The Kentucky Caver Quarterly Proceedings of the
Bluegrass Grotto: the North Central Kentucky Area Chapter of the National Speleological Society
page 13  [contents] (< prev) (next >)
 vol. 40. iss. 1, December 2005
Hardin Baker Cave Trip (March. 21, 2005) Elise St. John (BGG)

On Saturday, March 19, 2005, my husband, Gary and I explored Hardin Baker cave near the Great Salt Peter property.  The cave should really be named something like Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass cave.  You begin your trip in the cave by dropping into about a 10-foot hole in the ground, complete with roots.  We were told it had plenty of hand and toeholds, but it still proved to be challenging going down.

Once we got to the bottom of the hole, we then had to traverse an approximately 60- degree angle mudslide.  The mud also had hand and toeholds throughout, but it was very tricky going.  Once we got past the mudslide, the going was much easier; and the cave was well worth it.

We saw many different types of formations.  I am not versed in cave-ese, but I will give a general description of the formations.  First, we saw what looked like pimples.  They were dotted all over the walls and formations. 

There were also formations that you could tell were formed by many drops of water hanging from the ceiling.  These sort of reminded me of a Dr. Seuss characteristic.  We also saw the mushroom type formations.  We wanted to take pictures, but when seeing the amount of mud we had to go through, we opted to leave the camera topside.

There were lots of bats hanging around, as well as many cave crickets.  The cavern split in two directions.  The left split took us, after some belly crawling, to a large room in which, surprisingly, there was no mud.  It was very dry.  

We could have done more belly crawling, but it looked as though the ceiling would not get any higher as far as we could see.

The right side did not go far, but by belly crawling a short distance, we came to a part where the water dripped in.  Inside this part was a wide variety of formations.  It was cramped in there, and did not go very far, but it is worth looking in.

      The overall exploration took about 45 minutes.  Coming out the way we went in was not as tricky as I thought it would be.  I guess this was because I knew what lay ahead.  The climb was also easier than I thought; thank goodness for that root at the top.

      I would not recommend this cave for the weak or squeamish, but I would rate it as a “must see” for the adventurous.  One thing for sure-you will get muddy.

Current Exploration inside the D4 entrance to the Woodard-Dunbar Cave System (Spring, 2005) Ben Currens and Peggy Renwick (BGG)

   Dunbar entrance (click image to enlarge)