Thursday, May 31, 2007

Devil's Icebox Wild Cave Tour

Since the letterboxers' tour of Devil's Icebox Cave was cancelled this spring due to flooding, we will try again for the summer/fall season. For those of you who missed the original invitation, I can take up to 10 participants (and two assistants*) on a day-long adventure-style tour through Devil's Icebox Cave at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park in Columbia, MO. *Only Lnd-Crzr and Touch-Trek are allowed to fill the assistants' slots since assistants must be park volunteers either already certified or in the process of becoming certified as a park Wild Cave Tour leader.
Ahistory, E-volution, McMonkey Mom and Mr. McMonkey have first dibs on four of the spots as they originally requested to go on the spring trip. Other letterboxers* and guests* may request to fill the other slots. *If you missed the original e-mail, please read the tour info at the end of this message before contacting me to request a spot.

The date of the tour has yet to be set. It must be a weeknight (Monday-Friday) starting at 5:30 p.m. and finishing a little after midnight. It must be sometime during the next cave season (August 1-October 8) though it cannot be the first Friday of August as the following day is a required training day for Wild Cave Tour leaders and assistants, and it would be foolish and physically exhausting to schedule two cave trips back-to-back.
I would like some suggestions from those interested* on which dates you would be available to go. The sooner in the season, the more chances we have to schedule a raindate. (*Again, please read the tour info before contacting me to sign up).

Oh, and an event stamp will be available following the tour, but no letterboxes are allowed to be placed within the cave.

Tour Info:
The tour is $25 per person (paid in advance). Participants must be physically fit and able to carry a 65-pound plastic canoe 1/4 mile to or from the cave over rocky and hilly ground, up or down some wooden steps, and over several short portages within the cave. The tours consist of a half-mile canoe trip including some low-ceiling sections requiring you to lie flat on your back in the canoe to fit through (not a trip for the claustrophic). At the end of the water passage, participants will leave the boats and continue on foot over rocky, muddy and uneven ground, sometimes wading in water, stooping, crawling on hands and knees or your belly, or climbing. The underground portion (jncluding the 1/2 mile water passage) consists of 2.5 miles and takes about 5.5 hours (to give you an idea of the difficulty). We will stop atsome point during the tour to eat dinner (bring your own). All tours exit as they entered and participants carry the boats back to the parking lot. A clean-up session follows. An orientation session precedes the tour. The whole tour thus lasts about 8 hours from start to finish. No prior experience is necessary, but you MUST be in excellent physical condition as it is a strenous tour.

Participants must provide three water-resistant battery-operated lights (including at least one headlamp), warm non-cotton clothes (such as wool, polypropylene, neoprene, etc), shoes with excellent ankle support and tread (rubber sports cleats recommended), lunch, extra batteries, and a small pack to carry your gear. The park will provide the canoes, paddles, lifejackets, and helmets. Participants must be at least 14 years old.
Additional details are available at www.mostateparks.com/rockbridg/cave/htm

So look at your calendars and let me know within as soon as possible so I can get it placed on the calendar and avoid some of the scheduling conflicts of the spring season.
--Fox-fyr

4 comments:

McMonkey Mom said...

AUG 10TH AND 17TH WORK FOR THE McMONKEYS.......

ahistory said...

Those dates both work for me as well.

nugglebugs said...

Mrs. Nugglebugs is very interested...please include us in your plans. It would be her only...and we can make just about any date work.

Fox-fyr said...

Sadly, the first three Fridays of August are unavailable for tour. How about August 24, 31 or Sept 7?

Fox-fyr