Oh Where, Oh Where, Did My Little Dog Go?
Oct. 6, 1996
by Ed Render
It all began on Saturday night. It had been rumored that Alan, one of our infamous alumni, was going to make himself present in the ‘burg for Sunday’s big trip. Sure enough come 3 p.m. Ed received the call. “Ed, it’s Alan.” It was all true…Alan was calling from a Rockingham area phone and explained to me that he needed a place to crash for the evening. I simply told him that my couch was available and the only requirement I had was that he slept on it alone. Come Sunday morning Alan, Emily and Ed met with the others behind Buruss at nine pm. The group consisted of: Chris, Ed, Alan, Emily, Jen, Brian, Pat, Cristina, Maury, Ernie, John, Craig, and Matt. (whowh, I can’t believe I remembered them all.) Now we only had two vehicles to divide up the group, Chris’s Civic, and Alan’s truck. Chris took five and the rest went with Alan. Now all was good until we realized that we didn’t know where were going caving. After a few brief moments, the cave was to be trout. We left, but not for long. Chris had to put air in his tires. This seemed like a reasonable request so we went to a gas station where he spent 20 minutes filling his tires with air. Many in the club agreed that Chris could never get a job working for NASCAR.
Finally, we were ready to go. WAIT! – Chris also needs gas . . . He asked his riders for a little money (considerably less than Rich) and then at long last, it was to West Virginia. The ride was great fun. While those crammed on top of the “basement” in Alan’s truck slept the whole way, Chris was trying to do the same in his car . . . . . BUT WAIT! Chris was driving…We discussed it over and decided that sleeping and driving don’t match. You see, Chris had been up for 24hrs straight. Hard Core Caver. We reached the cave at o’clock and got naked, I mean dressed. We climbed up to the mountain and signed the register outside before proceeding to the entrance. At the entrance Ed tried mimicking Alumni by posing in different positions about the cave. We thought it would be a wise idea to count off. This is a fool-proof safety technique that ensures that no one will ever get lost. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13. Into the cave we went!
This was the largest group that MUSG has taken caving in a considerable amount of time. The cave however had many different rooms to explore. Ed and Craig went off in one direction and then decided that it would be a nice passage for the rest to follow. We Called for “MUSG” to follow and they did. When we made it to the register room we did a count off. 1,2,3,-,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 . . . .”hey, who was number four?” “Ahh, i think it was Maury.” Maury was not present . . . (Ohhh, finally some drama in a trip report) Chris and Ed made an executive decision and thought it would be wise to go and look for Maury. Pat came along with us and the rest stayed behind with Alan. (now that I look back at things maybe it was not such a good idea to leave them with Alan.) Maury, MAURY!!, Maury, SURGARMAN! Maury, Sugarmma! (that’s his email) We went all the way back to the Circle room and finally we hear a “I’m over here” We found him and then proceeded to beat him to a pulp for leaving the group. No, just kidding, we didn’t beat him to a pulp, it was more like a prune. Maury had fallen behind and decided to out to the entrance by himself. We later reminded him the proper safety rules in caving. Maury had met some bat researchers during his escapade and we talked to them about the “Virginia-long eared bat.” We exchanged email and then joined with the rest of the group. We did a little more crawling around in the back of the cave. It got so tedious for Ed that he took a little nap for five minutes. He took of his helmet and chilled. When it was time to go Ed was struggling with his gear and upon putting on his helmet he stated, “my helmet treats me well.” “I bet she gives good helmet.” This simple quote from Space Balls left many members laughing . . . Maury nominated it for a quote . . . We’ll see.
We exited the cave a little later and then did what we always do when we leave Hamilton or Trout. The tradition would have it that you must run down the mountain, and we did. To the cars, and then of course to Thompsons. Chris struggled to stay awake as he drove to Harrisionburg and only dozed off once while driving…Way to go Chirs! The trip was a success and the final count behind Buruss luckily made it to 13 . . . I think . . . we never checked . . . oh well.