The Most Laid-Back Trip That We've Ever Had
Oct. 17, 1999
by Ben Madore
Round 'bout 10:00 am or so, I pulled up behind Burruss to see Carl, Rich, Kendall and CE-CE sittin' around ready to go caving. Rich backed out after dropping off a bit of gear, but we met up with him yet again on our Dr. J's run. After Kendall danced for joy over the fact that they have these Pumpkin Bagels that she talked about all morning, she discovered that you can buy Three bagels for the price of one bagel with cream cheese!! Kendall chose the cream cheese option and was kindly handed a pumpkin bagel with enough cream cheese to sculpt a life-sized cave rat. From there, it was off to West Virginia for a great day of drivin', cavin', sittin' around and eatin' BBQ.
After a great drive down 33 during peak foliage season we arrived at Trout Rocks to find that a big chunk of the rock is now missing due to road construction. Along with this was a sign that said not to go caving while they are blasting out more rock along the road. With a slight uneasy feeling, we proceeded to Hamilton cave hoping with our lives that the boys don't come along later to shake up the mountain a bit with us inside of it! This was an especially special trip for me as it was my first experience with my shiny, Bright Turquoise colored new cave suit! This suit wasn't just shiny...it was the kind of shiny that your Georgia in-laws have after a long day in the Greased-Pig tournament. I felt like a spaceman. When we got to the Hamilton entrance, we all sat down and chatted for about 20 minutes or so.
Inside the cave, we met a nice professor from Eastern Mennonite with his three little boys who just discovered that you cant see your hand in front of your face during lights out (Obviously these kids learn far quicker than I do.... (Clark's Cave trip report April '99). We sat and talked with them for a while, while Carl and the EMU guy played the "Do you Know Dr. so and so?" for a while. We caved on for a little while, then sat and talked for another 20 minutes or so. Had lights out for a bit, then went on. A few minutes later, and a few wrong turns later, we all sat down and had another lights out. When we finally found the correct passage, we celebrated by having a lights out. Much to our Delight, Ce-Ce sang a bit too. We started caving again, to quickly find the back of the cave, or at least as far as we wanted to go with it. Fatigued from that last 15 minutes of caving, we had a lights out. This was a good long one too....the kind that makes your butt go numb from the cold rocks, and when you start seeing things that you know really aren't there such as the levitating head of John Derschenk singing "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy".
After that lights out, I found this cool indention in the wall that looked like a cave...crazy thinkin' that, huh? So I crawled into it and we had a lights out for a while. From there we went to a couple art rooms, and after finding a nice little one, we sat down and made some cool art. I made a turtle, Ce Ce made a pointing dog, Kendall made a Bull I think...and Carl had another lights out. We finished our great afternoon of caving and made it back to the entrance, where we decided to rest and recuperate ourselves after such a strenuous day. Naturally we had a lights out 20 feet from the entrance, had some Twix and water. Feeling much better and ready to go out to Fat Boys Pork palace, we left the cave, to go sit down and talk just outside the entrance for a while.
Dinner at Fat Boys was nothing short of the highlight of my life. My new Dream is to one day make it on the picture wall of Fat Boys Regulars.