Missed Opportunity is a cave better done with warm days to
avoid getting too cold when exiting the cave. 
Reason, the front of the cave requires a stream belly crawl.  On July 26, the belly crawl was traversed by
four neoprene clad cavers; Mike Broome, Lisa Lorenzin, Carlin Kartchner, and I.

The survey objective was to stay out of the stream passage
by continuing to survey the high leads; methodically choosing the left most
lead.  The lead let immediately into a
low passage and remained low for quite some time; alternating between hands and
knees crawling and bell crawls.  However
there was very little complaining from anyone as the passage was very well


With repetitive 30ft shots the survey team of three got
ahead of the sketcher burning through pencils drawing in a plethora of Speleothems.  The sketcher didn’t even catch up after the
survey team enjoyed a guilt free lunch.


The left wall
eventually terminated with a parallel lead going back the way we came.  It was determined it would be best to stop
survey at this point and exit the cave.  The
day resulted in just less than 1000ft of new passage.


No sooner had we
pulled onto the main road, Ken and Tanya caught up with us.  They had been surveying Saltville Quarry cave
near-by.  Their survey efforts did not
complete the cave.


Over an Italian
meal, we determined returning to Saltville Quarry to try and complete the
remaining leads was the best option for Sunday. 


Ken and Mike took
the wet lead while Carlin, Lisa, and I headed to the low tight lead.  The lead of interest was a low lead that got
even lower and is impassible within some cave modification.  Opting out of alternation, Carlin found
another passage that had blowing air. 
With a bit of scooping he reported seeing daylight.


Our survey
initiated, and led us through 138ft of low, sometime tight, and generally muddy
passage toward the other entrance. 
Stepping into daylight, the entrance was the other cave Ken pointed out


Again, timing was
good; we ran into Ken and Mike at the first cave entrance warming up.  Ken and Mike had finished the other passage
but found an additional, terminating lead while exiting,


With Mike and
Lisa needing to get on the road; Ken, Carlin, and I headed back to wrap up the
remaining lead.  While known the passage
was wet, the thigh deep water was cold; colder than the stream in Missed Opportunity.


The side passage
led to an additional 66ft; while Ken was wrapping up the sketch, Carlin and I
waded to the end of the passage.  The
passage is actually well decorated; taking the trek back despite facing the
ever increasing water level was worth it.

A survey trip was initiated for January 25 and 26. While the destination initially not set mostly due to weather conditions. The intent was to try to get the newly named Snow Cone cave on Saturday and Horseshoe on Sunday; both are ongoing TriTrog projects. The initial interest in the trip was high, upward to 12 people. However due to various circumstance, the available cavers fell to five. Five soles ready to face what Mother Nature was going to dish on us.

Waking up to single digits it was clear the ground to the cave would be frozen solid; the ground conditions put the landowner at ease. As we headed over Walker Mountain the snow started; it was immediately clear any additional snow would result in the return trip would be through the mountain gap in Chilhowie.

Having been suited up, we hurried into the cave and immediately felt the temperature relief. A quick show and tell of the “snow cone” put us at our first lead. To get warmed up I thought walking passage would be a good place to start, and it was the biggest hole in the current sketch.

Five shots later we were 230ft into new passage headed back toward the hillside we entered yet another vast room; the third large room. After surveying the room we hammed it up for a couple of photographs and retreated back to the hole in the floor we left.

The passage was the smallest passage of the day though it opens up after a few small sections. Once through the small stuff we called the survey. We left walking passage yet to survey! It already has me wanted to get back to continue.

Returning to the surface yielded a couple more inches of snow and bitter cold. Fortunately Howard brought along a propane heater! It is amazing how fast you can get into street clothes when motivated. Soon we were driving out of the property and onto the snow covered roads.

The Italian restaurant was already closed by 7:30; we opted to McAdoo’s instead. From inside we watched it continue to snow heavily. I mention that because we getting back to my truck, the driver window was “missing” and snow inside. Initially thinking the glass shattered, the window ended up down in the door. However the window would not go up, nor could we reach it to pull it up. What a cold ride back to Tanya’s.

At Tanya’s we pulled the panel off and was able to get the window closed. It was so cold Duck tape frozen before it would adhere to the cold window.

Sunday morning brought a balmy 30 degrees and getting the window fixed enough to get back to Raleigh was not such a miserable experience. Fortunately, once on route 81, the roads were dry and driving uneventful.

