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Archive for November, 2010

JC in a crevice – cave – Niagara Escarpment

The big passage in Broken Rowboat Cave ends in a jumble of rock leading downward at one end and a sediment blockage at the other end. The big passage is met about midway along by a crawl tube from the outside and another tube leads off from it that is blowing cold air.

Its kind of funny in a way as there is a worn depression in the dirt that leads from the outside, down the entry tube, into the big passage, and then down the passage that is blowing air – the depression is likely trodden by some little cave dwelling animal (porcupine, raccoon). I saw no scat or other clues around – maybe its gnomes!!!

Anyway, as the cave is not so far below the surface and yet quite heavily marked by large scallops, I wonder if the sediment blocked end had once taken running water from the surface. There are many large soil filled grykes in the around there.

In the above picture JC is investigating crevices in the area. We are wondering if there are other entrances. The cave must go downward as because of the topography the tunnels can’t be too extensive at the level that we were exploring.

Downward would seem a likely possibility for several reasons – one is that at one end of the big passage there already is a rubbly pit in that direction, secondly, because water flows downward, thirdly, because the joints in this area are especially wide – so why not deep as well? And also because it would seem a logical route for the water to flow as there seems to be obstructions on the surface that might make it the most logical route to follow.

I suppose the tube that is blowing cold air will reveal to us whether our exploration will continue, or whether it will stop right there with the usual crushed expectations. I suppose we can’t complain, if every hill had a cave beneath it – well looking for caves wouldn’t be quite so rewarding.

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Main passage – broken boat cave, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

This is the more spacious passage that JC and I entered after the solution tube entry crawl into Broken Boat Cave. You will notice the roof is pretty flat – whether by wear or rock slippage, I can’t be sure at this time. The walls of this passage are marked by speleogens – large scallops as would be seen in other Ontario sea caves.

You are not so far beneath the ground here and there is one spot where you can see up a narrow crack to the surface.

Would anyone care to share the location of a cave (in Ontario) that they know about that is not a well traveled tourist cave? If so please complete the form below …






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way out – Broken Boat cave, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

This tunnel has a nice rounded pheratic shape that leads inward from the wave cut exterior of a low cliff face – in to the more spacious area that JC and I explored. As mentioned there is still exploration to be done and by the air blowing down one of the tubes we are optimistic that there is still some space beyond.

The thing about this cave that is really intriguing is that it exhibits features of multiple cave forms. As we discussed in a recent e-mail …

“In light of the placement of the lake, I wonder if this was the drainage conduit?

I envision a scenario where the lake was high, the joints in the rock were beneath the water table and the pheratic/rounded tunnel formed. As the lake level dropped, the lake behind continued draining along this passage, cutting a groove in the base of the tunnel. No doubt wave action would have played a part in the wave notch up front, but primarily this would have been a solution cave – following along crevices etc formed by the pull of glacial weight (like Mt. Nemo – but I guess Mt. Nemo does not show such obvious signs of pheratic development – it’s all crevice there) Difference is, there was no lake at Mt. Nemo to continue the wear process and alter pheratic passages (pheratic passages that may have formed along joints that had already pulled quite wide open) into vadose passages.

What do you think? Does this suggest other likely scenarios in every such lake placement? I see a cave here with wave cut features, solution features and crevice cave features – a cave that exhibits 3 distinct cave forms.

Then again I could be well off track;  we should scour the shores of the Broken Rowboat Lake and see if there are other possible tunnel entrances.

Are you up for next weekend? The leg is better.”

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Jeff in Broken Boat Cave, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

JC and I have recently found a cave in a relatively well traveled area. It looks like just a simple undercut that is easily discounted. At the time I was tired and waited while JC pushed it. Needless to say we were both pretty excited when he returned with pictures.

Admittedly the cave was blowing cold air quite strongly so that should have been a hint. We had intended to re-visit this weekend as there is a craw tube deeper in from which the cold air comes and for which neither of us had energy, but Maggie wants to go to Toronto so the exploration will have to wait (more details and pictures to come tonight).

