Category Archives: Trip reports

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Mystery Cave, 7/11/2015


We arived at Park Et at 9:00 AM and had breakfast. Richard filled in the logbook. We entered the cave at around 11:00 AM by the gated entrance and spent some time in the rubble room trying to see why the flash on my digital camera was not working. It was because we kept a finger on it every time we took a picture so it was not opening at all!

We went through the main stream until we reached the active passage on the right (the one with water flowing over the stalactite on the high ceiling). We kept on going upstream on that passage until there was no more water. Then we came back to the main stream and took the passage toward five forks. We followed an upper passage until it got blocked with collapsed pieces of ceiling and clay. At some time somebody tried to dig into the pile to go further.

I do not remember how we got to the passage with the clay banks. Richard and I thought that the white clay was actually loess, which would be silt not clay, brought from the surface and deposited into the cave.

We saw two salamanders and the second one (photo Salamander2) was quite deep inside. We also saw lots of phreatic features formed when the incipient passage was completely filled with water. Most active passages in Mystery are beautiful textbook examples of a two stage passage formation that starts with dissolution by water under presure filling the conduit and continues downward with a free level stream.

We exited the cave at around 5 PM through the same entrance. By the way Don’s skipole and Jeff’s cave logbook were still there. We had dinner at Park Et and then left.

Story by Mihai Lefticariu

Ceiling mudcracks Clay banks Mihai Passage Richard Rubble room Salamander Salamander2 Spleothems

A little piece of Paradise

crevice1On 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)crevice2


Mystery Cave trip- January 12, 2013















On Saturday, January 12, 2013, Phillip Ellison and Erin Thomas lead new LEGers Audrey Shire and Amber Dry through Mystery Cave.  This was Audrey and Ambers’s first wild cave tour.  Due to poor weather predicted for the afternoon, our trip was limited to a few hours in the morning and only the upstream passages.  We spent the morning exploring the cave at a leisurely pace, taking the time to scrutinize formations and look for fossils in the steam bed.  Our trip was a success and enjoyed by our new members. (Photo by Audrey Shire)

To Eternity and Back

Dec 1, 2012 – Trip Report

Erin Thomas and Phillip Ellison were joined by Chris Doerhoff, Joe Nicolussi, Joe “little man” Nicolussi, Josh Seaman, and Vicki Peters at the Park-et Restaurant in Perryville at 8:00 am. Shortly after our meal we began our joy ride into Crevice Cave, entering the Pipistrell entrance at 9:45. As we proceeded through the cave, we pointed out the bat fossil and the side passages to those in the group new to this cave. The group was surprised at how quickly the size of the cave had opened up.

After an hour and forty-five minutes we arrived at the reputable Paradise Room. Our group was amazed by the brilliant colors throughout the formations. It is typical to rest in the paradise room so Joe busted out his portable kitchen and whipped up some hot water to hydra

te lunches, brewed some coffee, and we enjoyed our packed in meals. With our bellies full, we progressed across the break down pile for some photos beside the grand pillar that makes this area so special. Chris was our photographer and he managed to get a good group photo before we fogged up the cave to much.

With our photo shoot complete we were back on our feet and moving down the large Eternity Passage towards the mighty Eternity Room. Throughout most of the passage, water levels were very low, but the pools were as deep as ever. As we made our way through these deeper pools of water Phillip managed to show everyone the deepest paths while Erin showed the better route. With water depths ranging from knee to chest deep the cold water was breath taking and conjured many laughable reactions as we entered. As cold as they were, the pools of water were much more enjoyable than the knee deep mud pockets we trekked through. The mud sinks will suck the energy right out of you. We finally arrived at the well named Eternity Room and most of us rested on the highest area of the room and gazed at its substantial size. While we rested and looked in admiration, Chris took Josh for a little tour of the lower area.

Once rested, our journey back to the surface began. Taking minimal breaks we moved swiftly through the cave and exited at 5:30 pm. All in all, the group was great and so was the trip.

-Phillip Ellison

Mystery Cave 10-6-12 Trip Report

Our day started early as we planned to depart from the Parkette at 8:30 in the morning.  Al Quaman, Ian and Skyler Ellison, Erick Christy with nieces Alyx and Sammi Williford, Phillip and Ashlyn Ellison, Erin Thomas, Dan Ellison and Brandon dsc05496Wilson met for a group breakfast.

The morning was quite cool with the temperature in the low 30’s when we arrived.  It wasn’t much better when we finished eating and began our trip to the cave entrance.  All in all the preparations were all good with the exception of a pair of overlooked boots still sitting in southern Illinois.  A quick side trip to the local Walmart and a new pair of our favorite cave boots were in hand and the trip was ready to begin.

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