I Recommend This Trip for Any Sadist Like Jared
Feb. 21, 2003
by Chris Woodley
After an hour and a half of getting food, gear and Sharid, we were on 33 on our way to Hamilton Cave. Jared was driving. Sharid was riding shotgun. I was eating an Arby’s roast beef sandwich. I had found a Sharpie marker in the parking lot at Sharids place and told Sharid and Jared that if anyone complained or got stuck in the Air Blower they would get their faced drawn on with the marker. The marker was non-toxic so Sharid and I tried to think of ways to make it toxic because we were sure that Jared would complain or get stuck. We never did make it that toxic. The car was packed because after Hamilton, we were going to Monterey for the Highland County Survey weekend. The snow was still deep from the blizzard a few days earlier. The roads were fine though.
We decided to take a slightly different route to Hamilton so we could try to find the parking area for Sinnett-Thorn. In Bradywine, we turned left onto instead of going right to stay on 33. This road was nice. We all enjoyed views. Sugar Groove is a nice little town. Here we turned. This road took us through the mountains towards 220. This road had no lines and was narrow especially with all the snow piled up on the sides. Jared started to get worried because we were in the middle of nowhere with only a quarter of a tank of gas. I assured him that we were fine. We went past where we thought the parking lot for Sinnett-Thorn was. It was covered in snow. We got to 220 and then to the parking area for the Trout Rocks caves.
It was raining slightly at this point but we didn’t care. My left foot shoestring broke when I tried to tie it. Man did that piss me off. After changing, Jared took a picture of Sharid and myself standing next to the horses in the field on the other side of the fence. He took two shots. We headed towards the trail up to the caves and saw that we would be the first ones to go up it since the blizzard. Jared signed us in the logbook and I took a piss. When I was done, Sharid lead us trailblazing a trail through the snow. He made it much easier for Jared and I to hike through the knee-deep snow. I thank him for it. Hamilton Cave is really far past Trout. Eventually, Sharid spotted some deer hoof prints so we weren’t the only ones that had been up there since the snow. We finally got to the entrance and Sharid emptied the snow from his boots. We split up duties with Sharid in the back flagging, Jared in the middle with the cave back and I led with the map.
The cave was nice to be in because we didn’t have to walk through knee-deep snow anymore but the cave brought different problems. Anyone who has been there before knows what I’m talking about. It is all crawling till the Slab Room. It wasn’t that bad and I had kneepads that the others didn’t. We moved swiftly through the cave on the way to the Air Blower. Stopping only to look at the fossils and neat formations. There are a lot of fossils on the ceiling near the Escalator. Just past the Escalator is the Air Blower. Here we decided how far past the Air Blower we wanted to go. We thought that the Star Chamber room would be a good goal.
Jared went through the Air Blower first pushing the cave pack with his helmet off and his light on his head. I did the best I could to tell him about what lays waiting for him inside. He made it through fine. Sharid went next pushing his and Jared’s helmet. Jared took pictures of Sharid coming through. I went next pushing only my helmet. We were going to bring some webbing to bring through the Air Blower so it would be easier coming back out but we forgot to bring any long enough. Half way through, I realized that I had my right arm in front of me. I couldn’t remember if I could fit past the knob in this position. I asked Sharid how he went through and he said with this right arm behind him. I started to freak out because at this point I couldn’t get my right arm behind me and I didn’t want to get stuck at the knob. Luckily, Jared said he had gone through in this position, calming my fears. Sharid took a picture of me in the Air Blower that momentarily blinded me. Being back in the room past the reminded me of the last time I was there when Brenan and Aaron were screaming because a bat was flying around, how Brenan lost his pants in the Air Blower and how much of a pain getting back through the Air Blower was.
We went about 15 yards and came to a hole. It looked tight so I let Jared go through first. He made it fine so I went next, followed by Sharid. We went another 15 yards only to find another squeeze. I was starting to get pissed off. I went through first this time. This hole came up into a room with a 15-foot ceiling. I was so happy but the joy wouldn’t last long. After about 17 yards, we came to yet another hole. Sharid had broken his overalls in the last squeeze and he and I were ready to turn around. Jared would have none of that and went in headfirst. He said it wasn’t that tight. I could still see his feet and asked if he was through yet. He wasn’t. Sharid and I heard a lot of moaning and groaning for a couple of minutes before Jared said he was through. Sharid and I started to leave and told Jared so. Then Jared said he had found another entrance so I quickly made my way through the up hill stomach crawl and climb up into the Star Chamber room. Jared had lied to me but I didn’t tell Sharid that because if I was going through Hell, everyone was. The Star Chamber was actually a pretty cool room. It even had its own coffee can full of waste carbide. After resting a bit, we started our way out. I went down the slope headfirst because we weren’t sure if there was room to turn around to make it through the squeeze. I found out there was so the others went down feet first. We made it through the other squeezes fairly easy when we got back to the Air Blower. Sharid went through first with the camera so he could take pictures of Jared. Jared went next with the cave pack. I went next. I had a much harder time than I did the previous time. I really wish we had the webbing. I was glad that we forgot the Sharpie because I defiantly would have been drawn on for complaining. I am serious when I say that it took me 38 minutes to get through. Sharid timed me. I was dead tired and my arms were shot. Fortunately, I had some nice dirt water to drink. Chock full of calcium. On the way out Jared needlessly went through another tight crawl bypassing the Escalator. Sharid made it part of the way up the Escalator and knocked his light off his helmet. I gave him a back up and he climbed down and got the one that fell off. Flashbacks of Cave Mountain Cave shot through my mind. Sharid then had to climb back up to help me up because I was so weak I couldn’t make it up.
Jared led us through the crawling maze section and I complained the whole way back. Announcing again, that I would never come back to this cave but I have said that before. The mind tends to forget. We made it out and Jared shot down the trail. I moved slowly and so did Sharid since he was behind me. We slid down the trail at steep spots and had a jolly good time. We thought Jared would be back at the car warming it up for us but he waited for us at the logbook. We changed and went off to Rick’s house.
I recommend this trip for any sadist like Jared.