Author Topic: SERA Cave Carnival 2011!  (Read 1113 times)

Offline Amata

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SERA Cave Carnival 2011!
« on: June 14, 2011, 03:03:54 am »
Another one of my adventures :) Enjoy!

Very early Thursday morning (5am) I got up and grabbed my packing from the night before and loaded up the car. I love my car, poor baby it took a beating this weekend. I will have to give her a good washing and cleaning. Ah but Grand Marquis...go forever and even though it's just 2 wheel drive she can handle any hill you throw at 'er! Would be nice if the wheelbase was a touch higher but other than that, great camping car. And if anyone dies we can hide them in the trunk.

Anyway, got to Sai's at 6am, put his gear in my car and got on the road. An 11 hr drive awaited us all the way down. I hate driving through Ohio, but having lived there a while himself, Sai did the Ohio leg and then I took over in Louisville when we stopped for petrol and lunch. Plus, this was a benefit for me to do the last leg as I was the one who had been to TAG before, and even up this same mountain when I stayed at Pup's last month so I knew where we were going.

We did indeed arrive about 5pm as planned (which was really 4pm since it's a switch into central time from here). Met Chrys up at Registration and then ran off to find Kelly! After figuring out where things were up there (as I did need to set up my stuff to vend, thank you the four people who got something from me!) Sai and I went up to the camping section and found Mike. Mike is someone I met at TAG, actually during Kelly's trip to Anderson Springs. It was great to see him again. That evening was spent setting up camp and checking out vendors. Then we met a lovely couple who was there on their way from moving from Arizona to North Carolina, Laurel and Carlin. Laurel had gotten a board game so the four of us sat and played it into the night, laughing at the easiness of some of the questions and wondering why on earth the cards seemed to want us to know everything about MN (state bird, state flower, state tree, state this and that and everything else!). We decided our favourite fun fact was the one about how many thousands of people a poison arrow frog can kill. I then remembered I'd not seen Pup and he was gonna have things going on too, so I called him and found out he was up at the fire by the vendors so we traisped up there. We also asked around to find out a quick horizontal that was close to do in the morning.

So morning came and we went to Cedar Ridge Crystal. A friend of Mike's had joined up with us, and I'm sorry to say but I really keep on forgetting his name, oops. Brian actually got there before we left, surprised me when he snuck up behind me haha and I didn't even register who it was for a second since my brain was on "ok I have key where did everyone go now?" haha. We ended up getting a late start too due to trip leader mixup but eh we ended up getting the key from Maureen so it was all good. Although the bit about turning left was missing from the directions we figured it out, it was obvious if you took the right turn-off indeed.

It was a very pretty cave...

Cedar Ridge Crystal Cave 05 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

coming into one of the rooms the ceiling was all this!

Cedar Ridge Crystal Cave 08 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

For some scale...Carlin, Mike, and Sai posing.

Cedar Ridge Crystal Cave 10 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

Another side of the room, Mike posing for me.

Cedar Ridge Crystal Cave 11 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

I liked this formation, it looked like Swiss Cheese stalagmite! hahaha

Cedar Ridge Crystal Cave 15 by Sunguramy, on Flickr


Cedar Ridge Crystal Cave 20 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

And the group photo! No, we don't have helmets on. Yes, I had them help me place them strategically for lighting purposes. Yes, it's crooked, that's what happens when you use rocks instead of tripods to set a camera on.

Cedar Ridge Crystal Cave 18 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

We spent about 2.5-3 hrs in it. It's small but it's so full of formations we were all wandering around. I got used to hearing "Hey photogirl/little miss photographer get over here and see this!" aka "we didn't bring our camera/we can't get non-steamy shots/we are too lazy to take our cameras out while we gape in awe, get over here and take photo of this for us" :P We were going to go to eat together but then I remembered there was an actual signup trip leaving at 1:15 or something and it was 12:30 so we had to get the key back up the mountain for them. Good thing too, we didn't make it back until around 2:30 or so after driving back up to deliver the key, back down and out to food, and then back up the mountain again! Even with my "crazy driving" (hey, no one likes to have fun on windy roads! it's safe my car isn't gonna roll people...4 people and gear for 4 in the trunk and low wheelbase? nahhhh worst we need to worry about is torque to get up the two steep ones after the tight turns when you go up the east side! sheesh! I wasn't even driving as "crazy" as David was back in May!)

