Join your fellow cavers for an adventure-filled, memorable weekend trip to Sinking Cove. Although it is located in Tennessee near the Walls of Jericho, the only way to get to the cove is by coming from Alabama.
MEETUP Time @ 1st CARPOOL LOCATION 4:00 pm (CT): Steak N Shake parking lot in Antioch, off I-24 Bell Road Exit #59.
MEETUP Time @ 2nd CARPOOL LOCATION 4:35 pm (CT): Cracker Barrel parking lot in Murfreesboro, off I-24 Exit #81B.
EVENT DESCRIPTION: With over 30 caves on the property, there is no shortage of holes in the ground to explore. The largest is Sinking Cove cave, an underground river which drains the large, Farmer's Cove and the very deep Wolf Cove sinks located 1 mile up the valley. This cave has over 28,000 ft of passage and 9 entrances, 5 of them located right next to where we will be camping. The camping area is primitive but well maintained. It is a cleared area at the base of the cove next to the stream that flows from the cave. There are no utilities. There are plenty of trees around the edge to hang a clothesline, a hammock, or a slackline. The nearest store is 20 miles away.
AGENDA: Friday, travel to the cove and make camp. Sit around the fire and listen to a ghost story. Patrick might bring his ukulele and lead us is some Irish Folk songs.
[Sinking Cove campsite]
Saturday, we will explore Sinking Cove cave by hiking uphill to one of the upper entrances, entering the cave and following the stream through the cave to the lower entrance. We should emerge that early afternoon.
[One of the upper entrances to Sinking Cove cave]
Later in the afternoon, I will lead a vertical pull-down trip back through Sinking Cove cave going in the Boulder entrance located 450' higher up the hill. (A pull-down is where the rope is pulled down to the bottom of the drop after everyone has rappeled down. There is no way to get back up after you do this.) There are 5 rappel drops on this route - 23', 37', 53', 25', 23'. When you get to the bottom of the last drop, you follow the belly crawl route out 200' to the same lower entrance we came out earlier. In addition to regular caving gear, you will need vertical rappelling experience, a harness, a rappeling device, and gloves suitable for rappelling. You may want to bring a wetsuit or nylon tights for the crawl/paddle out (although you wont need to wear it until you get down the last rappel). Back at camp, we will eat, swap stories, count the stars (if the night sky is clear), and return to the nearby lower cave to have a look at the glowworms.
[Looking down the 53' drop in Sinking Cove]
Sunday, early morning people can hike the cove and visit some of the other caves. After we break camp and leave, those who are interested in doing another pull-down, we can stop at McBride's cave just as we get out of the cove. You will need a wetsuit for McBride's trip. The water will pour down on top of you.
[Tammy at the 2nd drop in McBride's cave]
There are 9 drops and the deepest is 90'. There is a long passage at the bottom leading to the lower entrance. Much of it is stooping or hands & knees crawling. If you are not doing the McBride's trip, your journey will lead you back up highway 56 through Sewanee. If you wish to visit, I recommend Buggytop, the Sewanee domain, or Grundy Forest State Natural area. Plan your carpool.
DIFFICULTY RATING: Strenuous to Difficult. This is NOT a walking tour. And there is NO paid tour guide. Advanced Beginners to Intermediate cavers/climbers who are in good physical shape should not have a problem here. Previous 'Wild Cave' experience with one of the listed Organizers is preferred.
DRIVE TIME : ~Approximately 2 hours from Murfreesboro carpool. The last mile of driving is off pavement, somewhat steeply downhill, and goes through a creek. You should plan to ride in a high clearance vehicle, although 4WD is not required. You can park right next to your campsite.
Required Items. Generic Standard Caving Gear List---the following may be modified or augmented by your Event Leader specific to the cave(s) requirements:
*Caving or Climbing Helmet (See Notes below for more info on helmets)
*Three sources of light (including your headlamp)
*Extra batteries for your main lights
*Hiking boots with aggressive tread
*Gloves and soft knee pads (other pads for shins and elbows recommended, but optional)
*Dress in synthetic clothing layers. Most people will walk in with two layers, and take off one after warming up. Cotton or even denim, when wet and muddy, will not keep you as dry and warm as synthetics.
*Small backpack, daypack, or "fanny" pack--to carry essentials such as snacks, water, batteries, etc.
*Trash bags to pack your dirty, wet post-cave clothing (there is a place to change clothes in the parking area). A towel to sit on for the ride home
A FUN attitude!!!
Please offer your carpool driver gas money; no less than $20 should be offered, depending on vehicle passenger count. Please check with your carpool driver. Gas prices are $3.59/gal as of this writing.
Please RSVP with integrity. If you've signed up, then learn you cannot attend, please change your RSVP to "No, Can't Go".
Meetup Meetup organizers/leaders are not guides. Expect the same risks and take the same precautions you would take if you were hiking alone. You are solely responsible for your own safety and well-being. By signing up for and/or attending this Meetup event, you acknowledge, understand, accept, and agree that hiking and other outdoor activities can be dangerous and can cause serious bodily injury and possibly death. The organizers of this group and current and former members can not be held responsible or liable in any way for the actions of any participant - including you - at any event. All attendees participate at an event at their own risk and are solely responsible for any damage to their property, and/or any injury to themselves or their guests. By signing up for this event, you affirm that you understand this disclaimer, and that you knowingly and voluntarily agree not to bring any type of claim arising out of or related to this Meetup event against the organizers of this Meetup group.
0 · June 19, 2014