Monday, November 12, 2007

Bluff River Cave

Huntsville Grotto's November Horizontal Trip: Bluff River Cave
Date: 11/10/07
Attendees: (left to right) Roy, Paul, Jimmy, Mike, Michelle, Steve (Michelle's neighbor - 1st time caving), Tommy, Billy, Don, Blake, Vonnette, Kelsey, Gene, Allen, Fred and I (taking the photo)

Bluff River is a highly rewarding, fun cave, for minimal effort. Its really straight forward with no real side passages to speak of; its a little under a mile in length and the 16 of us did the whole cave in about 3 hours. A 4-wheel drive isn't required to get there. You park on the side of the road and head out into the woods of a pleasant a 10-15 minute bushwhack. The small entrance spits you out onto a long mud slope in a spacious decorated room. Just follow the wandering river for some fantastically large scale flowstone formations, cave critters such as mudpuppies, crayfish and salamanders and some grand borehole passage. No crawling, just a bit of breakdown and the water level only got thigh-high. Well, at least for those people who didn't charge headlong through a muddied "puddle." Then they'd get wet up to their bellybuttons. (uh....yeah, that'd be me with the soggy bellybutton)

Kelsey, Blake and Allen going in.

Roy skirting the edge of the "puddle."

Don and Tommy in the river.

Steve passing by one of the huge formations.

Mike helping Kelsey accross.

Roy holding up the passage for us. Phew. Good thing he was there!

Some of the pretties.

A really nice column.

A sleepy hibernating pip. I was so close I could hear him snoring.

Some more pretties.

The breakdown mound at the end of the cave.

I was shooting away in the last little room of pretties when Fred offered to take a photo of me with my camera... thanks Fred!

This dry rimstone pool with crystals was what I was photographing at the time. It was right in front of me.

Fred, Gene and Jimmy talking and waiting for the rest of the crew to exit Bluff River.

Roy and Mike.

The woods on the bushwhack back to the car.

And lastly Michelle's improvised coffee stirring technique on the way to Mud Creek Bar-B-Que for dinner.



At 9:09 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Great trip report! Always fun to have you along.

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Karisse said...

Oh've posted SO much! I love all the cave pictures! I think I would feel claustrophobic in there...but I do love stalagtites. :) You are brave!


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