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Caving in Buckners

I lead a group of ten down to Buckners cave in southern Indiana last weekend.  All had a great time from the feedback I received.  The cave makes a giant loop, so it is possible to go around the entire cave and back to near the beginning without repeating steps.  This is much easier said than done, as GPS, compass, cell phones, nothing works underground.  We did have maps, which I passed out to everybody, but they are difficult to read, as sometimes you will be looking for  tiny hole in the floor or a crawlspace in a corner of a room where you don’t expect it.  Other times a near vertical climb up a tiny space, or on your belly squeezing through a passage and you have no idea if it is a dead end or the way out.  It is what is known as a “wild” cave, so there is no guide, you must do it on your own.  We were lost for a time, which is rather unnerving, though you certainly can’t show it as it may panic folks.  The best is when lights start failing and you have no idea where you are and how to get out, yet you must crawl through a teensy passge not knowing if you are heading off to nowhere or the correct way.  Very fun, and very dirty, and definitely a true adventure.  The beginning starts out as a military crawl about 14 inches tall for the first maybe 40 yards, so you do a belly crawl.  Everybody had knee pads, a helmet, and a headlamp, as well as a several flashlights.  We had a great group that worked very well together, nobody freaked out, nobody complained, and all contributed to helping us find our way around.  No major arguments.  I encouraged different people to lead in differnt sections, as it is pretty freaky being the person out in front, crawling into the darkness, into the unknown.  Saw bats, a cave cricket, underground streams, stalagmites, giant rooms, crystal ceilings, even a mouse.   Highly recommended.  We had tried to make it around the loop the previous year but were unable to, this year we managed to do it with everybody’s help.  We were proud and excited, enjoyed a yummy steak dinner after, and a good long soak in a hottub at the hotel.  See below for some videos.

Tom Trimmer and bat in buckners cave

Tom Trimmer and bat in buckners cave

 

Nadine crawling out the exit of Buckner's cave

Nadine crawling out the exit of Buckner

All ten of us from the 2008 True Adventures trip to Buckners Cave

All ten of us from the 2008 True Adventures trip to Buckners Cave

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