The following is a true story, only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Super Tuesday

No, I'm not talking about the presidential primary that is known as Super Tuesday. I'm referring to the Tuesday I took off work to go paddling, biking, and caving. I can't take credit for this particular adventure, although the caving part was my idea. Steve called me early last week and informed me of a vacation day he had to use or lose, and would like to spend it kayaking. I was in, we just had to figure out a day that would work for both of us. Tuesday was the day. Also joining in was young Tim. Tim is a great guy and always up for fun. He is also single with no kids, which makes him the perfect person to invite since he has no one pulling the puppet strings. Tim met at my house before 7am, helped me load up gear, and rode to the hide-a-shuttle-bike in the woods, where we met our trip leader Steve. We were somewhere east of Farmington where we launched our boats into the Vermillion River. The river appeared much deeper than it actually is. Most of the time it's no deeper than a couple of feet.  Other times it was so shallow we had to get out and walk. There were also nine portages around log jams, which was kind of nice for getting out to stretch. We ended up with almost nine miles in the boat for 4++ hours.
       Next we headed back to the vans via bike shuttle. The gloomy clouds during the paddle gave way to bright sunshine and we were cruising through the town of Vermillion with a nice wind at our back. We stopped in town for a quick meal of tacos at a German restaurant. Yes, they were quite shitty, but filling just the same.
       Once back at the vans we geared up for the third and final leg of the day, Miles Cave. It's a short, smelly, very tight, cave in Hastings. The route is a door-to-door (in one hole, out another) with three very tight squeezes. If I had not been shown the route earlier this year, I would not even think of doing it. The first constriction requires an exhale holding your breath, and quick forward movement to pass through! It only takes a couple of these maneuvers to sneak by the first tight spot, but there are two more like this, and to top it off there is no way to turn around once your past this squeeze. It's the point of no return, the thought of trying this while moving backwards is a little scary.
      Back in the sunlit world above we did a little exploring. There is a large waterfall nearby, with nice, clean looking water. This is farm country and I'm sure it's filled with pig and cow shit as well as fertilizers and chemicals. I would not want to drink it or have open wounds touch it. This is purely speculation from past, witnessed, experience. Despite the possibility of harmful run off, if we had wet suits we would have been swimming.

Steve, showing the proper way to launch a kayak




One of nine portages



Walking on water



Tacos ahead


Squeeze !



Behind the falls
Thanks for the great times Steve and Tim. Lets get back out again soon!.........and anyone else for that matter  

2 comments:

  1. i had such a great time...we need to do that again.

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  2. WOW Thats my old stomping grounds...Cool very cool....No cave man for me use to do that as kids we would do that with only matches or a flash light we fingered from Mom and Dad...Nice..Next time stop for burgers In Vermillion not Tocos....

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