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Posts Tagged ‘misadventure’

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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Kansas – where the wind always blows

P1020289, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

There is always a wind in Kansas. Wichita is said to be one of the worst places to fly into on a summer afternoon in tornado season. My boss told a funny story (not so funny for him) of one such experience that left a whole plane full of men screaming like babies. Pilot comes on the intercom – “WHOOEE, what-da-ya-think of that” Needless to say nobody was too impressed but the pilot seemed to be having a great time. Lesson is that if flying into Wichita in mid-summer, do so in the early morning.

Anyway, here is how the luggage issue ended up…

I finally reached the airport (by phone) and they explained that I should have filled out a lost luggage claim. I told them that I had done so with the only people that I could find. Apparently they were new employees and had not done it right so I was now screwed. I called back later in the day for a second opinion and was told that my luggage had arrived on the same plane and so I was now unable to have it delivered as that was against their policy. Point is, it wasn’t on the carosel – thats no good to me.

I finally retrieved my luggage as I was leaving on Friday morning – just in time to put the clothes that I had bought from Walmart into it, re-tag it and pop it on the plane for Atlanta (My transfer before Toronto).

On the goodside – everyone at Dodge was very helpful, had a good long talk with the lady at the front desk of the Holiday Inn who was excited by the impending arrival of the casino in Dodge – she likes “Texas holdem”, but admits that with the casino comes the crime and social problems also.

Picture is where I stayed – at the Holiday Inn Express. They serve a pretty decent breakfast and we watched news of the election with a room full of hunters (Turkey or pheasant I think). People were pretty polarized in their views according to their level of affluence.

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