Forty years of caving keeps me thinking a lot about the sport. In this book I share not only what I have learned and experienced, but also what a few others have shared about caves and how they also became interested in the sport. Most of the caves discussed are in the Southeast with a few elsewhere. Detail exploration and mapping is given for Pettyjohn Cave in Georgia and Pumphouse Cave in Tennessee. Caves have been used for everything from fallout shelters to mushroom farms. However I really believe that it is the mystery of caves that draws us back. Not knowing what lies below and that curiosity that we all have within us. We find all kinds of excuses to enter a cave. Some study the rocks and formations, others like to make maps or study the cave life, but in the end it is the mystery that holds us in it’s grip. I remember playing on the hill side behind my Grandparents home, and finding holes in the gullies that were dug by my father and his brothers, or possibly one of my older cousins. I even dug a few myself, more like ditches covered with boards and dirt for a hid-out. There is a strange pleasure in getting dirty, and covered with mud, not having to worry about staying clean. A good friend of mine loved to wear white overalls, which of course did not remain white very long in the cave. There is also something about crawling around that seems enjoyable. Getting to know a cave can be quite a reward. When you are able to find your way, and even share with others about where, and how you got to a special place.
Publisher: Huco Systems
Dim: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
Hardcover Color: $34.95
Paperback B&W : $14.95
18″ x 24″ Pdf map files for Pettyjohn Cave are available free at: hucosystems.com
To avoid the drop, take the Bypass,
a little tight but better than an impasse.
Going down is easy, just let go and slide.
When you reach the bottom, just lay back and glide.
The bottom opens up into a nice low stroll,
now coming back you may feel like a mole.
The upward slope tends to make you rise,
before you reach the spot that is the right size.
Rising up before the end may get difficult,
unable to turn your head or even look up.
To continue on you must relax and subside,
hug the floor until it forces you up the side.
As you become vertical trying for a foothold,
position your arms so they will unfold.
Now you know if you are a little overweight,
wouldn’t it be wonderful just to deflate?
If you’re in the lead and the slope is dry,
feel blessed–and sorry for the next guy.
If your boots are wet and greasing the floor,
the last person out will curse all the more.
Pettyjohn Cave, Georgia
From book, Coal Dust and Cave Mud, you can preview it here.
Cool Cave Spring
Cool cave spring on a hot summer day,
draws me close to enter and stay.
A nice shady spot to soak and rest,
but first I will give it a little test.
Clear and clean the bottom easily seen,
rocks with strange shades of brown and green.
Behind a rock something catches my eye,
a cold chill ran up my spine then down my thigh.
Time to back away and leave this spring,
I’ll not disturb this slithering thing!
At the entrance of Sauta Cave, Alabama.
From the book Looking Ahead, you can preview it here.
Dreaming Deep and Low
Still and quiet, all I hear is my heart,
I strain to see or hear, could this be art?
A lovely painting of black in my mind,
to clear my thoughts and help unwind.
Mountains rise as water finds the cracks,
to make strange places that have no tracks.
Some are drawn to push below,
exploring where the going is slow.
Older now, I can only dream,
of wading some unknown stream.
Still others explore deep below,
taking pictures for all to show.
Water running, the tick of a clock,
or was it the sound of falling rock.
A glimmer of light, what lies ahead?
I guess its time to get out of bed!
From the book Challenges of Life, you can preview it here.
Mud and slime will not stop a Georgia caver.
Tight crawls make a challenge that we favor.
Rain or shine, under ground it’s always good weather.
Watch for storms, take the high route, stay together.
We take nothing but pictures and leave only tracks.
Push all the leads and follow all tight cracks.
Carry plenty of light and maybe even a snack.
Bring a complete change of clothes, bag or sack.
We map as we go, but some will scoop.
At day’s end we are all ready for soup.
A Georgia caver, but TAG is more like home.
We will drive to Knoxville, Nashville, Huntsville or Rome.
Big or small, deep and long, we’ll take all!
Caving at its best winter, summer, spring and fall.
Figure 18 In memory of John Wallace 1924-1994, Georgia caver.
From the book Trees, Bees and Weeds, you can preview it here.
Posted on September 16, 2010 by Hubert
Tumbling Rock Cave
In Tumbling Rock Cave,
saltpeter works can be found
to fight those enslaved.
Small mountains of dirt,
like tables set for a meal
with sparkles of chert.
Leaching bins abound,
For gun powder in demand
fight and not be found.
Listen, you may hear,
the echo of solders gone
that dug dirt in fear.
Union solders search,
to find the caves and destroy,
catch them in a lurch.
Two huge columns stand
sparkling like diamonds when wet
like an elephant
Totem Gallery is great
formations big round.
Like Indian carvings,
all in a row for a show,
if you like caving.
Up the Kings Shower,
to enter the topless pit
gaze up the tower.
Water droplets fall,
like a snow storm in the night
looking up in awe.
Thru Suicide Crawl,
to the Asphalt Ooze of oil
stay against the wall.
The floor seems to move,
like a snake under the carpet,
as the oil migrates.
We come to admire,
Mt. Olympus of the cave
the pillar of fire.
From the book, Blue Skies of August. You can preview the book here.