November 25, 2008

McClendon's Cave TR

Saturday I went to McClendon's Cave for my first ever visit there. It is a big cave and it's only an hour or so away from B'ham. My group first went to the landowner's house to get permission to visit the cave and to get the gate key. Then we went to the cave entrance. The cave gate is made out of big pieces of angle iron.
This gate is on top of a 40' pit, which we rigged and descended on rope.
This cave has a large entrance room, then a long canyon passage back to where a couple of waterfalls are.
The canyon passage was dry and dusty, with a stream bed at the bottom. As we got closer to the waterfalls, the cave got wetter and muddier. In the biggest waterfall room it was about 35' tall IIRC, a scallopped dome area, and very humid. Hard to take pictures in the humidity. The wall of the waterfall dome had this strip of eroded stone in it, that looked like marble, though I suppose it was calcite. The brown rock is probably chert. This strip of stone went all the way to the top of the dome. Note the muddy boots and funny shorts of my friend Julie in this pic. That was the first cave trip for the shorts and also the last...
There was a spot in the cave marked by a small cairn. Behind the cairn was a clay bank covered in claw marks. We have no idea what kind of creature made these marks, but they were way in the back of the cave. Sometimes prehistoric bear bones are found in SE caves. Or it could be a cave monster sharpening its claws...

Anyway, a fine way to spend a Saturday during a drought...

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