Even though other TriTrogs all backed out, I elected to reroute myself a bit for this year’s Grand Caverns Easter Restoration Camp. I drove up Friday evening in time to catch dinner in Grottoes, Virginia. This solo effort left plenty of time to socialize with the other two dozen cavers before work began on Saturday.
I spent the morning hauling buckets of gravel through Grand Caverns’ majestic hallways while others painted doors and handled outdoor chores. We worked up sweats that were obvious to the tour groups we tried not to disturb. Before lunch the tour groups tended to be pretty small, but they grew to sizes over thirty in the afternoon.
After our free lunch provided by VAR, I shared a quick tour of the cave formations to some new volunteers. Then we returned to bucket hauling for a short while. I eventually peeled off to help spray clean algae growing on the formations; I was taller than the rest of the spray crew and could reach the high places that needed scrubbing. Some of the algae seemed so old that it’s below the flowstone surfaces now.
A few hours after the free dinner, I left to visit my family in Baltimore for a breakfast heavy on the Polish sausage. If you’re sorry that you missed this conservation effort, we’ll likely have more opportunities closer next winter as the VAR continues with on- and off-trail cave restoration efforts in Caverns of Natural Bridge next winter.