November 13, 2015

My first horizontal caving trip as an adult

In December 2000, or January 2001, I'm not sure which, I went on my first horizontal cave trip as an adult, on what I was to find out afterwards was a dare. Kelly Norble had dared John Van Swearingen IV to do the thru trip from the upper entrance of Hurricane Cave, down and out of the lower entrance. 
Very few people to my knowledge have actually done this trip.
I weighed about 30 lbs less at the time, (long story why) which means I would not fit in the upper entrance if I tried today. I truly was surprised I fit when I did the trip back then.
At the time, I thought I was being tested to see if I had what it takes to be a caver, kind of like being beaten into a gang, only with better scenery. As it turned out, it was not the case; I was just along on a different, more sporting kind of trip than Hurricane Cave usually doles out.
I wrote a trip report for the Birmingham Grotto newsletter afterwards, and today I found that old newsletter in the grotto archives. Since it is in pdf form, I can only post images of the two pages of the trip report. It amused me to re-read what I wrote so long ago, so here they are:

There I am on the cover of that month's newsletter with the white helmet on, behind Scott and Amy Parvin, Crissy Frotten in the background, Scott Fee on the hill to the right, at the entrance to Blowing Saltpeter Cave.  I had been bitten by the caving bug.  I'm afraid it's a life-long condition.

...and for those curious as to my first horizontal cave trip ever, it was Anderson Cave back when I was 11 years old.

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