The Return of the Trout
Oct. 7-8, 2001
by Chris Woodley
Sunday started out rough. I woke up at 12:30 due to the lack of sleep from Fall Ball. I usually wake up around 8 or 9. I had a full day of work planned out to do. Bryce called around 1:30 to see if I wanted to go caving. Of course, I did but I had this day of work planned out. I told him I would be able to go after I finished all the work, around 8 or so. We discussed the destination of the trip. We wanted something new but Bryce soon had a stroke of genius, one of many. It was a return to Trout. The last time we went to Trout, we had a hard time following the map and didn’t get to our destination. This time we would be more prepared because Bryce and I broke into Brad’s room after the last Trout trip and studied the “On Station” book so we knew what some of the map symbols were. Since I had all this work to do, Bryce said he would copy the legend from the “On Station” book. We ended the conversation there. Soon after, Angela called me to see what Bryce and I had decided. She was game. You know what that means, ABC Crew in full effect, represent. We picked up Bryce at the Gingerbread House around 8 and went to Ian’s to get some gear. (The gear box is bad ass.) Well, it turns out that Bryce was too busy to copy the legend from the “On Station” book but that’s ok because he had a compass. Off to Trout we went.
The ride to Trout was not typical for the ABC Crew. Usually, there is stimulating conversation between Angela and Bryce but there wasn’t much of that. Instead, we talked about one of the greatest bands ever, Refused, and then Bryce had some game that was played at Fall Ball the night before. It dealt with boxes and who had them. I couldn’t figure out the pattern and Bryce got frustrated with my stupidity and quit playing. Then he fell asleep. We arrived at the parking lot at almost exactly 9:25. I said that we would be there at 9:25 but actually we got there at 9:24. Amazing? Yes, except for the fact that I called it at 9:20. Angela decided that she had had only 2 meals in the past two day and busted out the Cheez-It’s from the previous trip. Getting dressed was fun because my clothes were all damp from going to Marshall’s the day before. I don’t remember getting wet in Marshall’s, though. It was time to get tough.
We walked up the trail to Trout. The actually trail not one of the pseudo trails that go straight up because those wouldn’t be very safe. One would think that but Bryce slipped and put a pretty nice gouge in his right hand. He was going to poor the water from the water bottle on it but since I had already drank from the bottle he decided against it because he is trying to cut down on his bacteria count. He used his underwear instead. The real hero of the day was Angela. She had the most painful injury of all, dry skin. What a trooper. I hope to be as hardcore as she one day but I don’t think that is even possible.
As we arrived to the entrance, we enjoyed the great view. The stars were out. It was wonderful. We delegated the responsibilities of the map and flagging tape. I was put in charge of both. Angela was given the opportunity of a lifetime by being allowed to carry the one-strapped cave pack. She won this honor by being the last one to call “not cave pack.” We also decided to pick out a destination that we wanted to accomplish. It was “The Lounge.” We started in hot pursuit.
Going was slow. This was because we were trying to read the map. When we got to the register room, we took a long break to figure out what was going on. After much exploration, we came to the great revelation that the register room was not were we thought it was on the previous trip. It was like 2+2 suddenly made 5. Also, the stimulating conversation that was missing from the car ride definitely picked up in the cave. We found the passage that led to the “Mining Area” that we missed on the last trip. We flagged the heck out of the passage like nobody’s business. We lost our spot on the map but soon recovered and found ourselves in “The Lounge.” It looks like a cool place to sit down but Angela was the only one to take advantage. Bryce and I decided to take in the graffiti that was written around the lounge. All of it talked about how “The Lounge” was the perfect place to smoke up. Bryce had already mentioned this before reading the graffiti. We had made it to our destination that we set out to meet. Now a major decision fell upon us, should we continue deeper into the belly of the Trout or turn back before it was too late? After much deliberation, it was decided that the “Square Room” was to be the final goal. This would require what looked like from the map, a lot of crawling. There was some crawling but it was as bad as we thought and it was definitely worth it. Those who have been to the “Square Room” know what I am talking about. It is a square room with a 40 foot ceiling. You really have to go there to get any appreciation for it at all. In this room, we talked about coming back again to make a full scale attack on the Trout, possibly even a multi day trip. We looked at the map and saw that the “Square Room” was roughly halfway to the back of the cave. Trout is freaking huge.
It was now 12:30 and we decided to head back. Angela and I called “not cave pack.” Bryce pretended not to hear us and then called some bullshit about seniority. What a load of crap. Eventually, out of pity, Angela took the pack back from Bryce and then I took it from her. Again, we picked up every piece of flagging tape and moved at a swift pace because we didn’t have to study the map anymore. After we climbed out of the register room, we stopped for some water. I had some then passed it to Angela who then passed it to Bryce. Bryce proceeded to wipe the bottle with his shirt. He is really serious about reducing his bacteria count. I would have the done the same thing if I had to drink after Angela, too. After all, she is known as the “dirty girl” in her dorm. That is actually why I drank first and then handed it to her. We made it back to the entrance by 1:00. What took us a good 2 and a half hours to get to, only took us 30 minutes to get back. After thinking about that, we decided that we could make it to the back of Trout in one long day trip. We had a short break and headed back for the car.
Angela and Bryce raced back to the car once they got to the road. Bryce won, I believe. It was really cold. Frost had formed on the car. Fall is here. On the way home, Bryce fell asleep and snored. It startled me at first but then it was soothing. There were a lot of deer out on the roads. I guess they know that it is hunting season and know that they won’t get shot on the road, only run over. They’ll take their chances with the cars. I dropped everyone off and took the gear back to Ian’s. The gear box is so cool.