November 13, 2013

Brian Hunsaker in Fredricksburg Cave
Thankfully the night before was a bit warmer so most of us bearing down in the cold weather were able to get a better nights sleep unless you were up with the rest of the moonlighters breaking down the liters of bourbon and burning the 10 bundles of fire we had purchased, than it might have been a bit more of a challenge waking up for the 930 briefing. Most of us broke down our campsites but some stayed back as we headed out to Fredricksburg to visit the beautiful water cave.
I previously talked to the landowner and he was very accommodating by allow us to park on his property and not have a limit on the parking spaces.  We geared up and walked single file down to the cave entrance where the 3 1/2 mile cave started.  
Entrance to Fredricksburg Cave
We Entered the cave and found the stoop walking stream passage that took us to the first Y intersection of the cave.  It seemed pretty straight forward but as we found out later on, we were in a section of the cave that we not intended to be in.  We continued to travel down the passage and the caves stream started dropping into a beautiful canyon passage cut by eons of water flow carving and manipulating the underground. This cave is beautiful, the water sculpted the rock into a sci fi like passage of sharp twisted rock and Erie jagged edges with every meander.

Fredricksburg cave indiana
We continue down the passage as we meandered through this sculpted terrain and eventually came up on a small water fall drop.  One by one, we filed into the water pools up to our waist gripping the sides of the wall at times and helping each other behind us realize where the potholes are. before they dropped into them.
Canyon passage Fredricksburg cave
We also came up to the siphon that appears to be taking water to the left but it was too tight to fit into yet I imagine that the water comes back around back into the stream passage.
Niffty Siphon Fredricksburg Cave
We Continued down the main passage and the terrain changed to a more mud filled room with one large formation I believe is named "herman". This formation was quite large and I believe the largest formation in the cave. We also noticed a mystery fish inside the cave believed to be a bluegill that came from the landowners pond that disappeared a few years. The fish must have been sucked down into the cave and now live in the darkness.
Bob Lippold and Heather McQueen in Fredricksburg Cave
We get to the waterfall room and scaled the breakdown pile to continue to the water passage but this is where we should have climbed up into the upper passage so we could make it to the echo lake room.
Brian Hunsaker and Phil Goldman in the breakdown waterfall room of Fredricksburg cave

We continued to follow the river and we got to the a passage with water that is up to our waist. The bottom was a boot sucking slippery mud filled floor, the kind that will snatch your boot away with the wrong step. I can hear some of the new cavers talking about the cold and the conditions so I was taking a mental note that our time in this cave will be limited.  We got the a gravel beach with two passages to choose from.  The group took a break and shortly after we started going down the left river passage.  I found myself on my hands and knees with a foot of water and three feet to the ceiling pushing to another gravel pile.  From the descriptions I have been given, this was not the way and people were starting to not like the direction we were going so we turned around.

We had another group check out the direction to lobster lane but they turned around and the group decided to exit the cave at that point.  I took my time leaving the cave so I was able to get some pictures of everyone and was able to assist anyone else that had some issues.  Everyone did fantastic and we never ran into any injuries or problems with the trip. 
Brian Hunsaker and Phil Goldman in the canyon passage of Fredricksburg Cave
I was able to get a couple snap shots of us before we left the cave and had some fun with the lighting shadows.
Brian Hunsaker, Phil Goldman, Adam haydock Fredricksburg Cave
I want to thank everyone that was involved in planning this trip as without your hard work and dedication to this cause, the trip would not have been as successful as it was.  I also want to thank the landowners for allowing us access to their beautiful caves, the trip leaders and seasoned cavers for helping out the new cavers as well as the new cavers for bringing that energy and excitement to experience something in the Midwest that most people never get to experience.  I hope to see everyone soon.
Heather McQueen, Laura Oliver, Sebastian Villreal, Bob Lippold, Molly Goldman, Adam Haydock, Andrea Bolks, Sara Hughes, Quentin Shaw, Jose Valdez, Allen Goodcave, Guender, Brian Hunsaker, Nellie Colon, Phil Goldman, Gary Nelson, Karlene Hanko, Hector Soriano at the entrance of Fredricksburg Cave Indiana.

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