1 Car, 13 People, and 20 Degree Weather
Jan. 19, 2007
by Bob Svercl
In order to accurately tell this story, it’s best that I use a conversation I had with a friend that goes to another college about the trip. His name has been left unknown to protect his identity, though don’t let that lead you to believe I was talking to myself! I’ll call him “Steve” (well, it might still be vague enough!). I changed all the he’s and she’s to their real names, for all to see’s (had to finish the rhyme, you can kill me later). Special thanks to Tim who randomly showed up to save the day and offer half of us a ride to the cave. As you will read, we figured out a different plan to get back home.
Steve: How was the caving trip?
Me: It was fun, I went yesterday. 13 people and only 1 car.
Steve: Good God, man. That’s not humanly possible.
Me: Luckily Tim who wasn’t going gave some of the people a ride to Glade, but coming back I had to make 2 trips. But, if you’re doing the math, that is still 7 people in my car during each trip. I had the second group wait in the cave where it was about 50 degrees since it was about 20 or so (and windy) outside the cave.
Steve: That does not sound pleasant â€¦ on any event.
Me: Oh, it wasn’t. I left the cave first so I could warm up my car for the first group. Glade is the muddiest cave we go to, and changing outside in 20 degree weather with the wind blowing while you’re wet isn’t the best.
Steve: I can imagine.
Me: I was worried I would get frostbite in my toes, it was so bad. I actually stole Kenzie’s shoes and put them on because they had really comfy material on the inside and sat in my car until the heat finally came on.
Me: Then I went back into the cave barefoot since my socks and boots were soaked and got the first group. So I went caving barefoot for the first time in my life, I can say.
Steve: (laughing) A historic first you’d rather never relive.
Me: At least there was a starry, clear sky to look at, which is one of my favorite things to see when exiting a cave. When I led each group out to my car, they were so cold some couldn’t even unbuckle their helmet snaps!
Steve: Maybe such a trip wasn’t the best thing to do on such a frigid day.
Me: And I have to admit this, I had to help Lee unbuckle his belt AND THEN undo his jeans’ top button!
Steve: (laughing) At least he swallowed his pride.
Me: (laughing) It was a hilarious experience, people were so cold they only could take their muddy clothes off! They didn’t want to put on their clean clothes! So I, the only fully dressed person, with 5 people crammed into the backseat of my car, trunk full of stuff and one person sitting in the passenger seat slid all the way to the front, was driving onto the JMU campus, and almost everyone else was in their boxers/undies!
Steve: That might’ve been hot but for the fact that they were likely all almost suffering from hypothermia!
Me: (laughing) There was a lot of “I can’t feel my toes” going on, with me saying back to them “Keep wiggling them!”
Steve: Light a match
Me: Luckily I had a blanket and a towel so that along with the heat being turned on at full blast the whole way, people kept warm, along with them being so crammed together. And want to know the best part? 11 of them live on-campus!
Steve: (shocked face)
Me: So around 10 at night a car full of people partially nude pulls up to a dorm and a person in their boxers gets out, runs to the trunk, gets their stuff, then runs to get into their dorm! And of course this happened multiple times!
Steve: You, my friend, must’ve gotten quite the reputation if people knew your car.
Me: Man, it could just be the best time I’ve ever had caving.
Steve: Very nice.
Me: I start cracking up just thinking of the different things that happened!
Me: Yeah, I’ll never forget it, that’s for sure.
. . . . . . . . . .
A few things worth mentioning:
– My car is a 5 seater.
Quote from me and Geoff during the trip, since my pants didn’t always stay completely on:
Geoff: Hey, I have those Spongebob boxers too!
Me: You mean, you USED to have those Spongebob boxers!
– Kenzie’s shoes are at least 6 sizes too small for my feet.
– When I reentered the cave to get the second group about an hour after getting the first group, everyone greeted me with a glorious “BOB!!!”
– After dropping people off, I discovered that I had 5 extra pairs of pants left behind in my trunk.
– My car has never been dirtier, and that’s really saying something!