Wednesday, March 14, 2007

[trip] Beaverhole Upper

Rather than suffer through another grotto meeting on a perfectly good Wednesday night, the WVU Student Grotto opted to go caving instead. Gayle Suppa, Jessica Powell, John Neubert, Tom Lilly, Chris Eleyette, John Harman, Kyle McMillan, and Dave Riggs met at 5:30pm and carpooled down into the North side of the Cheat Canyon. John Harman seemed disappointed that the old logging road didn't give his Jeep enough of a workout.

We had excellent weather, and thanks to the new daylight savings change, we had plenty of daylight. After gearing up and hiking a bit down the road, we snapped some obligatory photos and then headed into Beaverhole Upper Cave. Half the group decided to take the high-and-dry big upper passages, while the other half preferred the low-and-wet nasty sewer passage instead - to each his own, I suppose. After exploring the back half of the cave, our groups finally met back up in one of the larger junction rooms.

Making its debut on this trip was Kyle's new "cave radio", a low frequency wireless radio from the mining industry. This beast is the size of a full backpack, weighs probably 25lbs, and has a 4 foot long PVC antenna which needs to be carried with it. Several poor souls got volunteered to help carry this radio into the cave for its maiden broadcast. Unfortunately, we were never able to successfully carry a transmission from within the cave, and then Kyle made a "terminal adjustment" to the antenna, abruptly ending the experiment.

We headed back outside, collected a bag of trash from around the cave, and then climbed back up to the road. On our way back up, a sketchy-looking Jeep came down the road at us - Rich Finley and Jason Thomas had arrived just in time for dinner. Rich tried to impress us by doing a terrifying hill climb, but John one-upped him by doing the climb in reverse! We made it back to Morgantown by 10:30pm and had a pancake feast at IHOP. It was a very fun evening trip - much better than a grotto meeting!

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