For my bachelor party, my friends and I went to Moaning Caverns for an adventure tour of a real cave. OK, so it's a little more G-rated than your average bachelor party, but we had a blast. Anything that starts with signing away your life has gotta be fun, right?
Four of us opted to rappel in through the cave's original entrance. Tony snapped these photos for us. Unfortunately, you can't really see just how large the room is. The rappel is 165 feet, and the room is large enough to hold the Statue of Liberty. Beneath the rappelling ropes are piles of bones of prehistoric people who fell (or were tossed) into the cave.
I went first.
Once we were on the floor of the main room, Joel (aka Larry) and Steve joined us for the crawling tour of the undeveloped area of the cave.
We descended a ladder and headed into the Black Hole. There were no more electric lights beyond the hole, except for those on our helmets.
There's lots of difficult crawling, sliding, slithering, and scrambling on the rest of the tour, so we don't have any pictures from that portion. Our guide, Bruce, has pictures of other groups on the same tour on his website.
We started at the Black Hole (N) and worked clockwise.
Fortunately for us, it was late in a dry summer, so the cave wasn't as muddy as usual, but it was a little wet, which made it hard to get traction on the rocks.
After emerging from the crawl (maybe two hours?), we were back on the floor of the main chamber. The only thing left to do was to climb sixteen flights of stairs back up to ground level. Despite the fact that caves are generally cool, we were hot and sweaty from the work out.
Afterwards, we cleaned up, enjoyed a nice dinner at the Willows Steakhouse in Jamestown, and then played poker all night. Of course, I was required to wear my new miner's helmet throughout the game. It wasn't until later I realize that they were all reading my cards in the reflector on the helmet light.