Caving, Pictures, West Virginia, and of course . . . the Thompsons
March 24, 1996
by Ed Render
I looked at the alarm clock at 7:25 a.m. and complained. It took some time for me to realize how different this cave trip would be from those past. The more I thought about it though, the easier it was to get out of bed. I was the second person to make it to Buruss Hall. Keri had patiently been waiting in her Saab. We were on time. We greeted each and then heisted ourselves over to the vending machines for consumables. We were joined by our good friend Alex a few minutes later. Linne stumbled along shortly after. So here we were. The four of us. Decently on time and awaiting our rides. So where were they? No matter. We passed the time by climbing any available structure. Around 8:30, we made the call.
Diane came in a few minutes and in a few more minutes our clean smelling friend Chris arrived. We were off to West Virginia- the land of great adventures, Thompsons, and let us not forget of course “Fat Boys Pork Palace.” Before leaving, however, we made a quick stop at a grocery store so Alex could indulge in various cheeses of distinct odor accompanied by a loaf of French bread. Now we were ready.
We pulled off the side of the road next to Key at around 10:00 a.m. The locals had taken the ravine off to our left as local trash dump and carrion storage. Oh the sweet smells of nature. The cavers, armed with only their gear, a camera, and little else, sought it wise to hike down the road a little rather than enter the wrath of the trash dump. Before we knew it we were in Key taking pictures left and right. From Eagles to Zeppelin, many songs were recited. About 48 pictures were taken in the cave. Be sure to look in the picture archive in the future for them. Ed had a bit of a hiest. He decided to climb a little in the “Eagles (hotel California) room. He made his way up about 5 feet or so. As he was reaching for the top of a ledge he heard the sound of a bat. (Ya know..hiss) It was most likely imagination, but as Ed’s hand touched the top of the ledge he heard the bat hiss. The combination of the two made it possible for him to imagine grabbing a bat with his outstretched hand. On reaction- he let go. He slid down but did not to hit the ground. Rather, Alex broke his fall. (Thanks Alex) Shortly thereafter MUSG made their way out of the cave.
The warm day greeted us. Only a few hours had been spent underground. For the next half hour we killed some time by having a rock skipping competition. Later, a target was constructed by Alex, and was flailed upon by the members. The excitement only lasted so long. Thompsons was in the back of all our minds, and stomachs. Alex and Ed once again imitated Chimps for the entertainment of anyone within the vicinity of 3 square miles. Thompsons treated us well, and the drive home to the Burg was delightful.