So we hung out for a while and Brian helped Sai finish up getting his vertical system together (Sai is brand new to vertical). Later he put a rope up in the tree. I climbed for a while (100ish ft). I swear Brian has too much fun trying to scare me sometimes. Fastest I've ever come down :yikes: by the 3rd re-lowering so I could climb more I was a bit used to it and didn't scream so loud  :laughing: And then - I thought he was kidding a little when he said he was gonna make me do blind changeovers - but nope! Bandana comes out (nicely giving me an unused one :P) and then I had to changeover both ways blindfolded. Had a bit of issues with the up to down one 'cause my qas had unadjusted a bit and was too long so I had issues getting it back off but I figured out how to get to it even if it wasn't smooth and purdy but then I went down too far (didn't realize I was doing a down to up then) and so I had to go back up and do it again and that time I made it a bit shorter first, ah much easier. I realized I'd never done a down to up on rope but someone hinted to use the qas first and then I figured it from there easily.

It is very dizzying being blind on rope, which I wasn't expecting. Interesting to deal with...and I guess in a way makes sense as in karate when we do balance kicks sometimes the Masters have us do them with closed eyes, and I can't do them at all, I fall over basically. I use my eyes a *lot* for balance so I think the bit of swing/rotation/etc even just that bit hanging in a tree the motion was enough to screw up my vestibular system. I was able to kinda get over it by thinking of it as horizontal rather than vertical ocean waves, maybe that hint will help someone else or maybe that's just my weird brain. Definitely something I should practice more of, the up to down especially took me longer, if I had struggled blind in a waterfall or something...I feel like it took too long I might've been f*cked. Or maybe with someone spinning the rope some for more motion would be interesting. Hmm.

Sai got on rope next and climbed a little and tried changeovers some. Then two others used the rope, and at that point I was getting tired (maybe 10:30pm or so, but long day for me since I was woken up at 6 by loud neighbor talking and not shutting up even though we were in the quiet camping!) and I could tell my brain's concentration was going so I never got back on to try working with various failures as planned, I just went to bed.

Saturday was Bluff River!!! Mike decided to go with some other friends of his to a vertical cave, while Sai, Brian, Laurel, Emily, and I went to Bluff River. Prettttty cave. I like it!

Bluff River 01 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

Eeee first one of these I've seen!

Bluff River 02 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

Probably my fav shot of the whole weekend...

Bluff River 04 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

But maybe you'd prefer a closeup...

Bluff River 05 by Sunguramy, on Flickr


Bluff River 06 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

Soda straw missing a crack!

Bluff River 13 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

Pretty formation room

Bluff River 15 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

Bluff River 17 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

After photo...we got a little crazy xD

Bluff River 19 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

But wait! The day was not over!! After about 5.5 hrs in Bluff River we ate, then continued on to Sauta Cave to see the bat flight and glowworms! Sadly, I couldn't figure out lighting for the bat motion in no light...what? Best I got were blurs in the sky (and I didn't even mess with trying to get a long enough exposure for specs of light glowworms as cool as they were!)

Sauta Cave 1 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

Sauta Cave 8 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

Oh and Brian helped me makeshift a hat with a grocery bag xD

Sauta Cave 5 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

It was weird to think the trip was basically over. Sunday was an early awaking and long drive home. But, Brian took Sai and I to Fountain Pit, although only Brian and I did it. Maybe I can get Sai on this forum and he can post a photo of himself called "all dressed up and nowhere to go!" haha. waterfall :( I was a bit disappointed, as Brian had said there was one but that's ok it was still fun, and it meant we checked out the little crack behind where the water usually falls and found some cool formations. Well, I should say, he made me squeeze under and check it out and "tell him if it was worth it"  :tonguecheek: (Hint: I would have said it was worth it whether or not it really was! But it actually was.)

Here is your waterfall that wasn't a waterfall or even a tricklefall or a fountain at all

Fountain Pit 02 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

This is a neat worm, we have no clue what it was, but it was alive and moving. Quite long, maybe 12 inches or so.

Fountain Pit 05 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

Here is the crack I checked out first (you can duck under that rock)

Fountain Pit 07 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

This and other stuff was behind it.

Fountain Pit 10 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

Brian starting to climb back out.

Fountain Pit 12 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

Maybe we missed the rapture after all? haha

Fountain Pit 14 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

Sai has the ones of me on rope :( ah well. The one of me at the bottom plus photos of Brian going back up should prove I did it :P To give me a waterfall, Brian was spitting at me and then dumped a container of water on me as I was climbing.  :rofl:

So then we de-rigged and went to eat some Chinese food and then headed on home...Sai and I had another 11 hr drive ahead of us, I fell into bed about 2:00am this morning after a quick shower. Mmmm shower. I never had time/energy to take one at SERA >_> so it felt good to get one. I mean...up so late caving, wanted to sleep. Stupid to take one in the morning before getting muddy again! The only thing that suffered was I gained legstubble. Luckily, my BO smells like vanilla so I was fine. (I am told that by a lot of people independently of each other who randomly sometimes go " smell like...vanilla or something, how!?!?) :woohoo:
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 03:17:21 am by Amy »
Sunguramy, my cave photography and blog website


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