My wife, Laura, thought it would be fun to take our grandkids, ages 7 and 9, to spend a few hours exploring a giant cave. I wasn't so sure. Ten minutes into the excursion, I was wondering which one of the adults would be hauled out in an ambulance. This was, indeed, an adventure to remember. Luray Caverns in Virginia bills itself as the largest caverns in the eastern United States. The pictures of stalactites and stalagmites on its website looked amazing, and the trip actually sounded like a fun afternoon, so I agreed to give it a go. Due to my multiple sclerosis (MS), I use a small, lightweight scooter to go most places. Due to painful back problems, Laura uses a walker. A few days before our trip, I phoned the folks at the caverns to scope things out. I was told that the 1.25-mile path through the caverns is paved and that people in wheelchairs can travel it, but that there are a couple of inclines that can make pushing a wheelchair a little difficult. The FAQs on the attraction's website actually caution that "Luray Caverns is not listed as handicapped accessible." When I said I'd be using an electric mobility scooter, the woman I spoke with said I probably wouldn't have any trouble. OK, then. I guess I'm game. At Luray Caverns. At the caverns, we snagged the accessible parking spot closest to the main entrance. Inside, the ticket-taker asked, "Is your battery fully charged?" "Sure," I responded. I'd just topped it off that morning. Besides, it's a lithium-ion battery that's good for 10 miles. It runs all day and its voltage meter has never even dipped from green to yellow. This scooter has traveled the ruins of Ephesus, Turkey, and crossed the cobblestones of ancient cities in Crete. A mile and a quarter in a Virginia cave should be a walk (or ride) in the park. The ticket lady sent me off with a "just be careful about the curve at ..." but I didn't catch the location as I set off with bravado down a wide, long ramp that sloped down to the mouth of the caverns. As I did, I was hit with a troubling thought: What goes down must come up. Once we made it through the caverns, could we make it back up that ramp? (Honestly, I was more worried about Laura than myself.) In we went. At first, it seemed as if my worries were unnecessary. The path sloped slightly, but I thought, "I can handle this." Even rounding the first bend, where the path banked about 10 degrees left to right, I just scootered slowly and felt pretty confident that I could handle the rest of the ride. Laura was doing OK, too. She asked if I was all right, and I was — until my scooter met some water on an upslope. The caverns are very humid, and what was either condensation, water dripping from above, or both was glistening on the ground. It greatly reduced my traction and I had to get a push from my grandkids to make it to the top of the slope. It was worse later. On a steeper hill, I started spinning my wheel (only one rear wheel is powered on my little scooter) about halfway up. I could go no farther. The hill was too steep for the little ones to help with a push, and Laura had all she could handle with her walker. Visions of broken bones danced in my head. Laura suggested I get off the scooter and try to walk the remaining 50 feet, but I insisted it'd be more dangerous for me to do that than to stay on and slowly back down — and that's what I did, down to the landing where I'd started. There, a fellow tourist came to my rescue. Not only did this strong man give me a push up that hill, he stayed behind me for the rest of the route, just in case. A light at the end of the tunnel. That was a good thing, because my battery meter — the one that had never dipped into the yellow — was now flashing a "your battery is about to die" red. Amazingly, it didn't. Somehow, we all made it up the entrance hill we had descended about 90 minutes earlier. Laura and I didn't break any bones, either. I was never more glad to enter the ubiquitous gift shop that sits at the end of this type of tourist attraction. My gift was that this adventure was over. Have you had an experience like this? Please share in the comments below. You're also invited to visit my personal blog at www.themswire.com. Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.