The single lead resulted in 485ft of survey and four additional leads. The sketch looks more complete with the work done, but the cave has already left us wanting to return to continue. The cave has far exceeded by expectations; in size and in beauty. The current surveyed distance is approximately 2000ft.

Another successful caving trip; I don’t know of many caving trips that can’t be considered a success. A Saturday morning departure from Raleigh/Durham and a quick lunch break at the local Marion barbeque joint landed Lisa, Mike, Ken, and Dave at the cave entrance at 1pm. What cave, Copenhaver’s. Why; the combination of dry conditions and a successful survey in January.

The survey started at station C7 just outside the Zen Garden, surveying would lead us through the Christmas Goose room and into the large room we surveyed into on the last trip. In this room we put the sketcher, Ken, to the test with the longest shot in the cave; it was more than 48ft. The mud floor is deeply carved out as a result of a various streams flowing through. The ceiling has many dramatic height changes; one part of the ceiling as to be more than 50ft. The 50ft location has a narrow stream of water cascading down; would be interesting to see if there is additional cave there, but the height may limit the options.

Those, Lisa and Mike, on instruments were also tested; their test consisted of getting into the lowest and wettest part of the cave. The large room drains into a significantly smaller passage; it is easy to see how the cave could fill with water completely if more water is coming in, than going out.

We exited the cave around 9:30 and found only the Pizza Hut to be open. We ordered a few pizza’s to go along with the fine selection beer Mike and Ken had brought along. We were back at the cave entrance Sunday by 10:30am; the goal was to try and finish the cave survey and do a bit of surface survey looking for any interesting surface features around significant locations in the cave.

Mike and Dave checked out a lead off of C4 while Ken sketched a profile. A short dig off of B13 that Dave and Lisa worked on the day before resulted in a dead end in breakdown. Only thing left to check out was a known passage off of station B2. Here, Ken gave the survey it shortest shot of 1.9ft. Mike worked on a drain at the end of this passage only to conclude it was too narrow to continue.

The cave survey of Copenhaver’s is complete; total surveyed distance is 1685ft with a maximum depth of -107ft. Looking at topographic maps it appears the standing water at the end of the drain is at river level.

Lisa and Tanya had interesting news; they had found some encouraging leads on the adjacent hillside after performing the surface survey. Looks like another trip to the property will be a likely event. In addition, the cave could use a clean-up, a nice gesture to the generous land owners; there is some trash inside the cave and a bunch outside the cave.

Despite the weather swings in January, a caving trip had been on the calendar for weeks, surveyors found, a selection of caves to choose from; all that remained was for Mother Nature to cooperate. But Mother Nature was going to keep us guessing, as the weekend drew near it was clear that it would be cold and there would be snow; but how much snow and how cold?

About this time last year the weather forecast predicted blizzard conditions, we collectively canceled and Marion got NO snow. This year, the fellow cavers seemed a bit more impervious to what some would call poor weather; in fact two individuals had their eye set on snow shoeing on Sunday. While weather was mentioned and monitored, the question of whether to call the trip never surfaced in earnest.

The drive was not eventful until passing Mt Airy where the snowflakes were large and plentiful; fortunately it was short lived. However the climb up the mountain on route 77 yielded colder temperatures and more snow but clearly still drivable. The city of Marion had the most snow and the streets were completely covered with snow.

Reviewing the current conditions it was determined that Lover leap traverse to the entrance was a challenge none of us wanted to confront with 6inches of fresh snow, a rapidly declining thermometer, and a rapidly increasing anemometer. Starting a new survey project at Copenhavers was number two on the list.

Being that the cave is only 10minutes from Tanya warm house we suited up there and planned for the option to return to her house in full cave gear. We briefly spoke with the land owner, drove to a spot in the cow field we felt we would not get stuck, hiked to the cave, posed for prosperity, and started caving.

There were six cavers, conveniently making two survey teams. One team (Ken, Matt, and Trina) started their survey at the entrance; the other team (Dave, Mike, and Tanya) started their survey at a short nuisance pit about 100ft inside the cave. Temperature inside the cave was substantially better than outside the cave, but the front was cooler draftier than expected. The first room did have some hibernating bats (I saw about a dozen though there could have been more); they were not there two months earlier.

Based on dinner time conversation, the team Ken was on got the brunt of the cooler temperatures. They started at the drip line and worked into the cave; taking breaks to seek warmer parts of the cave when necessary. They surveyed all passage above the pit, with two exceptions that will probably never be surveyed (unless there are some really tiny volunteers). But the best news was they did connect to the initial survey station of the other team.

