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

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sleep Under 2013

Getting ready, pre-meeting
 The Sleep Under is an annual caving event held at Crystal Cave, in Spring Valley Wisconsin. It goes the whole weekend with free camping and caving , socializing and a bonfire. We were not able to make the camp-out but Super Y, G Man, and myself were able to get under ground for the first day of the event.
Eric McMaster leading us to the wild part of the cave through the commercial tour entrance 

Let the crawling begin
 The cave is under new ownership this year, a husband/wife team the Mc Masters, and we are fortunate they still allow the local grottos access to their commercial cave.  While it's not a long cave it was fun and relatively close to home. The routes we use are off the commercial tour so there is no conflict with paying costumers.This was also a chance for Super Y to get in some real caving complete with lots of crawling.
Checking the map

One of the large rooms
 The first trip out for the day was a door-to-door. We went in on the commercial side and exited out a different cave system called Tree Fork. Nearly all of the door-to-door route was belly crawling broken up by several large rooms big enough to sit-up in and take a break. We were in the cave about two and a half hours before exiting into a large ravine with many other cave entrances.
This is what cavers look like

More crawling and nearing the exit. The track thingys on the ground were put in by the people digging so they could move the dirt out easier on carts 
   After the door-to-door we did  a quick tour of Fuzzy Critter Cave and called it a day. A year and a half ago we toured all the caves in the ravine so we opted to skip them this time. If you are interested in a cave tour of your own the Wisconsin Grotto in conjunction with Crystal Cave is hosting the Hodag Hunt in the fall. It only costs 18$ for a family to join the club for a year and is the only requirement other than a helmet, headlamp, and old clothing. For a walking tour of the really pretty stuff, the Mc Masters and their friendly staff will be glad to host you, your family, or group for a nominal fee. Check them out at Crystal Cave
The exit

Entrance to Fuzzy Critter
Please Note: it's possible I have Tree Fork and Fuzzy Critter miss named and will correct it ASAP

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