Mapping a Prehistoric Tapestry

Alan Cressler photo

Caves evoke the innate wanderlust of the American spirit. For a country built on exploration and discovery, a deep yearning to venture to uncharted places is engrained in our collective psyche. more


It's All Downhill

Jon Ostendorff photo

The entwined story of people and caves is still unfolding today. A lasting legacy of caves-turned-tourist-attractions have left an indelible mark on small mountain communities. more


Mapping a Prehistoric Tapestry

Alan Cressler photo

Jan Simek is an intrepid cave explorer. He’s probed the depths of more than 800 caves in the rich grotto country of East Tennessee and its border states. The master spelunker isn’t on a quest for adventure, however. more



Holly Kays photo

From hard hats to oversize coverall waders to—scariest of all—slacks and a blazer, I’ve worn some pretty interesting costumes in the line of duty as a journalist. more

Mountain Explorer

It was common knowledge in our neighborhood that an abandoned mica mine was located somewhere on the mountain above my parents’ house. Despite a decade of roaming the woods, I’d never found the mine. It wasn’t for lack of trying. more


Bristol Cavern

Anna Oakes photo

Sculpted out of material that formed before the Appalachian Mountains were thrust above the sea from deep within the earth’s crust, caverns found in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina are stunning renderings of the earth’s age and history. more

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