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

Monday, April 14, 2014

Double Header

What started as a day I didn't even want to get up for, turned into a fun filled and exhausting exploit in southern Minnesota. When the alarm on my watch went off at 6:50 am I thought of every excuse during the next ten minutes of why I should just stay there until the second one went off at 7. Based on the forecast from the night before and a quick glance out the window I knew it was not going to be a sunny, warm "bluebird day". There were two events going on that day, both of which I really wanted to participate in....I just wanted it to be nice outside.  During that ten minutes of indecision I also pieced together a plan in which I would be able to do both....now I just had to drag my ass out of bed, get a bunch of gear together, and be on the road soon. I was able to do just that, and by 7:47 am I was ready and out the door for a gravel bike race in Miesville and a caving trip leaving out of Lake City.
The standard gravel grinder pre-race meeting...stand on car,truck or SUV, tell people not to do anything stupid and have fun.   This was really great race ....I'm sorry I could not stick around or thank the promoter.    Thanks for a fun race and your hard work.

Chuker and G$      1st and 4th     

I was treated to a wonderful tailwind when my route split from the main pack....unfortunately it was short lived and I would battle the wind for a most of the ride back to Miesville

Beautiful scenery portion of the course when I dropped down to the Cannon River near Miesville Ravine Park.....have to ride this section again 
  The Miesville Grinder started at 9am sharp...and he meant it !  I had less than 10 minutes to spare when I got there, I was dressed and on the bike when the racer meeting was called. The Miesville Grinder was a short one by gravel standards at 56 miles. I thought it was the perfect length when I signed up over a month ago and was even more happy when the night before I discovered there was a 40 mile option that would go perfectly with my time frame. Based on Google maps it was 36 minutes from Miesville to Lake City. That meant I would have to be back to my van by 11:30 am and be motoring if I wanted to meet my caving friends before they rolled out of Kwik Trip at 12:15 pm to the cave entrance. I had an excellent time on the 40 mile route. I rode with the lead pack until mile 17 ++ when my route veered the opposite direction and I was by myself to the end. I made it back to the van at 11:26 am with four minutes to spare.....heck yeah, was going caving now for sure.
The approach to the mouth of the cave is down in a very rugged wash. 

Before going in.....CLEAN 

most of the passage is small with very few places to fully stand up .....cave has about 1000 feet of passage ...I think 

Randy coming out of  a small passage from below into the Funnel room

Yes ...much of it was this tight...most of Tim's body fills this passage...he is skinny so it's no problem
 At 12:10 pm I rolled into the Kwik Trip and a few minutes later we were off to Hiawatha Caverns in Wabasha County. Our group numbering 6, spent the next 4 hours in the cave squeezing through the many tight passages and doing our best to avoid the raccoon and coyote shit as well as many bones and skulls from said animals. The cave was a lot of fun despite the resemblance to a wild animal toilet. There were not too many features (pretties) or living parts (speleothems) of the cave, but the tight crawls which required some exhaling to move through were fun.  Honestly I can't tell you why this was fun, in the past these really tight caves kind of freak me out when I get stuck. huh? We exited the cave around 5:30 pm from there I made one more stop at Kwik Trip to THOROUGHLY wash my hands and grab a snack before hightailing it home.
One of the few "live" sections of the cave....I know it's not much, but we were all geeking out to see it

Long section of live cave....by live, I mean it's growing

Not too much water in the cave 

soda straws

This old cart has been in there for who knows how long (40's 50's ? )when the cave was being dug out in the hopes to commercialize it. That obviously didn't happen and remains here to this day
           

1 comment:

  1. We need to do a fall trip to Western NC/East TN so I can take you into some of those caves...... and we can shred mountain bikes in Pisgah.

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