Category | Events

2013 TAG Trip

Posted on 18 November 2013 by phil

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Having fun in Tumbling Rock. (Picture by Marrisa Lasso)

October 11-13, 2013

If you are a caver, one of the biggest events to look forward to every year is the annual trip to the “TAG Fall Cavein”, held in early October. There are other trips to the Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia (TAG) area during the year, but the annual TAG Fall Cavein is always special. Georgia’s Dogwood City Grotto hosts the largest get-together of cavers in the world. There are fantastic facilities, vendors with discounts on all sorts of gear, food, a great band, a raffle, a climbing contest, 5K monkey-butt run, activities for kids such as movies and a playground, and one of the most spectacular bonfires ever seen. Adding to the fun, Bill Birdsall and Jon Singley mysteriously appear every year. If none of that gets you excited than there are also CAVES. Lots of caves. This area has the highest concentration of caves anywhere in the United States. There are horizontal caves that one can actually walk through (which is nice for Florida cavers). There are vertical caves. There are formations large and small. There are dry caves, wet caves, small caves, and large caves. There are caves to fit everyone’s skill level and desire.

This year the FSS had 14 participants that made the trip.

Every year this event gets better, we can hardly wait until next year. Some of the caves visited were Big Mouth, Buckets of Blood, Tate, Jess Elliot, Horse-Skull, Jacks, High-Hole, Rusty’s, and Tumbling Rock. This year was the best ever, but we already have plans to go back next year to see if this year can be topped.

Hiking up Fox Mountain to Rusty's Cave.

Hiking up Fox Mountain

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to Rusty’s Cave.

Rusty's Cave is named after Rusty Mills, who discovered the cave but never entered it. He died while performing a rescue at the Howard's Waterfall Disaster. This is the plaque that honors him at the entrance.

Rusty’s Cave is named after Rusty Mills, who discovered the cave but never entered it. He died while performing a rescue at the Howard’s Waterfall Disaster. This is the plaque that honors him at the entrance.

Bill getting ready to make the drop.

Bill getting ready to make the drop.

Steve on standby

Steve on standby.

Chistin geared up and ready to go.

Christian geared up and ready to go.

Christin sees light at the end of the tunnel.

Christian sees light at the end of the tunnel.

Steve looking at all the beautiful formations.

Steve looking at all the beautiful formations.

Watch your head if strolling through the pretties.

Watch your head if strolling through the pretties.

Christin in the underground.

Christian in the underground.

Steve and Bill.

Steve and Bill.

Phil sees daylight. (It is rare to actually have a picture of the photographer). The photographer also did not bring a camera, so pictures were taken on a cell phone.

Phil sees daylight. (It is rare to actually have a picture of the photographer).

The massive entrance of Jess Elliot Cave. (Photo by Marrisa Lasso)

The massive entrance of Jess Elliot Cave.
(Photo by Marrisa Lasso)

Taking an underground stroll.

Taking an underground stroll.

Looking at some of the formations in the back of the cave

Looking at some of the formations in the back of the cave

Looking closely, you can see helictites on this formation.

Looking closely, you can see helictites on this formation.

Petroglyphs from a long time ago.

Petroglyphs from a long time ago.

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Tony looking at the conglomerate ceiling

Tony takes a nap while Kattie keeps guard

Tony takes a nap while Katie keeps guard.

The one armed crayfish.

The one armed crayfish.

Entrance to Tate Cave

Entrance to Tate Cave.

This is a fantastic gingerbread house that was made for the SSCi raffle

This is a fantastic gingerbread house that was made for the SSCi raffle

Fire away.

Fire away.

Mike and Kitty enjoying the evening.

Mike and Kitty enjoying the evening.

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The morning after.

 

Story and photos by Philip Walker