The Kentucky Caver Quarterly Proceedings of the
Bluegrass Grotto: the North Central Kentucky Area Chapter of the National Speleological Society
Page 23 [contents] ||   ||  ||  vol. 41. iss. 2, June 2006
The place is heavily pounded by human feet, and the remains of the electric light brackets are in every room. There’s plenty of graffiti, and Peg made conservation points about how we don’t do that any more. In one spot, there’s a single floor to ceiling column where there was once a row of five, and she wondered if the vandals who broke off the other four were afraid that the ceiling would fall if they removed the fifth one.

Finally, via a trench and stoopwalk from Great Relief Hall, we made it into a beautiful and relatively untouched formation area, Independence Hall. There are rimstone pools, fabulous flowstone areas, and many other speleodelights. We retraced our steps through the connecting trenches and big rooms to the Civil Defense Room, which has a cracked, blackened ceiling and crumbled rock layers in heaps along the walls.

Peg told us that during the vandalism years (1970-73) when the gate was down and no one was taking care of the cave, vandals decided it would be fun to torch the Cold War era civil defense supplies stored in this room. The results are evident to this day. She said that the cave burned and smoldered for three weeks before anyone could enter; and that the bats and other biota took a big hit from which they have yet to recover. You can still smell the charred materials, which have been left in place as a very sobering lesson about how not to take care of a cave.

We were soon back at the River Styx, and then ‘exited the cave,’ where it was great as a mom to hear Peggy being bombarded with thank yous and compliments for her excellent tour. Heck yeah, it’s worth the visit if you are in the area!

Peggy is going to be resurveying the historic part of the cave this summer – so get in touch with her about helping:

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