The other team surveyed deeper into the earth in search of the rumored underground lake. The passage was littered with material washed into the cave, all the way to the ceiling in most places. After traversing a breakdown room, the day drew to a close; but not before a quick peek at the continuing passage. I think this quick peek sealed out Sunday plans, the cave was still going strong!

The fourteen degrees temperature had most getting out of their coveralls in record time, got to avoid the freezing suit dilemma. Dinner was Italian; the evening entertainment was a lengthy game of Bang. The plan for Sunday was laid out, going back to Copenhavers; more to survey, not hoping from cave to cave given WNS issues, and for some not wanting to be outside in the elements for any lengthy period of time.

Saturday morning it was about eight degrees when Dave, Ken, and Mike hiked toward the cave (Matt and Trina opted for show shoeing). Getting to the last survey station didn’t take long. The survey was much warmer as there was minimal if any air movement.

While surveying we got off the trunk passage into a room and then a smaller side passage but with a good echo. We were soon rewarded with a large sloping room, only to find that this is only a small part of a much larger room. The room was large enough that we did not traverse the entire room. There is known passage out of the room, and hopefully more we just haven’t found it yet.

Due to the time of day we opted to try to connect back into the trunk passage; we eventually found the trunk passage (the faster way out) but was unable to complete the survey loop. That will be the first thing on a subsequent trip, which will lead into a very large room with many possibilities.

A couple of interesting statistics:
– The dip (angle of the cave) in the cave is approximately 30degrees.
– Total length surveyed was 981ft
– Vertical distance is currently at 86ft.

The allure of unknown passage in Busted Turtle cave provided enough incentive to get back and continue surveying. Tanya and Robbie joined me.

I did not leave Raleigh until 7:30 in the morning having overslept; my new alarm clock has a feature were the alarm can be set for weekdays or weekends; my error now apparent. However with very little traffic I was able make good time and was not late. The weather the entire trip was not the best, cloudy and occasional rain. Marion had no rain, just wind.

The cave is less than 10 minutes from Tanya’s house; before we knew it we had driven through the property and were hiking to the cave entrance. We took out the log that was impeding the entrance (though I’m not sure it made it any easier to get out).
Surveying started in the entrance pit, lead number one. The lead was a large room that looked that it had great potential but stopped after 40ft. Lead number two was a bit smaller than I remembered; “small” surveyors will be needed to continue. So we skipped it in favor of lead number three. The lead led us southward. It was not well decorated, but Robbie thinks we located Peccary tracks; he’s going to follow up and get back to us on that one. The lead yielded some good yardage but eventually stopped too.

Onto lead number four, this lead resulted in much more interesting cave. We got into some really nice soda straws, helictites, and other smaller formations. Unfortunately we were not the first as was clearly marked by the “fresh” vandalism of the cave’s formations. Also of interest was the number of bones found. There had to be more than one set of bones, animals unknown. The lead had some smaller passage then opened up again only to stop. There is more cave here, but will require “small” surveyors.

Finally lead number five, a high lead that Robbie checked out; to my great disappointment the lead was only a single room. We surveyed that quickly and called it a day. The survey resulted in 370ft of cave passage, for a total of 800+ feet.

There are three leads yet to survey; two leads will require either smaller individuals or significant time behind digging gear. Both leads have a combined distance of more than 100ft and the likelihood they continue as the passages round a corner leaving one to dream of trunk passage ahead! The third lead is at the bottom and will require a bit of rock manipulation. It holds high potential as well, probably higher than the other two. I’m hoping we can get the proper body configurations and proper blasting skills to get to the remaining leads.

On Sunday, of which was an absolutely gorgeous day with the sun, cool temperature, and fall foliage, we set out to do some ridge walking. Tanya had two areas to check out. It was noted there was to be a cave above the spring Tanya and Ken had found on a previous trip, now connected to a huge culvert and a road overhead. Either there was no cave or it suffered the fate of being buried when the road was constructed.

Our next stop was just up the street to another spring with a documented cave nearby. After poking around the spring and walking the hill a bit, we set out to dig a promising spot. After twenty minutes we had ourselves another cave. I scooped about 100ft of it and it is still going. It’s small and has a few inches or water in it of course. Several people will be getting wet when surveying that one unless it drys up during drought periods.

