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Posts Tagged ‘extreme sport’

Puzzled? Not so for the experienced Ontario cave searcher

I whimped out!

I am at this time still barely able to walk. My excuse …

I am out of shape
Jeff is in shape
He walked too fast, I walked to slow
My backpack was too heavy
It was too hot, I missed my dog

Just plain failure of morale, in part based on the everfluctuating readings of a GPS in which I had little faith.

Anyway, those are some of my excuses, but on the bright side we finished the day with some hope and a plan for next time (About a month from now)

We had learned of a cave beneath the power lines and at the edge of a lake and so on this beautiful sunny day we headed up north to investigate. From pictures that another caver had shown me, there is a hole that drops through the rock down into a stream channel that runs through a rubble strewn – sometimes wet passage eventually ending up at the shores of the lake. (Ontario cavers may have seen Cornelie’s pictures. From what I understand the Niebelungen cavers made a visit here about 2 years ago)

We initially arrived where the power lines crossed the road and from the air photos, I had suspected there was only a small stream to cross and then 2 kilometers to the cave – not so, the beavers had set up obstacles since the air photo was taken and we had to approach from another route where the car was parked several kilometers away. We followed up rutted road that became a dirt track that eventually intercepted the power lines. Power lines are hell to follow; you wont get lost but its not easy walking. Jeff and I slogged along over rocky hillocks and through marsh. Again the beavers made the walking circuitous and exhausting. At times we teetered along the rim of muddy beaver ponds – beautiful in amongst the lillies and dragon flies if it were not for the beating sun, progressing headache and screaming legs.

By midafternoon I was utterly exhaused and I backed out before reaching the suspected cave location – not one of my more spectacular outings. It just seemed that the power lines marched on for ever (and they do) and the hills were getting higher and higher and my legs were getting less and less co-operative (and they were -stubborn like mules)

End result, a five hour drive back to Guelph, legs that I am still barely able to get functioning, and a plan to return with a rubber raft before winter and cut across the newly formed lake to take a great distance off the hike.

There are supposedly several other caves in this area and we are resolved to pay a visit to a couple of likely sites before the snow arrives.

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There is lots more to see

IMG_4684, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

I had been carefully picking my way through the dust and breakdown in the upper level of an obscure cave in Ontario’s marble. The marble forms in bands of especially pure white rock in this area; it is very hard and sharp – thus gloves, elbow and knee pads are essential for cave exploration.

I know of several areas in the shield that have significant potential – some discovered while cruising through the internet, others by looking on topo maps. This particular cave is already a cave that is somewhat known to the older members of Ontario’s caving community.

At the far end of this series of underground chambers I came across a huge embankment of mud from which grew strange elongated stalks – some kind of germination whereby seeds carried in by bats, rodents or the underlying river were deposited and in growing never finding the light but stretching upward into the darkness for nothing. For some reason, I found the tunnels a little depressing – sure they were interesting and where I stopped at the clay/mud embankment I set my lantern for greater light and progressed a short distance down a nearby incline toward the river that enlargened and carved all these fissures in the rock. I never really saw all there was to see of the system – I will return one day and make a better effort.

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