So several people in the grotto have been asking me to arrange a trip to Cedar Ridge, which I first visited several years ago. I finally relented and planned for a trip this past Saturday. One by one, everyone dropped out, so only John "I am the" Law showed up at Shoney's on Saturday morning. This cave is really awesome though, so we loaded up in the Honda and headed for Monteagle.
There were snow flurries that morning in Nashville, so I was expecting some possible bad weather going over the plateau, but the only thing bad up there was the fog. You could only see about 30 or 40 feet ahead on top of the mountain, but of course people were still blazing past me at about 80 mph or so. By the way, if you're going down I-24 past Murfreesboro, the local cops there apparently need to make up a budget shortfall, since they had about 6 brand new SUV vehicles planted in the median waiting to write tickets.
We got to the cave about 10:30 and headed in. It was pretty chilly outside, but the cave was much warmer. The first time I was in this cave, we didn't have any really bright lights, but John brought a 50 watt track light hooked up to a big battery that we used to help light it up for pictures. This is definitely the way to see this cave. This light made my 3 watt Apex look pitiful by comparison and showed off a lot more detail when it was turned on.
As I've said before, this cave is simply amazing. I've never seen one this beautiful anywhere else, and I've been told by long time cavers in the area that it's one of the best for the sheer number of decorations in a small space. We spent about 3.5 hours in the cave, mostly letting John get his camera set-up.
Afterwards, we did the obligatory tacos and cold beer at the Mexican place in Kimball, TN and then headed back to Nashville. I could tell it had been a while since I'd been caving since my shoulder and upper back muscles were pretty torn up, and are still sore today.
Here's a picture of me that John took in the cave. You can also see more of his pictures by clicking here.