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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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, 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)
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.
Current members can log in using the sidebar to access member privileges.