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Bramwell couple explores world below mountains

Bluefield Daily Telegraph photo courtesy Paul Lubaczewski Paul Lubaczewski, center, and his wife Leslie admire rock structures in the depths of a cave. The family has found plenty of sites to explore in this region’s expanses of underground limestone.
Bluefield Daily Telegraph photo courtesy Paul Lubaczewski
Paul Lubaczewski, center, and his wife Leslie admire rock structures in the depths of a cave. The family has found plenty of sites to explore in this region’s expanses of underground limestone.

BRAMWELL, W.Va. — Paul Lubaczewski was done with the flat Atlantic coastal plain of Florida. He and his wife Leslie wanted a quieter, prettier, hillier place for his family.

They’ve found it in Bramwell. They have also found a weird, beautiful world underneath the mountains — in caves.

“I do a lot of pleasure caving,” said Lubaczewski, who is also an accomplished professional photographer. “I’m into the geology and history of the caves, do a lot of research … .”

“Caves are amazing places, like the last frontier of our space. People have explored almost everywhere there is to explore, but you can still find a cave that has never seen a human being.”

East River Mountain includes several limestone caves, including the 3-mile-long Beacon Cave.

“It’s a big cave, it’s a serious cave. It’s our biggest,” he said. “If you look at that entire East River Mountain ridge … there are big caves at different spots on it. There are some solid caves in there.”

He is as familiar with Mercer County’s underground rock layers as most people are with the streets in their hometown…

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