A number of years ago, I was asked to write a book about caves. I visited many caves around the United States, including some spectacular ones in the west (Carlsbad Caverns and Ice Caves in New Mexico, Lehman Caves in Nevada's Great Basin National Park, Oregon Caves National Monument, and South Dakota's Jewel Cave and Wind Cave) as well as some further east (Kentucky's Mammoth Cave and Arkansas's Blanchard Springs Caverns). One highlight of my research was a trip through a wild cave (Cave of the Winds in Manitou Springs, Colorado).
But my most vivid memory concern a research trip to France where I was able to visit the cave of Lascaux (which is closed to everyone except scientists). I was fortunate enough to be allowed inside on a special tour with five other researchers.
I worked very hard on the book for a number of years. Sometimes, though, an editorial committee can change its mind. And that's what happened. Without warning or explanation, I was told that the publishing company would be canceling the contract for the book. It was nothing personal, since I went on to publish many more books for the same company.
Rather than allow my hard work to go to waste, I have decided to share some of the stories from that book here.