On Saturday, September 21st, members of the Little Egypt Grotto gathered for a final salute to their late friend Joe “Snoopy” Estes. After many great memories were shared, several went on a tribute trip through Mystery cave. They visited the Lily Pad Room, Cathedral, and Liberty Bell. Good times were had by all.
Category Archives: Trips out
On Saturday, March 16th, 4 LEG members took advantage of the nice weather for a trip into Mystery Cave. Genie Schropp, Teresa Boerma, Kelly and Matt Bliss entered the Cave around 11:00 am. After spending close to 5 hours admiring the beautiful speleothems and borehole passage, they exited cave around 4:00 pm. Pleasantly surprised to see the sun still shining, they finished the day off with food and drinks at Jackson Street BrewCo in Perryville.
The purpose of the trip was to introduce our new member Matt Bliss to the wonders of Mystery, re-visit some of the upper passages, and, of course, get out and get deep underground! Genie and Mihai arrived at Park-et at about 9:40 AM and met with Richard and Matt. After breakfast they left for the cave, which they entered at about 11:00 AM. At that time it was not raining outside. There was more water entering the cave through the historic entrance than usual and the stream was muddy.
Once inside via the gated entrance, the cavers went down to the main stream and decided it was too hazardous to continue downstream toward the Frozen Niagara passage. The water was just too high. The upper sections were deemed safe so it was decided to visit the Red Fork, Fossil, and Liberty Bell passages after, of course, paying a visit to the Monkey Paw speleothem and the nearby rimstone pools. Grateful thanks were said to all previous cavers who left the nice footholds in the clay slopes. The volume of water flowing through the upper passages was not much higher than usual despite the previous days’ rain. The Red Fork and Liberty Bell passages were followed until they became tight and the Fossil passage to the blocking collapse deposits. The youngest sparkly white speleothems were much admired and a pigmented orange salamander was encountered. And many jokes were made inside!
It was raining lightly when the team exited the cave at 4:00 PM and a puddle had formed at the bottom of the entrance pit. It took the combined efforts of Richard and Mihai to close the gate lock; a new one is needed. The cavers left the cave area and had dinner at Park-et where they relished the womderful experience of being underground. As usual, the Carbondale cavers are grateful for the guidance and expertise of Richard. A long trip downstream was planned.
Photo credits: Matt Bliss
On May 13, 2017, Phillip, Mihai, and Erin lead a troop of 30+ boy scouts and troop leaders from the Belleville area through Mystery Cave. For many of these scouts, this was their first adventure underground. The troop was divided into 3 groups and taken on approximately 1.5 hour tours each. The first wave of students entered the cave around 10:30am. Most of the boys enjoyed the climb down at the gated entrance. The boys were very excited and impressed by the formations, break down pile, and Fossil Passage. In addition to frogs and salamanders, the boys found an unexpected juvenile rattle snake. The troop fearlessly trekked through the cave and hope to tour again. Everyone was able to climb back out of the cave with little assistance. The trip was a success. Phillip later made patches for each of the scouts to add to their patch collection.
The purpose of the trip was to measure the concentrations of CO2, CH4, and Rn in cave air and introduce Jackie to caving. The weather on Saturday was gorgeous! I was able to give a ride to Jackie and we arrived at Park Et at 11:00 AM where we met with Kevin from Indiana University Bloomington. We then drove immediately to Mystery. There was no problem opening the gate but it would have been very difficult lowering the gas monitoring equipment through the narrow pit so I decided to enter the cave through the historic entrance. We dragged the frame with the gas monitors over the rubble at the entrance. Kevin put the 40 pound backpack frame with the monitors on his back and we went downstream while measuring the concentrations of CO2, CH4, and Rn in cave air along the way. The sampling points were located at old survey stations. We then took measurements along the passage with the water-gushing flowstone (where we initiate the beginners in wet crawling) and stopped after about 400 ft at a crawl through boulders. We came back to the main stream and went back toward the entrance. Just before reaching the area with the collapsed rocks that reach all the way to the pit entrance we climbed into the passage that starts with beautiful flowstone formations and measured the gas concentrations for about 200 ft. We went back and climbed the boulder slope to the room below the pit entrance. We then followed the northern passage, which was the same we visited in August, for about 1000 ft. Along the way we admired the beautiful rimstone pools and snow white young stalagmites and gave silent thanks to our fellow cavers who left good footholds in the clay slopes. On our way out we made a short detour to the side active passage closest to the entrance and with deep potholes. We were out of the cave at 5:30 pm. It was a very productive trip and both Jackie and Kevin were amazed by the cave. It was a first for Jackie and she did very well.
LEG will be hosting a Fall 76 campout for November 13-15, 2015. All members are welcome! We will be enjoying a weekend of campfires and caving! For more information, please email email@example.com
The Department of Geography and Geology at Western Kentucky University and its partners encourage you to participate in the summer 2014 Karst Field Studies Program at and near Mammoth Cave National Park . Tentative courses this summer will include:
– Karst Geology, June 1-7, Dr. Art Palmer
– Exploration of the Mammoth Cave Area, June 8-14, Dr. Stanley Sides
– Cave Survey and Cartography, June 15-21, Dr. Pat Kambesis, with assistance from Mr. Howard Kalnitz
Take a class for fun as non-credit workshops OR courses may also be taken for graduate, undergraduate, or continuing education credit.
For more information about the program, courses, how to register, and instructors, please visit karstfieldstudies.com. But hurry, the deadline to reserve you spot is approaching fast…Friday, May 9. Space is limited.
If you have any questions please contact the Karst Field Studies Director, Dr. Leslie North, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please forward this message to your friends, students, staff, and/or colleagues. We need your help to spread the word far and wide!
“Like” us on Facebook at Karst Field Studies (WKU/Mammoth Cave).
Hope to see you this summer!
Dr. Leslie A. North
The Little Egypt Grotto is in the process of planning our annual 76 campout for the weekend of March 8-10, 2013. Trips into Mystery Cave as well as various other caves on the property are being planned. Stay tuned for more details!
On Saturday, February 2, 2013 members of the Little Egypt Grotto were lead by Phillip Ellison and Erin Thomas to the Paradise Room of Crevice Cave. Members along for the adventure include Ashlyn Ellison, Eric Ferre, Emily Ferre, Carl Ferre, Mihai Lefticariu, John Gulley, Amber Dry, Audrey Shire, Chris Thomas, and Kyle Thomas. Our day started out with the usual Park-et breakfast and then it was off to the cave. Once everyone was prepare for the day’s trek we headed to the entrance. Upon arrival, it was discover that the entrance was completely sealed off with ice. Determined to cave, Phillip grabbed a rock and began to hammer away at the ice. Before long we were filing into the cave, one by one. Our trip in was enjoyable; everyone seemed to like the variety of cave passage which included crawling, walking, and climbing. Once we arrived at the Paradise Room we were anxious to share the prized formations that we had come so far to see before settling down for lunch. Our crew agreed that the trip was well worth the venture. We attempted a group photo in front of the largest formation using candle light and limited headlights. Tea candles proved to be too small, but we now have an excuse to go back! Everyone exited the cave tired and muddy. To top off the day, we enjoyed dinner together at the local Mexican restaurant. (Photos by John Gulley)