My classmate said there are two seasons in Pittsburgh: construction and winter. Pittsburgh has had a long and unusually warm construction season; up until last week, temperatures were in the 70’s. So I’ve been trying to get outside, and luckily, the university organizes outdoor excursions.
I went caving in Laurel Caverns, located in southwest Pennsylvania. We descended lower and lower, until just our flashlights and headlamps illuminated the pathway. The tour guide asked us to turn off all our lights, and we experienced total darkness. Our guide explained that in the absence of visual stimuli, our brains made up visual information. For example, when we waved our hands in front of our faces, we saw our hands moving, but it was just our imagination. Also, there was some light in our peripheral vision. This, too, was our imagination.
There were two textures: hard rock, and soft sand with the consistency of a damp sand castle. Carbonic acid broke the rocks down into sand, creating the caves.
I had a lot of fun scrambling over rocks. There were some sections where we had to crawl under boulders, and the ground was muddy. So when we left we were covered in dirt.
I walked around Frick Park, a wooded area east of school. There were some elevation changes, akin to walking around downtown Seattle. I saw a pair of pet pigs. They were cute, munching the grass.
The Cathedral of Learning
The Cathedral of Learning is a 40-story tower with classrooms for the University of Pittsburgh, adjacent to the western edge of Carnegie Mellon. I took the elevator as high as I could, and there were panoramic views of the area. On the lower floors, there are Nationality Rooms. Each room is designed with the culture of some country or region.