Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bowers Cave

After a visit to Mammoth Lave Tube, we decided to try and find Bowers Cave. None of us had ever been there before, so it took a little looking. We knew we were close when we saw the sign pointing to the parking area. Desert Boy and Desert Girl had had enough excitement and were napping, so my husband stayed with them while Kent and I went in search of the cave entrance.

The entrance wasn't far away, and we found the cavers we had met at the other cave. The main entrance to Bowers Cave is a 15 foot drop, and they had rigged the entrance with a rope and were taking turns rappelling into it.

It's a good place to practice basic vertical skills.

We hadn't brought our vertical gear, but fortunately one of the cavers in their group showed us another entrance into the cave.

It was kind of small, but it didn't require rope!

It's not easy to find entrances with so much lava in the area! Or rather, it's not easy to find entrances that go very far.

This entrance was used by a canid (member of the dog family). There was a lot of canid scat, so possibly it's used as a coyote den.

There was also lots of packrat scat and three of these large Tipulidae flies.

After we got through the crawly part, the cave opened up and we were able to stand up.

I found a cave cricket on the wall, the only one I saw in this cave.

Down one passage were really cool roots hanging from the ceiling. Often roots are a good place for cave critters, so I looked a bit.

I didn't find any, but I did see some neat water drops on some of the roots.

We followed one passage until it pinched off. Then another passage until it did the same. Then we headed back into the main passage.

It was easy walking, with a high ceiling. Wow, I could get used to this kind of caving!

I saw a couple of these silver springtails, less than a centimeter long. They have strong tails that help them spring from place to place. Usually they just walk around, though.

I found an interesting rock covered with beetle carcasses, but couldn't figure out what had left them.

We kept on going down the main passage past the main entrance until it got really low and we decided we really didn't want to crawl.

Then we went back to the main entrance to take a look at it. I saw a way to climb out and did so, and then Kent followed.

It was a neat cave, and I'd definitely go back some day.

Maybe next time Desert Boy and Desert Girl will be awake enough to enjoy this cave!


The Incredible Woody said...

Very cool day! Minus the cave crickets, of course;)

Anonymous said...

Looks like the bowels of some gigantic beast; especially with the beetle carcasses.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the wildlife photos and info! Looks like a lot of fun.

Caroline said...

I'll just live it through you....

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