Sunday, August 12, 2018

Tumbling Rock Cave

We went Saturday to Tumbling Rock Cave.  This is another SSCI owned cave and requires a free permit to enter.  There is a locked gate at the entrance. 

Jennifer arranged the whole thing, borrowed helmets for us, gave us a gear list.  I didn't remember to get gloves!  I won't forget that again.  Plus, I need kneepad upgrades.

It was Matt, Ben, me and Helen, her husband Hue, and their daughter, Pickle.
We went because Pickle really wanted to be in a 'real' cave after doing a cave tour.

The plan was to go to Limrock, but the rain changed our plans at the last minute.  Limrock is a wet cave, Tumbling Rock is pretty dry.

It's also slated a good beginner cave, so I felt like I would be okay.

Signatures from 1838

We picked up a couple who were first-time cavers and had gone in to see the waterfall but were heading back out when they realized the map wasn't very helpful.

Ben, unable to photobomb us in time, leaps over to stick his finger in front of the shutter. 

There were lots of piles of breakdown for us to climb up and down and crawl and slide.
I think we did about 4 miles inside the cave and I was WIPED OUT by the time we got back to the cars.  My Netflix and Chill Summer Training Program has left me unfit for such things.

Soooooo much squat-walking.  My thighs are making noise today.  That noise is a whiny owww.

These stretches of long, flat walking with high ceilings were almost cruel because within a minute or two, another crawling climb awaited.

Pickle found some cool fossils.

Pickle explaining the difference in stalagmites, stalactites, and columns.

Another long drop!

We climbed up into a hole in the ceiling.  Well, everyone else climbed into a hole in the ceiling, I was talked through the moves while hoisting myself up using Matt and Hue's knees instead of my upper arms to get through.

The hole led to a passage which led to a room that was 400 feet high.
In rainy times, the waterfall is huge and it comes out the hole we climbed up, you get soaked.
It was just a trickle on this trip, so the 397-foot waterfall drop was not very dramatic!

Various attempts to get the height of the dome with my tiny point and shoot!

Heading back out, we had to drop through the hole.


Nearly out, a troop of about 20 scouts caught up with us.  They had been in the cave since 9 a.m. and had gone to see a different area.
The cave itself is over 6 miles long and has several spots that branch off and go under or over the main route that we took.

We all made it out! 

Ben was barely dirty!

It was an awesome trip, we are already planning for next time!
I have a list of stuff to remember, too.

This was not the first time I have gotten wet and muddy in a cave, or eaten inside a cave.  Or thought I was going to slide to my death.  It is the first time I have climbed into another level like we did in the hole and it was the first time I peed in a cave!  Maybe TMI, but it was a Life Experience. was loud and echoed.  I decided everyone there knew what I was doing since Jennifer had gone over the ground rules about where would do the least damage and various 'going in a cave' tips.  But still.  It echoed.  hahahaha!

Great way to spend the day, we were in there over 7 hours!