On a cold and rainy Friday night in September, 8 MUSG members met at the back of Buruss and set off for 3-D cave: Bob, Aaron, Laura, Cathleen, Jeff, Katie, Nate, and I. (NOTE: BOB WAS 2 MINUTES EARLY!) We drove 30 minutes to the cave site in the rain. We parked off the side of a gravel road and put on our helmets and prepared to walk to the cave. Bob lead us through a couple hills and a cow pasture at an alarming speed and I wondered if I should have listened to the cave trip report that said “Never follow Bob.” We arrived at the cave gasping for breath and slight wet but excited.
We entered the cave a Bob gave the safety spiel, told us we would be in a DRY cave, and we started our journey into the Third Dimension. The beginning descent started with a nice little drop that gave us an “Oh Shit!” moment. The first climb down was and interesting one with Aaron not having shoes with enough grip, Cathleen splitting her pants, and someone yelling “Oh my gosh, my nuts!” Once everyone was in the Waiting Room, we had a lights out moment and adjusted ourselves to darkness.
From the Waiting Room, we continued through the Third Dimension and along into the Fourth Dimension with the option of taking small alternate routes that lead us all into the same place. As we got further into the cave, the mud became thicker, but it still was a DRY cave. As we approached the Tube, there was a little water, but it was still a relatively DRY cave. But as Bob disappeared through the tube and we heard a splash, I began to realize this was not the DRY cave that Bob had been telling us about.
On the other side of the Tube was water. Many of our shoes were soaked and some were wet up to they’re knees. We were now not dry and very mudding down our front side. Bob, however, was very excited because the water level had not been this low in years which meant we could continue on through the mud as the water level rose. We struggled to climb over a large slippery muddy mound and move along into the cave’s depths. Bob was so excited because we had found a “virginal passage.” However, our wonderful virginal passage was a dead end to more mud.
Bob told us to turn around just as the last of our group had just managed to struggle over the slippery mud. As we turned back, we once again found a new passage that Bob had never been through before. Once again, there was a muddy slippery struggle up another mound of mud. Since the mud was so thick everywhere, hand and foot hold were far and few. But we did see a nice little stream and feet sculpted into the wall. There was also some mud throwing and me loosing my grip and slipping down a mud passage way like a slip-and-slide.
After wet shoes and feet and a lot of mud, Bob decided it was time to move onto back through the Fourth Dimension and into the Art Room. Bob and Aaron rushed ahead through the short cut, leading the rest of us to follow Katie the longer way and probably slightly more difficult way to the Art Room. We were greeted by Bob who asked “Why did you go that way?” The Art Room was interesting with a pretty rose, a scary face, and many other sculptures. We followed Bob back to the Waiting Room (where Nate “shat” himself on the way). We climbed back up to the mouth of the cave slowly but surely very muddy, but satisfied with our caving experience.
We walked back through the hills and returned to the cars. Luckily the rain had cleared as we stripped out of our dirty clothes into our nice new clean ones. Despite, being very muddy, very wet, nearly breaking my camera from all the mud, and nearly sliding on top of Katie, Cathleen, and Jeff, my first caving experience was thrilling and wonderful and I can’t wait until the next caving trip. Bob knew our caving trip had been a success when we saw a kitty and a deer driving back to campus. And I’ll end on this note: “Geoff, you should’nt’ve ditched us, because you really missed out!”