Sunday, July 31, 2011

DBG Does the Ps

It started off as a good idea. We hadn’t been to the P Caves in over 2 years and wanted to get back there. The idea was a good beginner cave to invite a few new people on. As it turned out a few people had to back out at the last minute but we had enough to make it a Dragon Breath Grotto trip.
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Steve has been there a few times before and knew the place real well. Amos has been there a few times as well. I was only there once before. Mindy, Andy, and other Andy have not been there and were excited about checking it out. Three youths along for the day were Alex, Jayden, and Will. Alex and Jayden were newbies and this was Will’s 4th caving trip.
Steve thought it would be good to do Python Pit first. It’s a physical and sporty cave with a lot to see. There is a bit of climbing. Everyone did really well with the climbing, at least better than I did. It was real wet in the back and muddy everywhere else. We were in there at lease two hours poking around and trying to see as much as we could.
Next was the Persistence – Platter cave system. Getting too the next cave was a little challenging in that even though it was around 40 degrees, the wind was kicking at about 30 + MPH. Being wet and muddy was not good in the wind. But we got there and inside as quick as we could.
It was even wetter and muddier than the first cave. The rewards for this were some beautiful formations. We were cold but full of OOOs and AAAAAs.
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Some were getting too cold so we opted to get them out while the others continued on. The wind was picking up a little and the wind chill must have been around 10 degrees or below. Getting changed quickly with all that mud we brought back was a challenge. But everyone was finally in dry cloths and warming up.
All that exercise and cold weather does build up your appetite. We usually go for pizza afterwards, but Steve had the idea of stopping at Red Robin up nearer to Carlisle. It gave us time in the car with heaters on full blast to warm up. By the time we got there my fingers and toes where thawed out again and we were all hungry. I was very happy that even as a party of 8 they were able to seat us quickly and got us plenty of fluids and food.
Other than the wind dropping the wind chill to the single digits it was a great trip. Got to try this cave system again in the summer when getting wet is not a big deal. There are a few other spots on the property we’d like to poke into and didn’t have time. Next time.
Here's more pictures to check out.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Westtown School Caving Trip

I went and did a “cave talk” at Westtown School. They were very receptive to what I had to tell them and the idea of an adventure underground. There were probably 11 people at the cave talk. That's a good indication of how many people are going to show up for the trip. They said they had 15 people in all sign up. In my experience usually only 60% of the sign ups actually show up for the trip.
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We met them the morning of the trip at a rest stop along the way. Watching the kids at the rest stop I mentioned to the schools leaders that it looked like a good turn out. That's when they told me a last minute change in numbers. Instead of 15 people they had 16. WOW. Ok, so we did a little scramble and made sure everyone had their head covered and enough lights.
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After we were suited up and in the cave we divided into 3 groups of varying levels of abilities. Even though I had the group that was suppose to be the lower end, they did every squeeze and crawl we came across without a blink or hesitation. I even heard some laughs along the way.
I'm not going into go into a lot of detail. There's a mess of pictures and video to look at to see for yourself how they did. Check them out and enjoy the trip.