This is an interesting picture taken about 15 years ago. Sitting to the left Johnny Hitchcock holds my fluorescent tube and I painstakingly capture a long exposure in the cool dripping eternity of this cavity.
To the best of my knowledge this is the first passage that a human can enter in the St. Edmunds System. This exact space above is known as Museum Cave. By way of a crevice at the side of a farmer's field you can drop down into the system. A small cavern just beyond the entrance branches off into two other tunnels.
The first tunnel is a clay-choked tube that can be probed by energetic cavers. They will return when they find that the sticky goo meets the roof. It is a numbing crawl from which you emerge dripping in gobs of orange paste.
The second tunnel as pictured here follows along a joint. It runs more or less straight for several kilometres; the passage submersed for most of that distance. Divers had followed the underwater-pipe for a distance of 1.4 kilometres. It can be reached through the crevice in the floor (centre of the picture).
There is speculation in the caving community that somewhere on beyond the divers furthest exploration, the St. Edmunds main passage rises above the water table. Learned minds had come to this opinion in consideration of the fact that the rock strata tips gently upward toward the east. The water table is suspended behind the lip of this natural dam. Mysteriously the liquid that enters the main tunnel at its Museum Cave sink finally emerges beneath a lake at a much lower level.
Trapped as it is by the upward tilting strata the water table remains perched at some elevation. There is a transition somewhere underground where the water passes between the two levels and some suspect that there is an underground waterfall, frothing in utter darkness for the last 14000 years. Others imagine a chute or ramp where the transfer takes place.
Whatever the case, there are many such passages beneath Ontario's rock. The search that I have been doccumenting over the last few posts (The Massive Sink) might reveal some huge underground passage. In my book "Rockwatching; Adventures Above and Below Ontario" I write of many of the provinces buried landscapes. I explain how they form, why they form and where they form. With this knowledge explorers will be able to conduct their own searches (See the sidebar to the right to examine an "online" copy of my book).