This cave has a very long and interesting history. It was used by native Americans before the white settlers arrived in this area. Then during the Civil War the cave was mined for a brief period for salt peter, which is used in the production of gunpowder. After the mining period a Southern soldier hid in the cave for several years. He had fought for a year or so, returned home and found that he could not return to service. He lived in the cave in order to remain hidden and had food brought to him by family members. My late grandfather told me that the soldier had written about himself on the cave walls, including how he had killed a Northern soldier. The cave has many passages, levels, and drop offs where a person could fall two or three stories. The cave is said to return to the surface at another area, but i haven't found that tunnel yet. It also contains wooden walkways over uneven terrain and wooden ladders. I felt as these wooden structures were unsafe due to their advanced age and we would avoid using any of them, taking the longer way around obstacles.
We agreed to meet at WalMart at 8am. Members present were Robin, Georgia, and Alan. The weather was cold and wet. It had rained off and on most of the day before and while we sat in our vehicles discussing the day ahead it was still drizzling. The weather didn't concern us since we knew the interior of the cave was a fairly constant temperature and that it would take a while for the rain water to seep through the dirt and rock into the cave. We drove for an hour or so and parked on the side of the road. We checked over our equipment and then started the hike to the cave's entrance. We had brought two good flashlights with extra batteries for each person, two coils of new rope, snap lights which last about 12 hours to mark our trail, water for each person, and a healthy dose of safety awareness. I shouldered my pack and started up the trail. The cave is completely hidden from view if you are on the road and there are no signs or indications of where it might be. We hiked for ten or fifteen minutes, came around a turn in the woods to find the large and impressive entrance. Robin summed it up by simply saying "wow".
We decended into the large opening. I went first almost slipping once. After reaching a flat floor in the first room I turned back to see Robin and Georgia making their way into the cave. Robin passed an old and broken rope left behind by others and joked "is that your rope we'll be using Alan?" We took a long look around. There was evidence of at least two old campfires at the large entrance. We started to pull out our flashlights and snaplights. We went ahead and activated the snap lights and were ready to place them on our trail to use as markers. Having been in the cave before I knew that there would be many side tunnels on each side. We started walking inside placing a snap light every 40 yards or so. We noticed that even though it had rained steadily outside the floors and walls were dry except for an occasional drip on a formation. We stopped occasionally to discuss the many strange formations of the cave. We also made sure to bypass and of the old wooden boards and logs, many of which looked acient and unsafe. We passed nurmorous crossroads until we came to one where if you went left you would have to slide about 15 feet on your butt and then go down a very old wooden ladder for about 10 to 12 feet to a different level or if you went slightly right you would cross over a sort of rock formation like a bridge and go up. I couldn't help but think of the underground scenes from the first Lord of the Rings movies when we approached the bridge. Having taken the ladder path several times when I was younger I knew that it led to many more passages at deeper levels, but since we hadn't brought our own rope ladder we decided if was safest to go to the right. we climbed and walked for a ways taking many photos until we reached a point where if you continued you would drop at least thirty feet. We could see names and dates on the walls of this room, the earliest I saw was 1910. We decided to sit, cut the lights off and listen. We sat for a while in the dark hearing only the occasional drip from a stalagtight. We decided to explore some more and traced our way back to the cross roads mentioned earlier. This time we noticed a new path to the left of the ladder path and took it. As so many do, this path wound around in a complete circle bringing us back to the crossroad. We then retraced our path about 30 yards towards the entrance and took anothe side tunnel. This one had many unusual formations and a natural bench seat. We again turned off all of the lights and quietly listened. After a while we made our way back to the main tunnel and turned to make our way back to the entrance picking up any snap lights we had placed as trail markers. We were already discussing plans to return for another investigation at some point in the summer. We packed up the equipment and started the climb out. The first thing we noticed was the bright sunshine as we came out. The rain had passed it was noticably warmer. After we returned home we found that we had no evidence of anything paranormal, but we did have memories of an adventure.