Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Great Search for Byers

After a day of searching up and down Fox Mountain, a few routes chosen, a few backtracked, a few paths re-hiked, draws bushwacked and wading through seas of poison ivy we did find a cave entrance. Just not the one we were looking for. You have to give the four of us credit now - but still no Byers. We think we should have continued on the original trail. Ah well - Next time. We did however - spend a beautiful day out-of-doors which is always a good thing and saw some more beautiful spring flowers, a few butterflies, a few inch worms - one was a 1/2 inch worm and then the other was a Millimeter worm. So tiny I'm surprised I even saw it! Paul and Tommy stepped over a baby cornsnake, which I saw and showed everyone. Better yet Paul interpreted another sunning itself in a big patch of leaves - and it was a guesstimated 6ft long. I'm glad I missed seeing that one!

The cave we did get to poke our heads into is called Hurricane Cave. And it looks just like a culvert drain with water flowing out of it. I really didn't believe it was the entrance. Apparently when they put in the highway - HWY59 - the cave entrance was right where they wanted to put it. So they made another entrance for it - extending it so it could drain and so that cavers could get in. Its pretty wild. You crawl slightly upward for about 100 ft at least in a big drain and then "pop" your in the cave. We poked around a bit and then came back out. It was very pretty and I definitely want to come back and explore some more.

Here are some photos from the days great search.

The drain tunnel to go under Highway 53 to get to Fox Mtn proper and the SCCi property.

Michelle climbing over one of the two stiles that you have to cross.

Paul and Tommy trying to calculate where we were on the moutain in relation to the cave entrance.

A pretty Mayapple in bloom.

For now this is a "yellow flower" - yet to be identified in Paul's plant book.

The entrance to Hurricane Cave. There's no one in this pictures for scale - but its pretty much a hands and knees crawl - or a really squished duck waddle.



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