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Priscilla Queen of the Desert – London – West End

As a movie Priscilla became a cult classic in Australia and the UK.

I’m not sure why, but Australians have this thing about ritzy performances in the roughest places – like ballroom dancing in a barn, or this documentary that I once saw of a black tie gala that was preceded by tuxedo’d men who were tearing around in dusty old pickups very drunk and cursing. Next morning it looked like there had been a battle with comatose Ozzies scattered across a torn up field amongst shreds of finery, bottles everywhere.

Priscilla became so much a part of Australian popular culture that in the closing ceremonies of the 2000 Olympic games, a bus with a stiletto atop drove around the Olympic stadium with numerous transvestites in tow.

Having enjoyed this incredible show in London, the cast came forward for their bow and Don Gallagher, the most serious of the characters (Bernadette) spoke about the need for charity and that profit from that week was being donated to some cause (I can’t remember what).

As we left we were were asked to contribute what we could to the cause. I pulled out my donation which was not large (considering the restricted cash flow issue), but I was prepared to drop it in the hat or whatever.

In following the crowd we suddenly found ourselves outside on the street in front of the poster and without an opportunity to contribute. I must admit, the show had been so fantastic and the appeal was so heartfelt that I was truly disappointed that we had somehow missed the opportunity to give.

Anyway, what you see behind Maggie are some of the main characters, the million dollar bus and the 3 angels – red hair spiked up high with the incredible voices.

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Priscilla; Queen of the Desert – Palace Theater – London

After the disaster with the Visa that didn’t work, our unbelievably generous relatives sprung for theater tickets for what they suggested “Mick needs to give a chance as its really quite good.” Looks like the tickets were 65 pounds apiece which put us on the floor near the front.

The nearest tube station was Leicester Square and emerging up the stairs we found ourselves in the noisy carnival of people, lights and entertainment that is London’s West End theater district. Everywhere there were booths that were selling half price tickets. The best prices were on matinees – things like Stomp, Chicago, Billy Elliot and yes – even Priscilla.

The theater itself – the Palace Theater – was built in the 1880s and when the freehold was purchased in 1983 by Andrew Lloyd Weber they removed the paint to discover incredible onyx and marble panels.

Priscilla is the name of the bus in which 3 entertainers travel across the outback, headed for Alice Springs to perform at a casino that is run by the wife of one of these colorful fellows. Actually the entertainers are transvestites – highly talented as dancers I might add. What makes it a musical is that they lip sync the Supremes. The actual musical begins with 3 angels – well sort of angels – dropping down from the ceiling, they have phenomenal voices and the level of sound grows to quite an overwhelming volume.

Priscilla somehow spins on stage, lights up as though by pixels as every square inch is possibly lit by a light bulb or some kind of illusion to make it appear that way. Half the bus is cut away and part of the drama takes place as they are driving and you see the inside of the bus in cross section – and of course there is that fantastic scene from the movie where one of these fellows is atop the bus (in this case sitting in the stiletto that is pictured above) with silk train blowing out behind. Moving from its position atop the bus the stiletto somehow slides right out over the audience.

One thought though, I can’t imagine why some people took their children – it is certainly not for the younger audience.

All in all, that was money well spent, it was very funny and high energy.  Maggie and I are considering going in Toronto some time within the next few weeks to see how the Canadian talent compares.

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Main chamber – Rover’s Cave, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

This is JC in the initial entry chamber of Rover’s Cave. You will notice the texture of the walls and what appears to be icing or molten candle wax running down over small hollow indentations that are known as scallops. The scallops are indicative of water action and are generally steeper on one direction than another.

Though this cave was cut by waves blasting in along a joint or bedding plane, it now sits high above the water line as the lake levels have dropped significantly over the last several thousand years.

This cave is what I would term a novice cave. The main passage is an easy walk, the only difficulty is in getting there. There are many interesting speleogens (features that have either been dissolved or worn into the rock by water action and the scenery is spectacular.

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