Originally uploaded by Mic2006.
You would almost expect gollum to come flapping around the corner. My son, about the size of a hobbit back then, would have been left to deal with him as I bolted for the surface – an exercise in character building. Actually, this picture was taken about 13 years ago when Joshua was still young. We had visited Dewdney’s and spent the day beneath the ground exploring its many pristine tube-like passages. The local rock is amazingly white and clean.
Dewdney’s is a classic cave, well known to Ontario cavers. it is one of the better examples of an northern cave along the edge of the Canadian shield. Marcus Buck theorized that the tunnels had formed more rapidly than one might normally expect because of the effect of the especially acidic water on the exposed Ordovician age limestone. In Ontario it is largely limestone of this age that is exposed at the edge of the Canadian Shield.
The cave had developed beneath a plateau that is surrounded by swamp. It is for this reason that a visit is best done with a liberal dose of bug juice (mosquitoe repellant). A number of streams pass under this limestone table and because the water table has varied quite drastically over the last several hundred years, the tunnels though once suspected to have formed entirely beneath the water table have now taken on a flat bottomed – keyhole shape. The industrious beaver, a scrouge of the local farmland has had a significant effect on this land drainage war. No sooner do locals empty the swamp than those dastardly critters sneak in again and begin their damming activities.
The Toronto Cave Group (TCG) have arranged for a trip to Dewdney’s this month under the very excellent guidance of that most capable caver – Lori Nichols. By all accounts the trips that she leads are very enjoyable. She conducts the outing with a view to the capabilities and enjoyment of all. There are a great many “newbies” (new cavers) registered for that outing. They are in for an exciting day!