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