Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Great Salt Petre Cave, KY

Joined some friends for a weekend jaunt to the Great Salt Petre Cave Preserve last weekend. A small group of Huntsville Grotto folks drove up Friday for DUG's camp & cave Halloween party.

Saturday morning Steve, Randy and I met up with some folks and got to go explore Sloan's Valley Cave. Its a massive system - 16 entrances - 25+ miles of passage if I remember the details correctly. I didn't take my camera on the trip. But I did bring my iPod with an iTalk, which is a recording device. Along the way I recorded part of the trip. I need to do a bit of editing on it, but some day I'll have the trip available to listen to - kind of like the "Sounds of Caving," But probably nearly not as cool.

We did a little through trip, going in through the Minten (Minton?) Hallow entrance and popping up and out the Garbage Pit entrance. Sloan's Valley must take on an amazing amount of water. Every passageway is heavily scalloped. All the stones are well tumbled. Leaf debris, sticks and twigs are wedged everywhere - the floor, the walls and the ceiling WELL above my head. I think "prone to flash sumping" would be a bit of an understatement for this cave. Bits of trash were rare, once and a while you'd catch a glimpse of old pull tab aluminum cans and glass and porcelain bits here and there. But we could tell all of it had been washed long long ago.

I loaded up my roomy camo pants pockets with all the trash they'd hold. These are the bits of glass I found. Take a look at the frosty triangular piece in the front - it had been in the cave so long it got sand blasted. And then the large hunk of white glass says "Ponds" on it.

The Garbage Pit entrance sported a number of abandoned cars. I'm a big fan of the old VW's, so after the trip I had Randy snap a picture for me.

Joey and Aimee had a nice time visiting with the cute red pooch.

So did I. She was such a sweetie. I think I could have taken her home. If I'd driven myself I think I would have really considered it.


We got back to GSP Saturday evening and decided it'd be cool to light a fire, which required a bit of chopping wood. See - I'm bravely holding the "wedge ax" while Andy wacks away at one of the logs. Jennifer braved getting hit by a possible ax head to snap this photo for me and then duck and cover with Steve and Angela. I got some pointers from Randy and Andy and even tried wood chopping. Of course I made everyone clear out of the way in a 20ft radius. On my third try though - the log split right in half! It was all very brave, and no one got hit with any ax blades.

Randy went all hard core on the logs in the smoke and light of Andy's headlights. Jennifer and I thought it looked pretty cool. Now that I think about it with a little photoshop work this could seriously be the background for the latest ax murderer horror flick. Wonder how it'd look?

Ewww. Jeez. Now that's pretty creepy. I don't like spooky movies so I definitley would not see this movie in the theatre - even it was filmed on GSP property.

After the log chopping extravaganza we visited with some friendly DUG folks and then Andy hosted a dark trip for all of us in GSP. Dark trips are incredibly unnerving and really fun all at the same time. Basically you go in, turn out all the light and then feel your way along the walls and out of the cave. GSP is perfect for it since the floor is pretty level and there aren't any huge holes you can fall into.

Sunday morning before Angela and I headed back Andy showed us some spectacular petroglyphs - tune in next post for photos of those!

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At 7:33 PM, Blogger Anne said...

OH....puppy!!! So cute!! I wouldn't have blamed you for taking her home, either.

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Brina Bat said...

Wahoo!! You've finally broken the comment silence! Thanks Anne - I was beginning to wonder if anyone was even reading.... Wild thing is the pooch isn't even a puppy. We're pretty sure its full grown - since someone had seen it last year. So Red is simply THAT cute.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Anne said...'re welcome!

Puppy,full-grown dog, still completely adorable!!

At 8:53 PM, Blogger Karisse said...

I love your "bug" photo. Way fun. :)


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