By Adam Scherer and Bill Walker
On Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4, 2006, Bill and Caitlyn Walker, Corey Bressalier, and Adam Scherer drove up from Florida to Pupfest IV. What an awesome time! Pupfest is a relatively small event put on by Mudpuppy and the rest of the Sewanee Mountain Grotto. After a late start on Friday night we all drove up in Bill’s X-terra and arrived early Saturday morning. Bill drove all night and was still up for caving on Saturday morning while Corey and Adam got some much needed sleep.
Bill and Caitlyn went with Mudpuppy, Bonnie, Nick, Angela, and Boll Weevil to the new “ladder cave.” On the way to the cave, 11 year old Caitlyn was asked if she had been caving before. She replied, “Yeah, I went to my first cave when I was like 3. It was a 30 foot pit…” After hiking down the mountain, we checked out some of the lesser caves in the area before hitting the
“ladder cave.” This cave has some neat pretties in it – flow stone and loose popcorn. The cave has some tricky traverses like a giant step over a 30′ chasm. Caitlyn was a little hesitant, but she was in the company of some very experienced cavers that helped her through the tricky spots.
Bill and Caitlyn arrived back at camp around 2pm to find Adam still sleeping! After waking him up, we all drove back to Kimball for some Mexican at “Los 3 Amigos” which, in our opinion was just average Mexican, but the colors are really vibrant! After lunch we went to the fireworks store near Signal Light Pit. Caitlyn and Corey went wild in the store, buying all manner of pyrotechnics. Corey came out with a big brown bag full of fireworks and I’ve never seen him so excited! We hiked up to the pit and Adam and Corey bounced the pit a couple times before we all headed back to camp
at Maureen’s. However, while we were up on the mountain two trains came by and were stopped on the tracks. This made for
an interesting train hop, especially for the fearless Caitlyn. We enjoyed the nice fire back at camp and mingled with old friends and a few new ones. Corey even ran into his old roommate from Gainesville who isn’t even a caver. He just happened to be there for the party!
Adam and Corey got up early Sunday morning for a trip to The Levels, led by the Pupster himself. The Levels is a typical cold and wet stream crawl that opens up into a really nice canyon filled with lots of goodies. There are also a couple of small drops at the entrance to the scenic sink.
While Adam and Corey were caving, Bill and Caitlyn went to Waterworks to join in on the cleanup. When they got there, the cleanup was already complete! Sewanee Mountain Grotto is becoming very efficient in their cleanup skills. Bill showed Caitlyn the sink and the cave entrance, but because they didn’t have vertical gear, they couldn’t go in the cave. Fortunately Anne Grindle was leading a trip into nearby White Cricket Cave, so they hooked up with her and Dave from Tennessee. White Cricket is a stream cave with a few rooms and some interesting side passage. The most notable feature of the cave is the white crickets – actual cave crickets encrusted in calcite. Thanks Anne for getting us underground and showing us this neat cave.
Everyone meet up back at Maureen’s and into town we went to Wally World to pick up some provisions. Adam made an interesting observation that, in the last year, he’s been to the Wal-Mart in Kimball more times than the Wal-Mart in Gainesville! On the way back we made a short stop at Cedar Ridge Crystal Cave. We had the key and were driving right passed it, so we had to take an opportunity to pop in (in our shorts and sandals!) We hurried back up to the mountain anticipating the Sunday night feast. When we say feast, we mean feast! Everything
imaginable was served, complete with venison and pie made from wild Maine blueberries. Afterwords mudpuppy and Maureen did a great job as auctioneers for the grotto auction. Corey scored big, getting over 120′ of new PMI rope for only $26.00!!! Way to go! Everyone enjoyed the Sunday night festivities and the event as a whole, and we’re all looking forward to next year.
- Early Saturday morning
- Adam setting up his hammock
- Caitlyn setting up camp
- The field early Saturday
- Pup’s dog Spot and Jason’s dog Molly
- Corey and his long lost roommate and his old roommates friend
Pup’s Ladder Cave
- Caitlyn in the entrance of a small nearby cave
- Caitlyn, Nick, Angela, Boll Weevil, Bonnie, and Mudpuppy
- Formations in Pup’s Ladder Cave
- Caitlyn near formations
- Caitlyn climbing down the first ladder
- Mudpuppy climbs while Boll Weevil watches from above
- Caitlyn and Mudpuppy pose for
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a pic after her climb
Signal Light Pit
- Caitlyn and Corey at the fireworks store
- The “Fashionable Caver” and the “Delicate Caver” pose near the entrance to Signal Light Pit
- Adam and Corey rig the pit
- Adam drops the pit
- Adam drops the pit
- Adam climbs out of Signal Light Pit
- Caitlyn displays the drop pops we threw at Corey as he rappelled
- Bill shows off the biceps “Uncle Rico” style
- Caitlyn hops the freight train
- Corey, Caitlyn, and Bill pose with the train
- Adam and mudpuppy at the entrance to The Levels
- Adam in The Levels
- Adam takes a self portrait and amazingly frames Corey in the shot too
- Corey in The Levels
- Mudpuppy climbing out of The Levels
Waterworks and White Cricket Cave
- Caitlyn in the Waterworks sinkhole
- Caitlyn in the Waterworks sinkhole
- Caitlyn takes a shower in the waterfall
- One of the white crickets
- The same cricket from the opposite perspective
- Caitlyn posing
- Caitlyn in the stream passage
- Caitlyn again
Cedar Ridge Crystal
- Cheech and Chong
- Caitlyn Walker, Corey Bressalier, and Adam Scherer
- Random formations