Warrens Cave is the longest dry cave in Florida, with over 4 miles of passage. As beautiful as Warrens Cave is, with ribbons of chert, karst canyons, and Miocence era fossils–it is also known for some of the longest and tightest squeezes that shred adventurers into exhausted hamburger. It was discovered years ago that one of these knurly passages, called the Red Streak, could actually be bypassed with a fair amount of digging. With renewed energy the Florida Speleological Society (FSS) went to work. The connection is very close but still has not broken through.
To celebrate this (almost) achievement, a party was held at the Warren Cave Preserve. The dampness really didn’t matter. Canopies were erected to keep things dry. Vince worked on some amazing pulled pork, drinks were pulled out from the cooler, and Bernice went to work on everything else. Some folks went to work on the bypass dig, some went to climb in the practice tree and played i the cave, and of course everyone sat and chatted with the legendary Bill Oldacre. Bill was fundamental in exploring Warrens Cave back in the late 1960’s, preserving the property with the Nature Conservancy in 1976, then having it donated to the National Speleological Society (NSS) in 1991. Bill has been the Steward of Warren Cave for the last 35 years.
A great time was had by all. Thanks to Vince, Les, Irv, and Erik, for putting all the energy and motivation into the bypass tunnel and making the get-together happen. Thanks to hurricane Bernice who organized and ran the pot luck, chopped out new parking areas, made mulch for us to walk over, and moved equipment and canopies to keep everyone dry.
Dave and Katie from the River City Grotto
Story and photos by Philip Walker