Tanya found this cave through the owner’s daughter late last year; the January trip was to cave this cave. However due to various reasons we changed our plans; one reason was there were rock climbers coming out of the cave. It was interesting in that one of the climbers knew of a cave just over the hillside; knowing of no caves had been reported on this hill we quickly jumped on the opportunity to cave the other cave, now known as Cotton Cave. This left the original cave on the project list. I had tried several other times to get a trip planned but it didn’t work; this trip I had a vertical oriented crew of Robbie, Rob, and Brian.

The cave requires vertical experience; in fact the cave has three drops totaling over 145ft. We managed to survey 475 feet with some very promising leads left for another day. I can see at least a few more trips to this cave!

Getting back to the day’s activities; we came prepared with ropes and more ropes. One rope was used to repel the entrance pit and was used to drop a nuisance drop immediately following. Large passage awaited us on both sides. Given a solid vertical crew we chose to keep going down; the idea was to determine just what was in store for future planning.

The second drop put us in a large room with various bone piles; the most intriguing was the skeletal remains of a large turtle. The turtle was much too large to be a box turtle which probably leaves only aquatic turtles; what an aquatic turtle was going this high up on the hill would be anybody’s guess. The cave is more decorated than originally thought; most of the formations are old and not active. The top two levels appears to be quite dry.

Robbie was bird dogging out in front while Rob, Brian, and myself surveyed. Robbie found the third pit and rigged it while we surveyed toward him. Given there was nothing in the immediate vicinity to tie into he had to use webbing and rig to some formations about 20ft back. The bolting kit we brought was not of much use as the walls and floor were simply mud and very soft rock.

The bottom of the pit landed us in a large fissure with a stream. The stream came into and out of the cave in very low leads, something that would require some serious digging if the stream ever dried. There were a few leads through some small passage; these leads opened into another fissure that immediately terminated.

Robbie was cold from digging in a wet, muddy section of the cave; he did find another strong lead but it would require a bit of cave modification to take the edge off some rock. While waiting for the others to ascend the third pit I went back to check a few of the open leads; and leads they are.

I’m very excited to get back to this cave. Hopefully I can drum up some interest; the challenging pit has been dropped and doesn’t yield any great interest to work on those leads until the other, much more promising leads are proven out.

Is there a better way to start the New Year besides going caving? Ok it wasn’t officially the New Year, but it was great to go caving the first weekend of the New Year. Tanya had been compiling a to-do list; Ken, Mark, and myself made the trip from the Raleigh area to see what we could cross off the list.

A Friday morning departure was an pleasant variation. Upon arriving at Tanya’s, the landowner of a newly identified cave was contacted and we were under motion. Turns out there are at least two caves on the property (some ridge walking is probably in order). One of the landowners graciously showed us the cave; ironically a family friend, and buddies, was caving it. The cave has a pit entrance. With some quick directions we found the other cave, now named Cotton Cave.

Given the weather, time of day, and the involvement of rigging the pit we chose to survey Cotton Cave. The landowner opted to come with us, as she wasn’t familiar with the second cave and wanted to explore. Cotton cave was decorated with what I would presume to be very old formations. The cave has a small entrance but opens up to a large passage. The passage had a few low terminal leads. There is one high lead remaining; it will take some assisted climbing or a scaling pole to keep going. We completed all survey except for the high lead.

Ken found another promising lead while in transit between the vehicle and the cave. I didn’t see the entrance, but according to Ken it will require some digging and something about a jack.

While discussing caving opportunities Saturday morning, the team was split on returning to the vertical cave or doing a different cave. Weather, skill level, and other factors helped in the decision-making process; in the end safety and solid reasoning prevailed, the vertical cave would be done another trip.

Tanya had a lead on another cave in the northeast quadrant of Smyth County; we talked to the landowner and set out on foot to find the cave in the heavy fog. We split up; Mark and Tanya had found the cave. They didn’t go in due to the pile of trash at the entrance.

While Tanya and I went to find the local spring, Mark and Ken returned to the cave to determine whether to suit up and go caving. Returning from the spring we ran into Mark and Ken, apparently the cave has a penetrable distance of about 12ft. One item removed from Tanya’s list.

Next on Tanya’s to-do list was to survey Ward’s Saltpeter cave. The cave is known in the community but there isn’t a map available; there is now! Landowner notified, we set out driving around in the cow fields.

