Monday, December 1, 2008

Desert Destination: A Forgotten Cave

Every Monday we visit a desert destination.
This weekend I had the opportunity to meet up with a bunch of cavers from Southern Nevada and go on a caving trip to a small, infrequently-visited cave. To start our trip, we parked and put on our caving gear. Even the kids had helmets and headlamps.

Our first challenge was to find the cave entrance. We hiked through the woods and eventually found an opening in the rocks that led into a nice, dark hole.

We climbed down into the hole and split up into pairs, exploring different side passages. Then we all got together to go up a steep climb into another part of the cave.

This upper section was sort of like swiss cheese, with lots of holes in the rocks. In some places we could go up or down and end up in the same place.

Jonathan found a fun little hidey-hole to peer out of and watch people go by.

The other side of the hole was a big passageway. Well, big enough for Jonathan to stretch out in. Sometimes "big" in a cave is relative.

Here's his mom in action, climbing down a steep part in the cave.

We saw a few formations, like these soda straws and stalactites, but there weren't a whole lot of formations in the cave.

This little drapery, or cave bacon, looked really cute.

The cave kept going down until passages were filled with water. From the mud coatings on the walls, it was obvious that during some times of the year, the water rises higher. 

We weren't interested in getting wet, so we headed out of the cave. This is Ricki, who enjoyed the trip.

We could see the bright sun coming in through the entrance, and it took our dark-adapted eyes a little time to adjust.

Once outside, we made sure everyone was accounted for--and that we hadn't picked up anyone extra! We dusted off our knees and headed back to the trucks, happy to have gotten some time underground.

5 comments:

flatbow said...

That cave looks awful familiar. I think Mary is still getting "mud" out of her shoes and socks.

Sarah said...

Any critters?

Desert Survivor said...

Yes, flatbow, you've been in this cave. I saw some different passages this time--more crawlways. There were a few critters, some bats, spiders, and teeny tiny stuff.

Caroline said...

You are much braver than I am. I enjoyed the pictures though....

welles said...

Interesting lifestyle!

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