07.03.2009

Birthday Pit
While bouncing Alabama’s Birthday Pit (185 feet) with Chris Coates, Kelton Russenberger and Jeremy Vandeventer, I found this little guy resting on an old bolt at the top of the pit.

The guys looking down the pit when we arrived.
Birthday Pit

05.29.2009

Stephen's Gap
We took a day off from caving yesterday, as we were in pain from our 2-person Ellison’s bounce trip. Today was a light day, bouncing Stephen’s Gap at 143 feet.

I found a scorpion at the top of the drop!
Stephen's Gap

Pipeside Pit
And since we walked right by Pipeside Pit (66 feet), we had to do that little one too! Found this cute lille guy at the bottom.

05.24.2009

Flowing Stone
The first day of a week of TAG caving! The view of the quarry on Pigeon Mountain while hiking to Flowing Stone, a 227-foot deep pit, with Chris and Brad Tipton.

A famous Walker County salamander at the bottom of the pit.
Flowing Stone

Attempting a photo of the pit, but didn’t bring the proper camera, so I got this so-so image.
Flowing Stone

04.18.2009

Ruddle Cave Dig
This is me entering Ruddle Cave to work on a digging lead.

Below is a photo of the resident cave rat, Chewy. At one point during the day, Chris was taking a nap and awoke to Chewy on his chest, looking straight at him! Chris was not happy to be surprised like that.
Ruddle Cave Dig

Ruddle Cave Dig
Removing rocks.

04.12.2009

041209 Assateague Island Chris Sunrise
Sunrise at Assateague Island National Seashore during a weekend adventure to the seashore.

041209 Assateague Island Sunrise Seagulls
Seagulls during sunrise.

04/12/09-(Assateague Island) Assateague Island National Seashore. (Nikki Fox)
An old road taken back by the sands.

Assateague Island National Seashore
A tiny jellyfish on the shore.

04/12/09-(Assateague Island) Assateague Island National Seashore. (Nikki Fox)
Chris takes a photo of a beached whale we found decomposing on the shore.

041209 Assateague Island240
A wild colt and her mamma.

Assateague Island National Seashore
Breaking down the tent.

03.28.2009

Sites Cave
A trip to Sites Cave with MUSGers. Here Jeremy Vandeventer climbs the 180-foot entrance pit. Trip report is below.

Sites Cave

Sites Cave


Sites Cave Trip Report
March 28, 2009

Trip Leaders: Chris Coates and Nikki Fox
Trip Attendees: Morgan Ward, Kelton Russenberger and Jeremy Vandeventer.

On Saturday morning, we all met in Harrisonburg, Va., before heading over the mountain into West Virginia. It was a nice, warm day and some bugs were already out. We arrived to the parking area, changed and waived to a man in the gray house across the street. Walking up to the cave, the stream crossing was very high due to all the rain the previous day and that morning. We were just happy it wasn’t raining our way up to the cave since rigging in the rain is the pits!

We rigged two ropes in the pit. We knew our 325-foot rope would reach the bottom. We also brought a new 200-foot rope with us to test out. We were not sure of the actual depth since every source out there (written or verbal) seems to be different. After three wraps around the tree, the 200 was lowered and rappelled to find out it was about 10 feet from the bottom.

Once we all got down, we took off our vertical gear to explore, take some photos and check out the bats. Some of the images I took using flash bulbs. Unfortunately, I think that the images taken in the entrance room, woke some of the bats.

There were some bats, a few in small clusters in the entrance room. I would say about 50 or so bats made up of pipistrelles, northerns (I think, but I’m no bat expert) and little browns. Walking to the right, there were many pips and northerns in the formations and helictites.

No sign of WNS at all. No dead bats, no erratic bats at the entrance. All is well!

On our way out, we took more photos as several people in our group wanted to bounce the pit. We counted 6 classic cave (the orange ones) and black with white speckles salamanders at the bottom of the pit. We were out of the cave after 8 hours. It was a great trip!