Trip date: 9/13/2009
Project manager: Mike Hartley
Trip purpose: Cleaning and Photo doc
Areas of Cave visited: Upstream Thunder
Trip participants: Terry Sherman, Zach Copeland, and Brian Goettner
Entry Time: 12:00
Exit Time: 9:00
The trip report: We had four members go on this resto trip. Terry Sherman, Zach Copeland, a newer member Brian Goettner and myself, Jamie Euliss. One other person who had planned on attending was not able to make it at the last minute due to unscheduled work on Sunday. Still, we had a good working group.
We decided to clean and do some photo documentation down around the water barrier area. There was one question I had, and that was the pack sprayers and brushes? I knew the last place I had seen them was at the entrance area, but wasn’t sure if they had been moved anywhere. We stopped at wall-mart on the way down to by some scrub brushes and a few items just to make sure we would have what we needed when we got there.
We arrived a little later than planned. I guess we were all on cave time. After checking everyone’s gear and suits to make sure there were not any alien particles or spores from any other caves we started to gear up. The first man in the whole was at noon. Everything went smooth on our way in. After getting in the whole, the first thing I checked on was the sprayers and cleaning supplies. One of the two pack sprayers would not seal to hold pressure. I’m sure this could be fixed quickly above ground. The other, after messing with it a bit, was working but not as powerful as I remembered. Brushes and supplies were still there, but we left the ones we purchased, after using, with the others.
After getting everything we would need to use, we headed off to do some resto. Upon arrival at the area just before the water barrier we snapped some pictures of the formations we had worked hard on before. This could be looked at for some compare and contrast of pics we took 4 or 5 years ago. Then, we worked on cleaning around old trails; trails that had been used along time ago, getting splashed mud and washing time off. We worked a little over two hours in the area and then decided to see some more of the cave.
With one newer member on our trip, we of coarse had to go check out Thunder Falls. The water seemed pretty low at that point. One of the lowest Terry and I had seen it, but of course was still pumping water. The group, having more time, energy and a want to see more, headed towards the Upper Thunder Passage.
Did not see too many cave fish at first, this had terry worried. As we got closer to the round room we had spotted a few. We stopped at the round room for a little water break and a quick peak around. By the way, there is a tuna package in there, still sealed, not sure who is setting up a kitchen in there? Nothing to worry about. After a quick drink, a chicken strip, and a talk we kept on, heading for the 2nd azure.
After a couple of jokingly, “how much farther,” we arrived upon the 2nd azure. We talked there, sharing different caving stories, and starred at the water for a few. Then decided we had done about all we had come to do. Looked at the clean water one more time, and it made me thirsty. So I had to take a drink of water before we hit the road back to the ladder.
I did think on this trip that I, honestly, didn’t notice much change or damage to the areas or trails on the way in and back, since the last time I had been in the upper thunder passage; Which had been just a little over three years. That is something I liked.
On the way out, we did notice more fish then on the way in. Terry was getting more relieved. I would say we might have totaled around 10 to 14 total. We went to the starting of convention hall and they were more abundant, just a little ways in. Then we turned around to keep heading out. We talked and thought they might be hiding out there to keep more out of the main.
We made it back to the ladder, and started to gear to go out. Everyone made it out without problems. All was good, safe trip and everyone felt like they had been caving that day. Me, I was hopeing the next day at work would be an easy one. I was the last one out of the hole, saying goodbye to Carroll. It was around 9:00.