Saturday, October 10, 2009

Encore: Tempel University Geology Club Caving Trip 11-22-08

Since Geocities is closing down, I have to move all my trip reports. They are in a sort of blog form, so I'll be moving them over here, one at a time.
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This is another trip that's been months in the making. The original idea of taking the Temple University Geology Club was Allison Deratzian's. Allison is a member of Philly Grotto and teaches geology at Temple University. We coordinated with Dr. Laura Toran and between all of us came up with a plan to get the geology students underground. There were some administrative challenges, but you'll have this with any organization, but it was all very worth while.
We finally met up with Dr. Toran and the students Saturday morning about 11:00 AM at a rest stop along I-81. It was very cold and windy that morning. Wind chills felt like in the 20's. But we made introductions and played follow the leader to the cave.
When we arrived we got ready for caving as fast as we could to get inside and out of the cold and wind. Steve got them all in up the big breakdown room and we all sat there for a while to get eyes adjusted. While we had everyone together and had a little time we did a lights out. There were a few who were amazed at just how dark is really is in a cave. While we where there we decided to do the Wint-0-Green LifeSaver thing and set off some sparks.
There were 12 of them and 5 of us. They divided themselves into 3 groups. Amos and Marcy lead one group, Steve another, and Ken and I lead the third group. This made


ours a group of six, which moved well in this cave.
Ken and I went to the "chimney" first and down to the "catacombs". We crawled out of there and through "hanging rock hall" and let the students lead for a while and followed along and advised when asked. We did get turned around a couple times and we didn't get to every single crack in this cave, but we were in there for three and half-hours and had fun.
Unfortunately they did have to be back earlier than we usually do get back, so we did cut it a little short and didn't have a chance to have dinner with the students. But their enthusiasm for geology was infectious and I learned a few things about rocks and cave formation from them. Now I'm inspired to learn more.
I'm hoping that we inspired them as well. I'm hoping to see some of them at Philly Grotto meetings and join us for more caving adventures.
See more pictures of this trip.

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