Halvor Flowstone – Protector of the Cave
Halvor Flowstone, a 14-foot-tall troll, is the newest addition to the kid-friendly attractions at the park. Halvor means Defender of the Rock in Old Norse, and Flowstone is a cave formation that looks like melted cake icing or a frozen waterfall.
Legend has it that Halvor lived with his troll parents 150 feet underneath the ground inside Glenwood Caverns until he was old enough to guard the treasures of King’s Row by himself. King’s Row is the most-highly decorated cave room in Colorado. After living alone for thousands of years, Halvor heard the sounds of laughter once the cave was open to tours. Eventually, he followed those sounds and made his way outside for the first time where he fell in love with the sun, moon and the bright blue skies.
Halvor now serves as honorary Protector of the Cave from his home on the Iron Mountain Trail where he eagerly awaits opening day to make new friends. He’s comfortable seated, ready for kids of all ages to climb onto his feet, legs and lap—or to tickle his chin—and is always smiling for the camera.
Halvor loves having his photo taken. Feel free to sit upon his lap, but please do not climb on his arms, back, shoulders or head as he may get damaged. Thank you for helping us to care for Halvor, as he cares for our caves!
Halvor Flowstone was born a very, very long time ago deep inside Iron Mountain in what is now known as Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It was thousands and thousands of years ago, in fact. His home was 150 feet underneath the ground in Glenwood Caverns. Halvor, which means Defender of the Rock in Old Norse, lived with his troll parents until he was old enough to guard the treasures of King’s Row by himself.
Today, we know that King’s Row is one of the most beautiful and magical places on Earth because we have lights that allow us to enjoy its sparkling formations. But for most of Halvor’s life, it was so dark that he couldn’t even see his own hands if he held them right in front of his face. The magic, though, was there, and he took his job of protecting it very seriously. Even if he didn’t know what it looked like, he knew that it was very special indeed.
It was a peaceful existence and the only life that Halvor had ever known, so he was quite happy. The only sounds he heard, other than when he sang the songs his mother taught him, were when drops of water fell from the top of the cave to the ground below. He got a lot of cave kisses, which is when those drops of water fall onto your head. Every day was the same, unless he had a surprise visit by bats or tiny creatures so small, he couldn’t feel them but could sense their presence.
Then one day not that long ago, everything changed. Halvor heard new sounds. It was as if someone else was singing a happy song. He didn’t know who or what made the wonderful noise, but it made him smile. He looked forward to hearing it and was sad when it went away.
Halvor’s curiosity grew and grew until he finally decided that he had to find out where the sounds were coming from. He crept very slowly from his home at the back of King’s Row. So slowly, it took him a long time to get there. But, oh, when he made it, his life changed forever. For Halvor could finally see what he’d been guarding for so long. There were lights in the cave!
King’s Row was much more beautiful than he’d ever imagined. It sparkled and glistened, with so many shapes and colors that it brought tears to his eyes.
Even though he was still well-hidden, Halvor could see that something was moving. Lots of things, in fact. And that’s where the sounds were coming from. Suddenly, he remembered a story that his father had told him when he was a young troll. It was a story about the people who lived on the mountain before he was born. He’d never really known if it was true or just something made up to help him go to sleep, but now he knew.
People lived with their families, talked, laughed and sang songs just like trolls. And the sound that he’d been hearing was laughter. Halvor stayed in his hiding place at the back of King’s Row for months, sleeping at night and listening during the day. The laughter, especially when it came from the children, made his heart swell until he thought it would burst. For the first time in his life, he felt lonely when there were no people nearby.
When he could take it no more, Halvor made a very big decision. He was going to go outside. One night, he crept through the cave and out onto the mountain. The last step was a little scary, because he had no idea what might await him, but he summoned up all of his courage and kept going.
It was magnificent! The moon was shining down on him and millions of stars twinkled in the sky. The smell of the fresh air and trees and the river below made him feel like he could do anything. As much as he loved the earthy smell of the cave, these new scents made the images around him come to life. He sat down on the ground above the cave and, for the first time, watched as the sun began to rise.
Halvor was so mesmerized by the sight of the mountains and blue sky, and the birds and animals around him, that he forgot where he was. Suddenly, the sound he loved so much—children laughing—startled him and he realized what was happening. He knew that if he moved, he would frighten the people, and they would leave. So Halvor held very still because he did not want to be lonely again.
Nowadays, kids love Halvor so much that they play by his feet and climb onto his lap. Sometimes the grown ups do, too. He never moves, at least not when there are people around, and still takes his job as Protector of the Cave very seriously.