David Kushner always knew that his assignment to write about a mysterious cave in the rainforest of Ecuador would be challenging and a bit risky. Cueva de los Tayos, or Cave of the Oilbirds, has for decades beckoned adventurers and tantalized fans of the occult who believe that it contains artifacts that could rewrite human history. In recent years, though, Tayos has attracted different kinds of seekers—artists and storytellers hoping to capture its energy and bring it out into the world. People like Eileen Hall, daughter of a legendary explorer who helped make the cave famous, and Grammy-nominated British electronic musician Jon Hopkins, who traveled there and came back inspired to create a very unique album. But what Kushner never imagined was that his own experience inside the cave would change him forever.
This episode is brought to you by Toyota, a company that wants to help you find joy by exploring America’s scenic byways. No matter what kind of adventure you’re after, there’s a Toyota designed to get you there. Learn more at toyota.com.
Follow the Outside Podcast
Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.