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.
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Here are a few photos and a YouTube link to video, from Matt Bliss’s trip to the TAG Fall Cave-in.He and several other local cavers spent Thursday-Sunday in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia exploring several vertical caves. Sinking Cove Cave- 5 drop pull-down trip. Cemetery Pit- 125’+. Richard’s Cave- wet, multi drop cave ending in the largest room in GA. Flowing Stone Cave- 225’+ pit. Bonfire, beers, hot tub, food and vendor tents where enjoyed by the group.
Mihai arrived at Park Et at 9:10 AM and had breakfast with Richard, who then drove both to Berome Moore. Jim was getting ready to lead a trip inside and told them that LEG was welcome to organize a trip into Berome after contacting him and MCKC. Jim also encouraged LEG to start a scientific study of the cave following the proposal Mihai wrote three years ago. Richard then drove back to Park Et to meet with Ciara and Ryan, hopefully two new LEG members. All arrived at Mystery at around 11:00 AM and entered it through the gated entrance after making sure that Ryan’s helmet and headlamp were OK. It took the effort and imagination of all four cavers to figure out how to attach the suspension to a hard hat! Once in the Cathedral Room it was decided to first visit some upper passages close to the entrance and then go down and follow the main stream for a while. The team admired the passage morphologies and young stalagmites along the Red Fork and Richard and Mihai offered explanations on how the features were formed. The Fossil Passage was visited next and horse teeth were found together with one healthy looking bat! On the way back to the Cathedral Room thanks were said to all previous cavers who had dug steps into clay slopes. Ciara and Ryan were impressed by the clear pool at the bottom of the room. A thermocline was detected while climbing down to the main stream: It was really cold below! The stream was followed up to confluence with the newcomers wet “baptism” passage. Ciara and Ryan followed it to the room with the pouring flowstone while Richard and Mihai climbed to the same room. The multitude of potholes throughout the visited portions was amazing and the former cave floors were clearly marked on the walls by different levels of clay-embedded rock fragments. The cave was exited at about 4:50 PM through the same entrance without any problem. The rock climbing experience of Ciara and Ryan was evident all the time. Mihai and Richard went to Park Et for dinner and relished the day’s trip. The cavers are grateful for Richard’s expert guidance and patience.
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, 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 become a member of the Grotto you can contact us via our contact form or you may attend the next meeting and we can introduce ourselves. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month in room 110 of Parkinson Laboratory on the campus of S.I.U. in Carbondale.
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