The Kentucky Caver Quarterly Proceedings of the
Bluegrass Grotto: the North Central Kentucky Area Chapter of the National Speleological Society
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 vol. 41. iss. 1, March 2006
coffee and played with a puppy dog. Troy pointed down the ridge, where he guessed another rumored cave might lie, and the three of us tromped into the woods to search for it, checking drainages and peering under chunks of limestone, but no black voids invited us. Back atop the ridge, in a stiff wind, we changed into caving clothes, this time wearing “full regalia” in preparation for water and the slow pace of surveying. We picked a trail down the bluff and putzed about in front of the entrance, getting ready to make a map!

Since Eclipse Cave is considerably simpler than the sections of Dunbar Cave that we’d explored, Ben would try his hand at sketching; Charles had brought a brand-new 100-foot tape, so he volunteered to do point. I would read instruments (which I hadn’t done in quite a while!) and give Ben pointers, as he hadn’t sketched since June – after a teeny mix-up with the first shot, though, he did amazingly well, sketched at a good pace and barely got frustrated. It took us a while to get a rhythm going; we did backsights, and the batteries in Charles’s self-lighting Bruntons were dead, so he had a tough time reading them. We surveyed straight back into the hill through the entrance corridor, a cobbly streamway, and then
worked on the big breakdown room. While Ben sketched, Charles picked up bottles and cans, making piles of trash to be picked up on the way out. True to form, I mainly just sat there, pleased to be a) not sketching b) dry c) warm while surveying.

Slowly we made our way out of the main room and off in the direction of the flowstone plug, staying completely out of the low-lying stream passage. Our survey line followed the dry upper canyons, which in that section of the cave aren’t isolated


(Ben Sketches)
enough from the stream to be considered a separate passage (and therefore aren’t a priority for picking up cave footage). We stayed as quiet as possible, because a few bats were roosting inside the cave; once we spotted them in our headlamps, we turned our lights away immediately. The pace was very relaxing, and I enjoyed it immensely! The passages we surveyed were slightly sinuous, ranging in height from 3 to 15 feet or so, and for the most part comfortable.
Our last shot for the day was over 70 feet long, but it still didn’t take us to the flowstone plug – a couple more bends of the stream await us before we’ll have to get wet. The passage isn’t straight borehole like that length implies; the shot encompassed an S-curve in the stream and went over a riverbank, and a dry bottomless canyon let us clamber above the stream. A toad sat on a rock in the stream, quietly watching us. Charles scouted ahead while Ben sketched and reported that the flowstone plug

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