MEETUP Time @ 1st CARPOOL LOCATION 7:45 am (CT): near Steak N Shake parking lot in Antioch, off I-24 Bell Road Exit #59.
MEETUP Time @ 2nd CARPOOL LOCATION 8:20 am (CT): Cracker Barrel parking lot in Murfreesboro, off I-24 Exit #81B.
HIKE DISTANCE : Our plan is to cover the classic sections and maybe some less traveled sections of the mapped cave system. Measuring your "hike" distance underground rock is an inexact science. Could be 3 to 5 miles?
DIFFICULTY RATING : Strenuous. This is NOT a walking tour. And there is NO paid tour guide. This trip is open to well-conditioned hiker/adventurer Cave Beginners who believe they are ready for 6 to 7 hours in a cave!
DRIVE TIME : 1 HR 45 MIN one way from the 2nd carpool. Directions to the cave site will be provided via email to the GO list, closer to the event date if required.
ACTIVITY TIME : Approximately 6-7 hours in the cave.
COST: $10 mandatory cash donation to provide to Southeastern Cave Conservancy which manages the Tumbling Rock Cave Preserve, unless you already have a SCCI membership.
STOP. Before signing up for this event, it is highly recommended that you read this entire page for your own safety and for the safety of others in the group.
This northeastern Alabama cave system has many jaw-dropping cave formations (speleothems) and is fun for Intermediate and Advanced cavers. Beyond those well known formations---Elephant's Feet, Chuck's Music Box, Totem Gallery, Inner Sanctum, etc---it's time to check out what is found in the shadows of lesser traveled areas and what lies beneath in the cave sewers.
Caving or Climbing Helmet (See Notes below for more info on helmets)
Two to 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!!!
Cash for the $10 entrance fee, and money for post-cave meal (you will work up a good hunger)
Map of Tumbling Rock Cave
Please offer your carpool driver no less than $15 to $20 gas money, vehicle usage, and driving services.
My estimation is that we will emerge from the cave between 4:30 and 5:00pm (CT). We will then get un-packed, change into cleaner clothes then, drive toward Scottsboro to grab group grub. Ruby Tuesday here is close.
It is reasonable to expect that you may not be back at the Murfreesboro carpool location until 8:00pm.
Please RSVP with integrity. If you've signed up, then learn you cannot attend, please change your RSVP to "No, Can't Go". Due to limited space, there are no Guests permitted. Guests should join the MTHG group, then sign up for the trip.
NOTES ON HELMETS:
if you do not have one, you can inquire with other members if they have one you can borrow or rent. There are no rentals and no free helmets available at the cave site. Appropriate helmets can be purchased at REI in Brentwood or online, or you can check out our Sponsor, Out 'N About Outfitters in Murfreesboro to get 20% off of your new helmet from their catalog.
Southeastern Cave Conservancy, there is a $10 mandatory cash donation to provide at the cave parking lot. http://www.scci.org/Preserves/tumblingrock/tumblingrock.html