Jeanna Tennyson, myself, Jeremy King and Paul Woods were the second of two survey teams that entered the cave. Having the rope rigged straight down the middle of the dug shaft, I learned that should not sling anything over your shoulder, but should have it hanging beneath you while on rope.

We were all soon on bottom, sopping wet from the ribbling spray that cascades down the walls of the shaft. We only went a couple of hundred feet from the entrance before beginning our survey of the upstream Thunder River Passage.

This began off the T-Junction as a 30 ft. tall wildly meandering canyon, 12-20 ft. wide on the bottom and somewhat wider up high. The floor was commonly bare limestone under 2-3 ft. of water. Mud is on every surface above the water line, laid there by the occasional mega flood that must back up from far down the main river passage.

Formations occured throughout the passage, but were usually just vague shadows way up high, one fine example of a Showerhead formation occured about 500 ft. upstream; where water was streaming out from the center of a large conical drapery feature, growing from the inside out it seems. Too bad I had gotten so wet coming in, a cloud of fog was following me everywhere I went, and sure wouldn’t have helped me to take pictures!

We mapped about 1100 ft. before the cold got to us, it was easy going stuff, not much detail in a water-floored canyon that barely even had ledges worth noting. The crossections were interesting however, and show more about the passage than the plan does.

Ours’ was a short trip, Jeanna’s and mine’s first. Much to Paul and Jeremy’s disappointment, once we finished surveying, we just wanted to leave.

In short, we came, we surveyed, we got the hell out while the sun was still warm! The dinner that evening was quite tasty and very filling.

Carroll Cave Survey Trip: Oct. 5, 2002

by: Rodney Tennyson