|Entered Cave at 9:50am and exited at 2:20pm
We started out on a beautiful Sunday with me and Austin leading a trip of newbies to Hamilton Cave for the first trip of school year. We left campus at about 8:15 that morning for the hour drive into Franklin, WV. There were 7 people total on the trip split amongst mine and Austin Lande's vehicles. We arrived at the parking area and got all geared up with helmets and lights and informed the new cavers on what to expect. I made sure to bring extra lights and batteries and a map of the cave since. We then hiked up the hill to sign the check in book for the cave and hiked even further up the cliffs to the entrance. Since it was so hot everyone was really excited to get inside to the 54 degree weather.
When we entered the cave we made our way to the register room and got comfy for a lights out to adjust to the darkness. After that we encountered the crawls that led to the Slab Room, appropriately named for the huge slab in the room. Everyone then went to the Archaeology room off of that for some exploring. Then we went to the Roslyn Escalator which everyone enjoyed. I showed them all the air blower and they all actually went through it except for two that didn’t feel comfortable with the extremely tight crawl. I was happy that everyone else did though considering it was their first cave experience. Once through the airblower I led them back through a few other tight squeezes to the Star Chamber named for a star shape in the ceiling. By this point we were all starting to get hungry so we went back through the airblower and into the old room with a lot of clay to play in. Then we made our way out of the cave after getting a little turned around following Austin. After retracing our steps we made it back outside to the muggy 80 degree heat and hiked back down the cliffs and back to the cars.
Then we changed and got some lunch at Fireside Café in Franklin which was extremely delicious since we were all about to eat each other. After lunch we headed back to campus to get cleaned up and sleep.