Saturday – Western Hemisphere – Eastern VA – Breathing – The Usual Time
Sept. 7, 1996
by Ed Render
A The first caving trip of the year would be to Breathing. Saturday morning was a little wet due to the hurricane that passed through the day before. However, at 9am behind Buruss the decision was made to cave on. The illustrious drivers were Chris and Rich. Others participating in the excursion were Ed, Liselle, John, Christina, and …..(I’ll remember in a second.)
The drive up was fairly entertaining. In Chris’s car the stereo was reciting the Eagles and everyone was dancing to the flight of the bumble bee (ask ed for complete story). When we finally made it to the trail it was nearing noon. Now everyone was excited. John was learning which way to put on his helmet, Christina was threading string through her mag light in preparation for the cave, and Ed and Rich were sorting through their first time clean caving clothes.
The hike up the trail was an experience. We couldn’t have been hiking for more than 10 minutes when we made a wrong turn. Unknowingly we made a right at a fork in the road instead of a left. We continued on this path for 40 minutes in the wrong direction. Luckily, Ed the pioneer and orienteering man that he is, took note of the sun and got the group back to safety. (We’ll kinda, Chris found the path back, but I know it was the right direction damnit!)
After actually going the correct direction for another forty minutes we were finally at the cave. Breathing. Beautiful. We proceeded into the cave at 2pm. It had already been a long day. The cave was excellent as always and our spunky first time cavers were impressed by the cave’s natural beauty, colors, inherent ability to kick their ass, and of course who can forget the natural odor of pot smoke (Whole different story). After traveling for four full hours we reached the esteemed “nutcracker” and then the serpentine way. While most cavers saw it fit to walk through a small stream at the bottom of the twisting path, Ed, Christina, and Brian thought it would be fun to try and chimney the whole thing! It took us a good half hour and we had a blast! Just ask Christina!(wrath may ensue). So after four and a half hours of fun, we turned around and exited the cave. It only took us an hour to get out and when we reached the “outdoors” is was hot, humid, and HUNGRY. D-hall had been on Ed’s mind since we left and we tried our best to get home as soon as possible. It was a hopeless cause , despite Chris’s warp engaged and / or the “Honda Method” style of driving, D-Hall closed at 8, and we didn’t reach the burg until 9. Not to fear – the group went to Luigi’s and ate pizza. Some were barefoot (Ed), others wore shoes (normal people). And this concluded an awesome day of caving!