can see your total score, total damages."
CaveSim will be at Ruby Falls from June 6-8. For more information, you can visit Ruby Falls' website.