The last time I toured Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, I did the whole 17 mile trek. It was as if time stood still in this enchanted underground realm. It was morning when I went in, and when I came out it was after sunset.

I can only imagine the excitement one Medina County, Texas couple must have experienced when they discovered a cavern on their property. This is not just any cavern.  It is described by spelunkers, or cave experts, as an "enormous cavern."

Don and Debbie Davis ranch owners in Northwest Medina County were working on placing the ranch in a conservation easement for the preservation of the water supply for Bexar County. They have owned the property since 1999.

Surveying the property for the easement, that's when the Edwards Aquifer Authority found it.

As Debbie Davis told Texas Public Radio, “They found this little depression that no one had ever seen before. It was back in a thick clump of brush and we'd never gone there. And sure enough, when we went to check it out, there was a sinkhole with a tiny opening that we had no idea it opened up to this enormous cavern.”

When they called in Bexar Grotto, a local chapter of the National Speleological Society, that when they opened pried open the tiny opening and discovered a true underground wonderland.

Bennett Lee of the society was the first one to behold the majestic beauty of this incredible underground world.  The huge room had a ceiling of 120 feet high and was about 60 feet wide.

There were breathtaking formations including stalactites and a huge flow stone.

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Experts say finding a large cave like this in that area is not surprising. In fact, there is a lot more to this cave yet to be discovered. When it is all said and done, this cave could have miles of passageways and rooms.

Could there be a cavern lurking on your property or in your backyard in San Angelo? The nearest large cavern complex to San Angelo is the Caverns of Sonora.  These caverns are 75 miles from San Angelo in the middle of nowhere.

Some of the biggest and best caverns in the state are only a short drive away. Natural Bridge Caverns are the state's biggest near San Antonio. The Cascade Caverns are in Boerne.

The geology of the immediate San Angelo area means there is little to no chance you'll find a cavern on your property or in your backyard in Tom Green County. On could only dream.  It is a dream Don and Debbie Davis never imagined could come true for them. For now, they're just going to enjoy it. I hope they share it with the world.

 

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