The Kentucky Caver Quarterly Proceedings of the
Bluegrass Grotto: the North Central Kentucky Area Chapter of the National Speleological Society
page 14  [contents] (< prev) (next >)
 vol. 40. iss. 1, December 2005

Trip 1
- Preston Forsythe introduced me to Gary Collins during the spring of 2005. I called Gary and was invited on a trip to Double Dead Dog Drop in March. On that trip were Gary Collins, Tony Groves, Clyde Zimmerman, Myself and others. During that trip I was amazed at how many formations this cave has compared to others I've been to. Speleothems abound, including a continuous series of rimstone dams that start close to the entrance and continue for hundreds of feet, some of which are too deep to touch bottom in. On this trip I was shown to a lead at the end of a low muddy crawlway.

As I had just reintroduced myself to caving, I was unsure of my abilities and didn't push this lead as far as possible. Thinking it needed to be dug out, Tony Groves and I stopped and returned to the group as they started a new survey.

(Ben and Peggy, click image to enlarge)

Trip 2 - In May Peggy Renwick (who had just come from being an intern at Jewel Cave National Monument and also is the love of my life), Tony Groves and I returned to survey the crawl and to dig on this lead. Deciding to check the lead first, we pushed down the crawl (now known as the "Poop Chute”). The lead was in a very low area about 8 feet wide and 10 feet long, full of water and at its lowest point only 7 inches or so high. We dug for about five minutes, pushed through it and popped out into a magnificent room bordered by stalactites and columns.

Here we retraced our steps and after much debate on where the tie-in station (unmarked) was, we surveyed to the “Rabbit Hole" and once done for the day we scooped until we found another low crawl of continuing passage in a room full of what can only be described as “mud breakdown.” After arguing with my carbide lamp and a few minutes of motivating and complaining, we went back through the tight spot and headed up the drop.

Here is Peggy’s take on that trip: We woke up ridiculously early, but ended up scrambling to get out of the house and meet the 14-year-old caver Tony at IHOP by 10am (after stopping at Wal-Mart to buy Implements of Destruction). The morning's thunderstorms thankfully
blew off by the time we'd finished breakfast, and we headed over to Dunbar (an 8-mile-long cave system under the city of Clarksville), where we parked in the sinkhole in the middle of the subdivision, rigged the entrance drops with our new rope, and dropped in, encountering several dead animals on the way down (eew eew eew). At the bottom, we stripped off our vertical gear and squirmed down to the wet levels of the cave, where we headed to check a lead Ben had seen last time he was there. After a 15-foot crawl, we emerged into a low room crossed by a stream and decorated with soda straws. On the other side of the stream, a 2-foot-high passage led off through soupy mud. I slowly followed Ben and Tony as they slithered on their bellies through the mess (eventually it dropped to a foot high and we crawled over cobbles); after a couple hundred feet I found Tony's feet, and Ben was scraping cobbles and mud from a tight spot. I heard him describing a tight spot, and then water, and I watched Tony remove his helmet and sploosh into a low stream. Ben claimed he was standing on the other side!