Yesterday morning was one of those morning I really didn't want to go caving. I went to bed fairly early, but I really overdid it last week at the gym and I had been feeling pretty bad Thursday and Friday. I figured I would shake it off, so I woke up about 7:15 and met the others at a McDonald's at 8am at Rivergate Mall.
I knew I couldn't do the low carb diet in a cave again, so I grabbed an egg mcmuffin and a sausage biscuit from McDonalds before we left. Also making the trip to Mason Cave in Sumner County were Don Harter, Joey Stuckey, Aimee Roosenburg, Eve Proper, Dave Wascher and his son Andrew. We entered the cave about 10:30 after a short hike up the fairly steep hill to the cave entrance.
Joey and Aimee had been to this cave several times before, but had recently acquired a copy of the map that showed several passages that they were unaware of. The cave is fairly damp and muddy, and the first large room we came to had a lot of mist in it. Even before we got into the cave good, I noticed a lot of fossils in the rock. There were some ceilings above low crawls where the rock was just crammed with fossilized crinoids. I took some pictures, but few of them came out well since my camera has problems focusing on small objects closeup.
After looking around a while, Joey found a branch that he had not been down before, so we all headed down it. I was bringing up the rear behind Don, and a few hundred feet down this branch there was a low, tight crawl that Don didn't feel like he could get through. I didn't see it, but I figured if he couldn't make it there wasn't much point in me trying, so we sat in a small room for a while waiting on the others while I tried to get some pictures of the crinoid fossils.
Then my stomach started rumbling and cramping. I don't think it was necessarily the McDonald's, but I guess it could have been. At that point I knew I needed to get out of the cave as soon as possible. I appropriated a roll of TP from Don and headed out quickly. It was still slow going because of some of the low crawls, but I was highly motivated.
Eventually I made it out, but to the relief of my intestinal tract. I decided I wouldn't risk that again and waited outside at the truck listening to bluegrass on Joey's Sirius radio for two hours while the rest of the gang explored the cave. Eventually I got bored and did a little bit of ridge walking along the hillside before they made it out of the cave about 2pm.
I didn't see the entire cave, but I saw enough that I can count it as cave #12. It's not a hard cave to get to, so I'll go back soon and see the rest of it. Joey was under the impression there was a lot of trash in the cave from the last time he was there, so we went there thinking we would bring a lot of trash out. In the end, there was only a small white garbage bag of stuff brought out, so the cave is not as trashed as Joey thought. While were in the cave, the land owner stopped by and left a note on Don't truck thanking us for cleaning it up, so I'm sure he appreciated it.