Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Spe•lunk•ing /spiˈləNGkiNG/ noun: the practice of hobby of exploring caves.

On our last day off, Casey and I took Odile's advice and explored a cave. The directions to it were somewhat vague - at the second, left turning bend on this road you can find it... - and we weren't sure if were going to see anything, but then, out of no where, was a small hole digging into the earth.

I've never been spelunking before and this was pretty cool. When we first entered, we went straight in and met a wall pretty soon. We were pretty disappointed with the prospect that this was all it was. But we soon found a small opening that lead us deeper into the cave.

It was cool and wet inside, and didn't echo as well as one might think. Probably because it wasn't a very large cave. Some parts were tall enough for us to stand straight up, where other parts were just big enough that I could been on my hands and knees (although easier to army crawl). There were areas where we had to climb a little upwards to get to the next "room" and others where we dared to climb down. I guess I'm saying it was a diversified spelunking experience.

Dripping down on us the whole time were tiny drips of water, creating these stalactites. For spacial reference, these ranged from the size of a Chapstick tube to a wine bottle, all with cool, white tips of freshly deposited minerals. They were so cool, at least to an inexperienced cave explorer, and I wouldn't help but hold up our progress and try to get some decent shots of them in the dark.

From an event I went to at Coachella, I got this bright, little light made by Jansport, that came in very handy. It's about the size of a quarter in diameter and was easy to stick anywhere to get some light on things. I used it in this photo, which might look like an entrance to the cave, but is actually a close up of some small stalactites.

Here are some photos of us in the cave. They can give you a sense of how big things were.

All in all, were probably in there for about an hour. Not too long, but long enough to acclimate to our environment. At one point, we turned off our lights to see the darkness (now that's a deep thought - see the darkness). It was so strange to not be able to see anything. I felt as though I kept opening my eyes bigger and bigger to see something. But nothing visualized. Pretty cool stuff.

First spelunking experience accomplished and it was a lot of fun! Next time, I'm going to be sure to bring a head lamp, and maybe a helmet.


lex said...

Jon, So totally cool!!! That's pretty neat that a cave is available for exploration so close to your farm. Keep enjoying your time there! -Lex

celia said...

Jon, I like your new design. What a first spelunking experience and cool shots of you and Casey. It is so fun to share your experience via this blog.

Ryan said...

These shots are great! Gettin down and dirty!!