The Kentucky Caver Quarterly Proceedings of the
Bluegrass Grotto: the North Central Kentucky Area Chapter of the National Speleological Society
page 23   [contents] (< prev) (next >)
 vol. 40. iss. 1, December 2005

I waited in the chamber while Ben grunted and slithered past rocks, harassing him constantly and reminding him of the time. Eventually he came back, and we traced our survey back to the Icky Thing and then out through the D4 entrance, which Ben climbed in a speedy 8 minutes.


(click image to enlarge)

Retrospective-Since Trip 8, we haven’t surveyed anything else in Dunbar Cave. We have, however, been on two more trips. The first one was the last weekend in September, when we were once again bored and without a caving third. We’d just gotten a slave flash, and were eager to test it out in someplace really dark (the closet just couldn’t cut it). Plus, Ben wanted to push leads and check stuff out, and there was a potential dig spot just past the icky canyon – a sediment fill that he said was blowing air. We packed up a few digging tools and squirmed our way up a very steep and muddy slope; at the top, there was just enough room for one person to dig and the other person to perch below, as chunks of discarded mud rolled down past her/him. Somehow the air, while it was moving speedily in other parts of the cave, was not quite as Ben remembered it…nor was the mud easy to move, like we’d expected, and the only way to work was by squishing one’s head against the ceiling. After about an hour we gave up on the dig, leaving our trowel at the bottom of the muddy slope (I guess we’re not Cave Diggers). We worked our way along the UP survey,


taking pictures with the new flash, finishing in the Big Room. Our single flash was no match for its dimensions, but some of our other photos came out quite well, and we suddenly felt like Actual Cave Photographers, as I made Ben pose and re-pose for nearly identical shots.

Our next trip was on Columbus Day Weekend, and this time we actually had a third: Jim Currens came down from Lexington to help us perhaps rig the muddy pit in the floor. The night before the trip, as we sat about discussing the route through the cave, Jim said, “It’s not all crawling – is it?” I thought about it for a moment, and then ran through a list of all the major obstacles in the cave: the drop, then a squeeze, a climbdown, a squeeze, a crawl, a climb and squeeze, a bit of walking, a squeeze, a room, a climbdown, water, crawling, a bit of walking, crawling, more crawling, and then our canyon...
“Well,” I concluded, “I guess there is a lot of crawling…it’s just that none of the crawlways is very long.”

Over at the cave entrance the next morning, after a hearty breakfast, Jim was surprised at the lengthy stretch of kudzu-covered ground between the bunker cave entrance and our rigging point – a medium-sized pine tree about 75 feet from the bunker. We had to admit that we’d never considered the possibility of an animal chewing on our rope…but it hadn’t happened yet, so why worry? In place of our survey gear, we had to lug some extra equipment. Jim carried his own vertical gear, and Ben carried two packs: in addition to his own, another bag was stuffed with his vertical gear, my vertical gear, and 80 feet of rope that Jim was lending to our cause. Me? I carried myself, of course – swaddled in Ben’s coveralls, no less! The three of us meandered through the cave, only stopping to place a loop of webbing in St Peter’s