Crevice Cave survey, Sunday, February 7, 2010
This trip was supposed to be a “refresher” trip for the group as we were scheduled to goto Mammoth Cave next weekend. Kat and I took our son Jon to the Park-Et to meet up with Edmund Tucker, Richard Young and Paul Hauck. After we ate breakfast we headed to the historic entrance, got dressed and entered the cave while Kat took my truck and went home.
We entered the cave and I immediately started to not feel 100%. I was definitely coming down with something. The trip through was quite fun as no one had been in the passage since we did our door to door trip several months ago. Water puddles in the passage had calcite clouds floating on top of them, and over time they would no doubt form lily pad formations. Paul pointed out a couple spots where they used to go before certain passages were modified for easier negotiation. Edmund and I figured we would go the “old” way to see what it was like. The particular spot was up high, and tight, and not a whole lot of fun. At least I can say I did it. The trip in was uneventful save for Edmund busting his butt in front of Richard. I took a fall myself and bashed my wrist against the wall, cutting it pretty deep and causing a bit of bleeding.
We got to the end of the new survey after a lot of gawking and talking .Every time I go into this part of the cave it blows me away. After we got to the last station, Edmund and Richard began setting stations, taking shots and yelling out numbers. Paul started sketching and I had the guys take another couple shots so I could start drawing passages too. We came to several places where the stream meandered under the walls of the main crevice channel, and we had to leave permanent stations for another day as the water was ice cold from recent snow melt. Apparently I was one of the only ones to wear neoprene booties as the others feet were cold.
Survey went smooth and I was blessed to sketch the first camel’s hump. The active stream was cut under both sides of the walls around the camel’s back, and was a lot wider than it appears. The stream then cut up out of the main stream and into a dry area, which is where the survey went as it was too cold in the stream. Edmund immediately found what he thought was a side passage and decided to crawl through it before setting a station. After what seemed like 20 minutes, or maybe…….4, he came back after Paul went up to investigate why Edmund was still gone. Apparently this crawlway was buried right next to the main walking passage and ended up all the way up at the “Seminary Slip” area. This particular spot caused me to bust ass several times on the last door to door.
Edmund came back, we set up a back shot so we could get into the crawlway, as Edmund just volunteered me as the book man on this crap survey. Why does he always do this to me? The funny part about this, Paul and Richard were literally 5 feet from us in 30’ high walking passage, and there were many air pockets in the wall in which we could talk freely and even see Paul and Richard’s boots through. It was pretty funny listening to their retorts as I bitched and moaned the entire way through the crawl. Richard kept saying “Man this is great survey passage, easy going, 30’ ceilings, this really is great. How’s that crawlway?” Yeah, rub it in. We all got a good laugh during this portion of the survey. It was all in good fun, especially since Edmund and I were mapping a previously unmapped portion of historic Crevice. The day ended as we got the last shot out and into the Seminary Slip, picked up our gear and made for a quick exit. I was already late as my parents were no doubt at my house waiting. Unfortunately I was really getting sick by this time and it inevitably lead to a 100*+ fever for 8 days straight, causing me to miss the Mammoth Cave expedition on the following weekend. It was a great trip though, even getting sick, as I learn a lot about Crevice every time I go in.