Trip report by Nathan Taylor.
Trip date: 2020-09-06
Trip purpose: Camping only
Areas of Cave visited: Campground
Trip participants: Sam Taylor, Ben Taylor
Entry Time: n/a
Exit Time: n/a
The trip report: My two sons (age 10 and 6) and myself camped outside the cave as an end of summer getaway (and opportunity for my wife to prepare for their home based education this fall). We arrived at 3:15 on Sunday afternoon (Sept 6). We departed at 8:00 Monday morning.
The boys enjoyed thinning the cricket population (we left with 50 in a bag that they used for fishing bait Monday morning) and helping to gather some firewood. We brought a small amount of wood from the wood pile as well as some from the brush pile near the gravel drive. We did peek in the building including looking in the cave from the floor. I explained some of the rescue gear and how cavers descend/ascend. I did not request entry to the cave in my permit but tried the gate code to open the cave lockbox in order to show the entrance. The lockbox opened after a couple tries. When I tried to replace the key and close the box I found this code did not open the box (the code has to be correctly entered to close the lockbox). I emailed Jeff and explained this and he provided the correct code so I could close the box. I believe the last user unintentionally left the box ever so slightly short of locked and so it opened when I tried the wrong code.
We did take advantage of the electricity to run a fan as the evening temp was still in the high 80’s as bedtime approached. My youngest wanted to see the sky crapper so we walked other there and found an armadillo in the tall grass. We also has a small campfire complete with smores (nothing like a sugar load just before bed). The unused wood was then piled just inside the edge of the windbreak for future use. The boys fell asleep to the lullaby of coyotes and cows.
In the morning we packed up and tidied up. There was not much trash but we did pick up some and pack it out. We also hammered in some loose nails on the picnic table and cleaned up around the foundation.
My older son can’t wait to come down for a trip into the cave. I’ll have to test his ladder climbing ability after a long day outside…