With the sun to our backs we started the survey. The main passage was a large, descending, walking passage with a jog to the right at the bottom. The cave immediately forked. It is presumed the left passage is where saltpeter was mined. To the right, water and the only formations in the cave.

The survey did not take long as the shot were typically 30ft and greater; but a great little cave to see. Another item removed from Tanya’s list.

Believe it or not, but we weren’t done caving yet. We stopped in the Sugar Grove area to survey a newly accessible cave; now to be called “The Flat” (locals claim someone lived in the cave for several years). Tanya had been in the cave and made a guess the cave would be a quick survey, well that was at least what she told us to get us to stop there.

The cave was typical for the Sugar Grove area, very random in direction and size. The cave has two immediate passages; the right most passage was completely surveyed. The left side was longer and a bit more challenging. When the leads got tight we called it a day; there are two leads left, one will end in a room, the extent of the other isn’t known though it will require several small people.

Sunday over breakfast the discussion of the days itinerary presented itself. I, of course, was hoping to get to Rowland’s; but due to the rain and the need to dig outside I quickly changed my perspective. The map of Worley’s, in Smyth County, hadn’t been completed. It was thought the effort could be wrapped up.

Worley’s a very cool cave; the front room is much more dramatic than I every figured. The next room we surveyed was very impressive as well, though a bit wetter. While checking for leads an interesting “worm” was found inside the cave. Ken’s web search found the “worms” to be larvae of fungus gnats (http://members.socket.net/~joschaper/webworm.html). As we were wrapping up the survey a short peek around the corner presented continued passage and more surveying needs.

We obviously didn’t complete Tanya’s list; there’s some very cool cave yet to survey and explore!

Statistics for the survey oriented individuals:
· Cotton Cave: 19 shots for 238 feet (28.7 feet deep)
· Ward Saltpeter: 14 shots for 376 feet (51.6 feet deep)
· The Flat: 15 shots for 192 feet (19.7 feet deep)
· Worley’s Cave: 17 shots for 397 feet

Disclaimer: The name and location of the project is not being provided externally until the conclusion of the project at the request of the park ranger.

The Tritrogs first organized trip to “Project” cave to assist the park work on their cave was a success. The team was small, Ken, Christian, Linda, and myself, the work accomplished grand. At the risk of repeating information, it is rumored the cave was purposely blocked to prevent people from going in to far; we are trying determine if that is true and what else lies within the cave.

Given the size of the cave, the number of participants was about correct; future trips may opt for one or two more individuals to help with dirt management once the dirt is outside the cave (the park management would like to sift through the dirt for any possible artifacts before disposing of the dirt).

Our mission was primarily digging, and digging we did. The dirt was rather loose and easy to dig; a garden hoe was the prized tool, unfortunately we had only one. The weather was actually appropriate for digging, in the high 60’s with heavy cloud cover and a fine rain.

Several potential leads were selected, then the team set to work. I worked on a lead that snaked slightly downward at the backside of the cave. Christian and Linda worked a lead nearby which also had a downward angle. Ken and Tanya hauled dirt out of the cave; interesting enough using “Flying Saucers”…you know the round things used for sledding! Ken and Tanya hauled all afternoon, an extra thanks goes out to them!

My lead pinched down to something impassable; Linda gave it a try just to insure I wasn’t loosing my sense of dimension due to being positioned head down for too long. We can with certainty say this passage was not traversed by anyone holding a torch.

I then worked on a lead we suspected Christian and Linda’s effort would connect into. At some point Linda focused on another lead between their original lead and the one I was now working. Eventually I was able to hear Linda’s efforts in my passage. A possible connection inspired Linda; she was determined to make the connection today. Soon Linda was digging from both sides…well not at the same time, but you get the idea. I moved further into the passage to work toward Christian; it wasn’t long before I could hear him, but more distant.

After the connection, I thought the effort would conclude but it was not meant to be. I went back to check out the tremendous effort Christian did, while Linda checked out the continuing lead I had been working. Linda and I quickly found we were closer than expected. Well Linda quickly jumped on the task of completing another connection. It wasn’t long before I was pushing dirt her way and working myself through. We may have robbed Christian of some glory, but we wouldn’t have been able to make the connection without him.

After a day of digging we feel confident that this section of the cave was not filled in by human efforts. It must have been filled in during repeated floods or surface erosion. How much cave remains is still unknown; there are more leads and significant amounts of dirt yet to be extracted. That will be another trip.

