Visit Natural Bridge Caverns (a commercial cave) and Robber Baron Cave (a wild cave preserve owned by Texas Cave Management Association). During lunch, there will be a presentation by Geary Schindel, President of the National Speleological Society, on Karst of the Edwards Aquifer.
At Natural Bridge Caverns, there are three tour options:
- Cavern Tour — Geology-focused tour on regular paved tourist trail.
- Discovery Adventure Tour — Off-trail wild cave tour in main cavern with climbing and crawling in mud.
- Hidden Passages Adventure Tour — Off-trail wild cave tour to highly decorated portion of the cave accessed by being lowered down a 160 foot well shaft.
At Robber Baron Cave, you will have the choice of three options:
- A relatively easy trip with mostly walking over uneven terrain, but some stooping in a couple of low spots.
- A slightly more challenging trip including climbing, crawling and traversing over crevices.
- If you do not wish to enter the cave, there will be a side trip to San Antonio Springs to see a few other karst features in the area led by Dr. Evelynn Mitchell of St. Mary's University.
Field trip tour costs include transportation, fees, entry to both caves, and lunch.
- With Natural Bridge Caverns Cavern Discovery Tour: $75
- With Natural Bridge Caverns Discovery Adventure Tour or Hidden Passages Adventure Tour: $145
An optional tour of SwRI's archives has been arranged for conference attendees who choose not to join the caverns field trip. This SwRI tour will include history of the Institute and some of the cool things they have done (like the pressure capsule for the original Alvin submersible). The group will meet at Building 263 and depart for the tour at 9:00 a.m. The tour will begin with the labs, followed by the archives, and conclude before 12:00 p.m.