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

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Caveman

Yay, it's April and it's snowing out
Everyone has an image of what a cave man might look like. Dirty, hair covered body, maybe a loin cloth, definitely a sloping forehead, and carrying a club of some sort, are a few images that come to my mind. The cave men that went on a little adventure this weekend might have some of these same qualities, but rode bikes. We also possessed fire, fancy high tech clothing, and food from the local grocery store.
Nichole Simpson entrenching tool, check


I love riding wet gravel 
A couple years ago a friend of mine showed me several small caves not terribly far from my house. One of them has a room just big enough to fit several people comfortably. From that first trip I began crafting an adventure in which a small group would be able to ride bikes packed with minimal gear and spend the night in the cave. 
Young Tim

O Neil in da house

A.F. in da house along with O Neil
I knew it would have to be in the spring or fall, when at night it would be warmer in the cave than outside. There is really no point in staying there in the summer when it's cold inside, relative to the outside temperature, and the middle of winter might wake up hibernating bats causing them to die. I missed my opportunity for this trip last fall mostly because I was having so much fun doing other things. This spring I made it a point to follow through before time got away from me. So on Friday night me and three other cavemen ventured out on our bikes in search of a unique overnight camp-out inside a cave.
caveman fire goooood

Inside the cave, young Tim checking for raccoons down a side passage
Mother Nature was not on our side Friday afternoon. It was snowing, sleeting, raining and the ground was completely wet by about 4 pm. Our scheduled departure was set at 5:30 giving the snow a chance to actually pile up a little before we left. A text message from each of the three other individuals had subtle undertones of bail-out. My reply to each was simply game on! Schedules are so tight with everyone, and I was amazed I could actually convince others to join in on this trip there was no way I wanted to quit. Besides that, it would truly make the cave a legitimate shelter, all we had to do was get there.
AF setting up in a smaller one man space

three of us fit in this larger space on that blue tarp
I was surprised to see everyone at our departure point not even bat an eye at the falling snow/sleet mixture. Instead we all had smiles and an upbeat attitude about the challenge that lay before us. Once we got underway it wasn't  long before the precip stopped falling and all we had to contend with were wet roads and a wet bottom. Once at our destination we stashed the bikes and scurried to a nice overhang near our "sleeping cave" and made dinner. Dinner lasted until dark, at which time we started cooling down and made a small fire. The fire was great and really set the tone for the whole caveman vibe.
Jesus candle burned all night long, a night-light of sorts

My rig
A couple hours by the fire and it was time for bed. We buried the fire, made our way to the cave, and began setting up camp. With no need for a tent, a tarp was our best friend at keeping clean and staying separated from the bugs crawling about. I lit the place up with a bunch of tea lights and a Jesus candle I picked up while perusing the Mexican food isle at the grocery store looking for something good to eat just hours before the trip. The candles were awesome, aside from the dirt, the bugs, the bat shit, the raccoon shit, and a semi foul odor, it looked like a romantic scene from a movie. I was not about to get romantic with my fellow cavemen and was soon off to sleep with the peaceful sounds of a squeaking bat and fluttering wings.
Found this old cemetery on the way home

the sun is almost out
Morning came with the beeping of my watch alarm. In an area void of sunlight this was the best way to alert us to the return of the sun. I made a quick oatmeal breakfast and we were out. The ride back was pleasant and dry, made perfect by a strong tailwind. It was an excellent over-nighter with good friends and one I wouldn't mind repeating in the fall.  Let me know if your interested...
OMW

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