Disclaimer: The name and location of the project is not being provided externally until the conclusion of the project at the request of the park ranger.

The Triangle Troglodytes had received an email from a park ranger associated with a park that has a cave on its premises. The cave is thought to have historical significance. The park is looking to explore deep routed rumors pertaining to the cave. Among them is the strong possibility of there being more passage is the cave, the story is the cave was filled or blocked to prevent people from going in further than they should. I decided a trip to the park would be most beneficial in understanding what lay ahead.

I took Devin, my four year old, along with me; Devin was very excited to go caving (he enjoyed his previous caving experience). We met the park ranger, and she took us to the cave with the parks “gator”. Devin wasn’t so sure about riding a gator until he realized the gator being referenced was a small vehicle and not a reptile.

The present passage is probably around one hundred feet; there are several dig areas. Unfortunately it couldn’t quite be determined where the cave might have been filled in. Doing some digging revealed the soil that is actually loose and easy to dig. Devin enjoyed digging to.

The tour continued; there is “shelter” besides the primary cave that has a possible dig or two. Another small cave was pointed out, another dig. It was noted there is another cave on the property but location unknown at this time. And there is a distinct ridge all the caves appear to be in.

The cave sounds and looks like an interesting project.

The annual TriTrog cave conservation trip this year was planned for Marion County VA; more precisely, Hancock cave. Hancock actually has two entrances; the back entrance is part of a sink. Unfortunately the sink was used for household trash; the trash was buried with dirt during one of the sales of the property. However over time the dirt has eroded; the process of erosion has helped to fill in the back entrance and exposed the trash.

The trip ended up being a small group, but an effective group; Ken, Susanna, Mark, Tanya, Dave and his son Dawson. At the last minute we chose to stay at one of the cabins in Hungry Mother State Park. And once again, Virginia state parks continue to amaze me; the cabin we rented was really nice and included linen service…too bad our hours were such a fire in the fireplace just wasn’t an option.

Susanna did a terrific job organizing the cleanup. She had all the details worked out; the owner met us as we drove up, we had the correct tools (ok maybe garden sheers and wire cutters need to be added to the list), and an excellent lunch spread.

A sizeable dent in the trash was made, but another trip to get the smaller house hold trash is needed. Given some time the freshly exposed dirt will wash away allowing easier access to trash buried below. Some interesting discoveries were uncovered; a kitchen stove, drier, three washing machines, metallic shed roofing, TV, bike, bedsprings, chairs, big wheel toy, and freaky doll parts.

The cleanup culminated when the map of Hancock cave was presented to the owner. The landowner was extremely appreciative of the efforts performed by the caving community to help him understand, protect, and to work to keep his cave clean.

The afternoon was spent caving! During the cleanup a single lead found near a washing machine, it was worth investigating. Unfortunately the lead immediately led back into known cave, the top of a high fissure. In addition we stopped briefly in the back entrance to Hancock and Little Hancock.

We traversed over to the main entrance and ventured in for a three-hour tour. Dawson performed his first arm-rappel; something he still is talking about. Ken led us around various parts of the cave, some new areas for both Mark and myself.

Dawson informed us he was tired and ready to exit, however I suspect his abrupt interest in exiting was probably more related to the spaghetti dinner promised earlier. Ken took us through the breakdown staircase; it was the quickest way out. For those that have not been through that section, it is a series of step-downs through a vertical maze. Dawson did great, dad worried to much but was calmed by taking Ken’s mentally comforting suggestion…leashing Dawson to me with some webbing.

Sunday found us at Rowland’s cave, is anybody actually surprised? Ken, Dawson, and myself toured the lower section; found two new areas that need surveying. One will require some digging. Dawson named one of the rooms the Rock and Roll room; he found his name very funny, as there were rocks and the rocks rolled as we passed through.

The upper section was visited, as it is the prettier part of the cave; however Dawson was more focused finding new passage and wanting to know where every lead went rather than looking at the formations. The Screech Owl wasn’t in the cave; hopefully the owl will return when the weather cools more.

As it simply wouldn’t be right to go to Rowland’s without doing at something toward completing the ongoing project we did some digging in Sentinel cave. Ken found that to proceed might require more serious modifications to get through. An option we will hold off on for now as it would appear another lead was found below it. The dirt was easily dug, and soon I was able to get in about six feet to observe the airspace continues. And I think there was airflow; yet another promising lead to work on.