Trip report by Rick Hines

Carroll Cave, Shelter House, May 23-24, 2023

Crew: Rick Hines, Bernhard Arnold, Jeff Bowman, Marty Griffin, Jim Cooley, Tristin Whetstine, Peter Schnegelberger

As Bernard and I were approaching Camdenton I got a call from Jeff asking if I had lawnmower gas. I did not so Jeff said he would take care of it. As we pulled up to the gate to the campground Jeff was behind us. Arriving at the campground I found we already had a full crew plus one. In addition to Jeff, Jim, and Marty who I was expecting I found Tristan. Later in the day I got another pleasant surprise when Peter called to say he would be there that evening with about 140 bricks and would stay overnight to work on the 24th.

Everyone pitched in to help me unload my truck, that was loaded with almost every tool I own, and seven panes of glass tied to a specially built rack.

Our goal for the next two days was to install the ridge cap, plug old screw holes in the metal roof, install glass in the four windows, and get as much wiring done as possible including a RV hook-up. The knee-high grass added one more task to the list. Jeff, using a safety line got the ridge cap on while Marty filled all the holes in the roof he could see from the inside. Jeff got the mower running and started cutting the tall grass. Marty and Bernard also did their share of cutting. We picked a spot for the new breaker panel in the corner nearest the power pole. While Jim was installing the breaker panel, I took measurements for the conduit and lead-in wire to run from the pole to our new breaker panel. While the crew got started cleaning glass, running wire for outlets and lights, and cutting trim to hold the glass panels in the window openings I made the first of three trips into High Brothers in Camdenton to purchase lead-in wire and conduit and fittings. When I returned, I found Tristan had completed the trench between the power pole and our new breaker location. Soon we had the conduit connected to the breaker box on the pole and started pulling the heavy wire as we glued together sections of the new conduit.

High Brothers closes at 5 and we needed a few more supplies so we took a dinner break and headed to High Brothers and then on for a Mexican dinner. Back at camp we were able to get in a few more hours of work and by the end of the first day we had lights and power outlets in the shelter house! While we were in town Peter arrived with the bricks he had promised and helped us work that night and Wednesday. Tristan only had one day off work, so he had to return to Kansas City.

We got an early start on Wednesday and after breakfast and coffee we continued installing lights and outlets. We also installed two new lights in the silo replacing the very dim old LED bulbs and let Peter take a look down the 120-foot shaft to Carroll. He wants to come back and see the cave.

Started packing fairly early Wednesday afternoon and everyone pitched in to help load my truck. Bernard and I made it home before dark.

Thanks to the hard-working crew we got a lot done in two days, got some exercise, and had fun. There’s more to do so I’ll soon schedule another trip. Hope you can join us for the next one! We’ll continue with wiring and start installing the board and batten outside siding.

Rick Hines