Key Cave Trip
Nov. 2, 2000
by Chris Woodley
This trip was supposed to be quality time for Brad, Angela and myself but Angela was tired and didn’t go. I picked Brad up at his place around 8 or 9, I can’t remember. We called some people to see if they wanted to go but no one did. The first thing Brad said when we pulled out of the parking lot was “I should have brought some of my music.” Apparently, he doesn’t like Face to Face. We went to Jen’s place to get some gear, mainly backup batteries. After Brad was done hitting on Jen’s roommates, we checked out he equipment bag but there were no batteries. We decided we didn’t need any batteries. We did need gas though so we went to the Shell on 33 West. Brad bought some batteries for his little lights so we each had back up lights with back up batteries. Brad also wanted some Chapstick but he couldn’t find the right kind. We finally got on the road.
Brad wasn’t exactly sure how to get there so I had Pat draw us a map a couple of days ago. I scared Brad a lot on way there. I was all over the road and off the road. It was fun. Brad mentioned that he was thirsty so we stopped at the gas station in Franklin. This gas station had a Mean Gene’s Drive Thru. Ahhh, to be in West Virginia. Brad finally got his Chapstick and a 2 liter bottle of Sprite. I got a 2 liter bottle of Ginger Ale. Brad tried in vain to pick up the cashier. I dragged him back out to the truck so we could get to the cave. We drove up and down 33 a couple of times but we finally found the guardrail where the cave loomed beneath.
We parked about 200 yards east of the cave entrance and got dressed since we drove there in the nude. We made our way down a slope to a dry creek bed. We walked about 195 yards down the creek bed and then headed back up the slope towards the road. Brad wasn’t quite sure on the cave’s entrance. We went back towards the truck but this time we were walking on the slope covered with leaves, rocks and broken glass. Brad received a nice cut on his leg from this walk. We went past the truck and turned around again. We finally found the cave entrance just past where we had turned around earlier.
Brad had only been to this cave once and I had never been there but we took the cave like men on a mission. Brad led us straight to the register room. I opened the register but decided it would be too much work to register. We then went to the much-anticipated “chute.” I thought that we had to go across it but we just slid down it. It was fun. We explored some of the cave but not a lot because we didn’t want to stay in the cave very long. There were white formations just about everywhere. It was very cool. We found the art room that Brad thought no one in the club had ever been to before. I found out later that they had. We made some art. You have to go there to see it, definitely worth the trip just to see the stuff we made. When we got done with the art, it was 11:36 pm. Brad asked me if I thought we could make it out of the cave in 5 minutes. I said “Maybe 8 minutes and that is if the cave killer was chasing us.” Less than 2 minutes later we were out of the cave.
We climbed up the hill towards the guardrail. After one look at the path along the ridge of the hill, we climb up onto the road and ran as fast as either of us had run in a very long time. Brad is really fast and left me in the dust. We got back to the truck with out getting run over. It was exhilarating. I never felt so alive as I did just then. Whatever that means. We made it back to Harrisonburg with out much happening except there was this SmoKee the Bear sign on the side of the road that Brad thought was a person. That was funny. We decided to visit Angela at 1 am. We woke everyone up and had a party. Brad finished the 2 liter Sprite but did not have the runs, a la TJ.