Sept. 21, 2000
This trip started as any cave trip would but this would not be any normal cave trip. We all met behind Burruss Hall at a little after 9 pm. The original plan was to go to Marshall’s however, Brad volunteered to lead a trip to Aqua. With intentions of very few wanting to dive into the frigid waters of Aqua, Brad asked who would be interested. To his surprise 12 out of 16 people raised their hands, so Aqua it was. We departed for the Aqua/Marshall’s parking lot, but not before the usual gas stop. As we left the gas station, John was leading, followed by Jimmy in the red car, then Brad and finally the “Pimp Mobile” (Chris’s 1987 Mazda SE-5, gas powered, extended cab, fully loaded truck). There were doubts as to whether the “Pimp Mobile” would make it.
30 minutes later we stopped at the lookout to see what we could see. Nobody knew anything about astronomy, but Chris got the winning find, with a rather strange “star” that alternated flashing Blue and Red lights, near the horizon. We continued the journey. Going down the last mountain, the “Pimp Mobile” started making loud noises. Chris’s quick thinking driving immediately put the “Pimp Mobile” in neutral and coasted down the rest of the mountain. As he was coasting, he turned on the hazard lights and flashed the high beams trying desperately to catch the attention of the cars in front. Luckily, the cool headed driver of the red car, Jimmy, saw the cry for help and stopped as we turned off from route 250. John and Brad kept on going down the road but soon notice that half of the cars where no longer behind them. Brad turned around to see what was going on. Mean while back on the ranch, the “Pimp Mobile” was looked over and the consensus was that it didn’t sound right. We determined that it was most likely a hole in the exhaust. Brad arrived cursing the handsome driver, Chris, of the “Pimp Mobile” and concurred that the problem was a hole in the exhaust.
We arrive: As we started getting our gear ready, the “Pimp Mobile” got a new name: “The Race Truck.” The change in temperature from Harrisonburg caused two Aqua prospects to drop out and join the Marshall’s trip. On this night, John would be leading a group of wussies (6) into Marshall’s and Brad a group of hardcore cavers (10) into Aqua. The cave reporter, of course, went to Aqua so most of this report is of Aqua. Fearless leader Brad took us off to the trail to Aqua. The group was focused on the task at hand, wading through the frigid cold water that leads into Aqua. The cave was very beautiful. Sandy beaches, flowing water, cool formations Aqua has it all. Not to mention any names but someone wanted to start a new Aqua tradition known as “The Aqua Orgy” but there were not many takers. Brad was first and Jimmy was last in line. Jimmy was full of information about formations. (On a personal note, I would like to thank Jimmy for putting up with my stupidity and ignorance.) At one point, G told Angela that there were two other people not in the group in the cave. In this reporter’s opinion, it was Jimmy and Chris that she saw because they went over to a different part of the cave while the others were climbing something. We got to a room that had some initials written on the wall. Two of the initials were BH. Brad Harbin (BH) thought this was scary for some reason. At the end of this room was an eight or ten foot face that we had to climb. At this face, G slipped and fell pretty hard but she is so hardcore that she got right back up and climbed it as fast as anyone. A little past there we came back to the creek and had a decision to make: go upstream or downstream. Fearless leader decided to go upstream and we would check out downstream later. This was a very good choice. No one in the group had ever been that far in the cave so it was pretty cool. We went quite a way and looped back. The creek at this point was flowing tremendously. Brad tried to push people in because the power of leading got to his head. We went back downstream to check it out but didn’t get very far because it didn’t go very far. We started heading back out and stopped at a sandy part for lights out. During lights out we discussed philosophy and had a heated debate. Everyone gained a greater respect for everyone else, it was very heart warming. Brad grabbed Chris’s ass among other things, that’s how emotional it got. Brycen did not do his traditional lights out break dancing much to everyone’s dismay. We also decided that we would check out Marshall’s. We were almost back to the beach when Brad, Brycen and some other guys had an interesting conversation. They were talking about a cave killer. They mentioned how it would suck if you stuck your head through a hole and it got cut off by the cave killer. Very interesting stuff. Luckily, we made it back out of the cave without running into the cave killer.
Note to the Marshall’s wussies: The water was refreshing.
We got back to the cars and got ready to hike to Marshall’s. At this point, three cavers decided that they didn’t want to go to Marshall’s. They were G, Kevin and Matt. I guess they’re not as hardcore as we thought. More on them later. Brad, Angela, Brycen and Chris walked across to the middle of the suspension bridge and started jumping up and down. Angela seemed a little scared so we kept on jumping. The others soon joined. We got to Marshall’s but didn’t get very far before we ran into the other group. We turned around and went back to the cars. When we got back to the cars, G, Kevin and Matt were in Brad’s car. The windows were all steamed up and they jumped out of the car once they saw us coming. Only one’s imagination can tell what was going on in there. Some people decided to go on the rope swing while others left. Everyone wanted a ride in the “Race Truck” but there are only so many seats. The ride back was uneventful. Apparently, a lot of people slept on the way back leaving this report with only his music to keep him or her entertained.