I'm not knowing, but I should have hit this place up early in this mobilization. I had a blast!
Anyhow, I decided to go Spelunking, or Amateur Caving this weekend. Actually, I don't think I intended to go this into Caving when I initially decided to go check out Mammoth Caves (more of a 'let's walk through a bit of the cave for a couple hours and then go do something else), but when I went to the visitor center and discovered that we would be crawling and climbing and going through clausterphobic enducing trenches, I was all about 'sign me up!'
Yes, I went on the Wild Cave Tour at Mammoth Cave, because I'm all about climbing and crawling. And ironically enough, without meaning too, I watched Planet Earth: Caves on Friday so I was thinking 'that looks like fun' when I discovered I could go on a caving tour at Mammoth Cave, which happens to be the longest cave system in the world.
Maybe I'm young and adventurous and finding it harder and harder to endulge that adrenaline rush, but after I did this, I wanted to go back and do some more. It helps that I'm in the military too, there is a lot of crawling involved. Knee Pads are a must.
But I guess my relative youth and adventureousness made me wanting to do MORE climbing and crawling then we did, but I think I need to take up the sport more regularly and go spelunking with more experienced cavers then a hike geared toward a healthy amateur who does not consider Drill Sergeant their chosen profession.
Yeah, I'm a drill sergeant for a reason. because I LIKE doing things like this.
dang, there are no caves in washington like this though.
Me and some of my fellow cavers on this little hike out and about.
this photo does not show properly how tight that little crawl space is. It's always fun to come out the other side as another tour is walking by and they all stare at you as you crawl through this hole in the ground in awe.
You get people coming up to you asking what tour you are on, because we are a bit dirtier then the other hikers. And we wear these cool helmets and bandanas.
I'm a photo whore. we were so busy hiking this thing that I didn't get a whole lot of pictures of me doing it. And I took my point and shoot. You don't take an SLR on this thing unless you are willing for it to be broken into tiny unrecoverable pieces.
Ok, I'm totally posing here. Yes, we crawled off this ledge, but not at this specific spot. One of the people I was doing this with told me "hey, jump up there and I'll get a picture for you." to which I replied "ok!"
Climbing down a passage. I started to get other hikers and took pictures of them to say "I did this too" but a lot of these didn't turn out.
Me crawling through a hole. What I want to point out however is the foamy crap there on the left. That's a cricket, they called them an AIDS cricket, because if this cricket touches any other cricket with this crap all over it, that cricket will eventually look like this too, and it will die. Its some kind of fungus or something, not sure what, but they recommended us not to touch it. I thought it was fascinating. We did see some crickets. They looked spidery.
that's what Mr. Cave Cricket looks like alive.
At the end of the tour, I looked like this. I was actually hoping for some more mud but I did have fun, I'm sure I'll feel it in the morning, and if I ever find myself in Fort Knox again (a high possibility) I will try to make my way down to mammoth caves again and maybe do a little more spelunking. I'd love to do Wild Cave again, maybe this time I can bring a friend to do it with me.
yeah, one of those other drill sergeants that isn't involved in cycle or attached to a significant other.
Disclaimer: This outfit, from shirt to boots, was purchased specifically for this trip because I didn't want to use the clothes I had brought with me because of the threat of ruining them. I wasn't aware that I would be doing a spelunking tour until I got there so I just went to Walmart and found some clothes on sale that I wouldn't care about. I also had to buy a pair of boots. I wish I had planned this out because I could have saved myself some trouble by taking some old BDUs or something and wearing those. Next time, I will be prepared.
If there is a next time *I hope so, I had fun*