MUSG Trip Report


Key Cave
Sept. 21, 2000
by Rose Reis (Julia's sister visiting JMU got to tag along to go caving!)


My excitement mounted as Julia chased Bradford's little red car up a steep mountain road in West Virginia. We were headed to my first cave, Key Cave. After surviving the drive (Julia nearly drove into a guard rail at one hair-pin turn), we pulled off the road and prepared to cave!

Oops, no cave. We got back in the car and drove back and forth a few more times, then found the actual spot we were supposed to turn into.

Giggling about the Goonies, the only thing I knew of caving, we crawled into the mouth of Key Cave. It was much smaller and stranger than I expected, sort of like being inside a giant's belly. Not that I know about that either. . .

We all climbed around together for the first part, ending up in the "cave attic" which turned out to be an art room. There were cute little clay sculptures everywhere. Well, cute until you looked closer and saw the rather large appendage sticking up out of the happy little snowman, and actually out of every other sculpture. Unfazed, we sat and made much nicer art, with a general Halloween theme. Ali made a flying witch that was really great, Amanda made a Scream mask, and Kelly/Megan made a lizard with a tongue sticking out, which I guess wasn't part of the theme but was just cool. Admiring our work, we had a semi-lights out and discussed who had the best Halloween costumes.

After our butts were fairly numb, we went back down (the attic was a dead end) and looked around for the much anticipated "Chute" of Key Cave. We were beginning to think that Bradford had made it up when we happened upon it: a 40 foot drop straight down!! Or actually, more like 15 feet, but still scary. The boys bravely shimmied down first, and then the girls. It wasn't so bad!

We got split up for a bit after this. Kelly, Ali, Bradford and I, crawling back and forth in a space about 2 inches high, managed to avoid two little bats sleeping upside down. The others … bumbled around in the opposite direction looking for Bryson.

Reunited, we had a lights out where we swapped stories about "the craziest thing you've ever done!" We found out that Meghan and Kelly have mooned their fair share of people, including a policeman. And that Bryson used to do really good pranks, such as paying off a farmer to take his cow and leave it at the top of a flight of stairs in his high school.

Then we left, pit-stopped at Texaco, and drove home.