Favorite Indiana Caves

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Re: Favorite Indiana Caves

Postby wyandottecaver » Feb 6, 2009 6:46 pm

Jeff D,

I haven't been there myself. However, from the many stories, the Highway Dept seems to take a very very dim view of visitation. There is a gate, but I think it may not be in one piece anymore. the MOST IMPORTANT thing is that the city sometimes flushes the cave and floods it completely. (thus the dim view of visitation) Knowing when the next flush is is very very important.
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Re: Favorite Indiana Caves

Postby fireman1904 » Feb 6, 2009 10:44 pm

I was in Doghill Donnehue a few months ago and you could still get in the culvert. There was a time a few years back that the grate on the culvert was replaced but someone cut a piece of it out and its been like that for some time. I plan on going back when the weather gets a little nicer I have been through Donehue a few times and have been over to Doghill twice but we have always lost someone along the way for one reason or another.... one wouldn't do the bathtub and couldn't fit through the bypass and another time one guy didnt feel up to going through bergs squeeze. I really wanna get to Doghill and spend some time looking around. Anyway..... Here are a few of my picks

Horizontal
1. Breathing Hole
2. Clicks
3. Ted's Dig
4. Doghill-Donehue
5. Biehle ( My first real caving trip)

Vertical ( At least the entrance or an in cave pit)
1. Wilsons
2. Gory Hole
3. Birthday Plunge
4. Seitz Pit
5. King Leo ( My first vertical experience)

Honestly though I have never been in a cave that I didn't like at least in some way... although Jaeger Pit was close. Ha ha.... But that is another story.
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Re: Favorite Indiana Caves

Postby Mike Hood » Feb 7, 2009 8:44 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:Jeff D,

I haven't been there myself. However, from the many stories, the Highway Dept seems to take a very very dim view of visitation. There is a gate, but I think it may not be in one piece anymore. the MOST IMPORTANT thing is that the city sometimes flushes the cave and floods it completely. (thus the dim view of visitation) Knowing when the next flush is is very very important.


You only have to worry about the waste water treatment plant flush if going through the Doghill section. What we used to do is stop by the treatment plant (not far from the cave) and ask them when they were going to flush the system. Of course, that was 10 or more years ago, so I'm not sure how it's done now. The Berg Squeeze isn't as bad now that someone busted the "pelvis" that once separated it into two smaller holes.

I also understand you can still get into the culvert entrance, but risk arrest if caught by state folks. I'm sure some Indiana cavers can give more accurate details.

The through trip from the boat club entrance (Donnehue) and out Doghill is an Indiana classic! However, the Doghill entrance is actually listed as a closed cave.

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Re: Favorite Indiana Caves

Postby Grandpa Caver » Feb 7, 2009 10:42 pm

The Dog Hill entrance is CLOSED. The culvert entrance to Donahue is still used regularly though. The only real problem is where to park. There are currently a couple popular parking spots but the first time they're abused they will be off limits in a heartbeat.

Several years ago either the city or the state put "NO PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC" signs all around the culvert but they are blatently ignored and I've never heard of anyone having an issue with trespassing there.

I don't know the current status of the spring (boat club) entrance. It's been off and on over the years but I do hear occasionally of cavers exiting there and walking back overland to the culvert. I did it myself with a scout group but that was several years ago. I believe the problem there has been cavers parking at the spring entrance then changing clothes within sight of the boat clubs parking lot.
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Re: Favorite Indiana Caves

Postby fireman1904 » Feb 7, 2009 11:56 pm

Of the eight or so times that I have been there I have used the culvert entrance every time. The first couple times I parked at the church with the wood siding. But after that a new church was built and also a new apartment building. Since the new church was built I have always parked in their lot. I have never had anyone say anything to me about parking there although I never parked there on a church day. But I have came out and had other vehicles parked by mine and people obviously in the church and still no one has said anything. I dont know if this is actualy frowned upon or not but like I said I have never had a single word said to me about it.

Brian.... where are the parking spots you are talking about?

I have been out of the boat club side but I have always went back through when I did. I talked to someone a few months ago that told me that the owners of the Doghill entrance were friendly and would allow you to go in there. Although I have also herd that this wasn't entirely true. I don't know much about the flushing at the treatment plant although of the times I have been in doghill I have never seen it happen I guess to be safe you should probably check with the water dept. I know there are several low airspace spots and some of the passages probably wouldnt take much extra water to sump.

As easy as it is to get into overall i am kind of surprised at the fact that it is not completely filled with trash... there is quite a bit of grafitti especialy in the first few hundred feet from the culvert entrance but after you get past that its really not a bad cave although not the most beautiful cave in the world. Still a fun cave and I hope that access can continue to be at least relatively easy to gain.
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Re: Favorite Indiana Caves

Postby Mike Hood » Feb 8, 2009 9:39 am

fireman1904 wrote:I talked to someone a few months ago that told me that the owners of the Doghill entrance were friendly and would allow you to go in there.


If you mean the people that live in the house right in front of the entrance, I don't think they own the Dog Hill entrance (at least, they didn't when we came out of it a few years ago). They were very friendly, but the wire fence just before the entrance was their property line and they didn't actually own the land the entrance was on. Maybe that's changed now.
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Re: Favorite Indiana Caves

Postby Illinois Caver » Feb 8, 2009 11:15 pm

Doghill-Donnehue was my first truly wild cave trip back around '92 or so. I was a budding geology student at U of I on a field trip and our prof. said were getting a little "reward" trip to a nearby cave. Naturally we all thought of Bluesprings, but when we pulled into a used car lot and got out of our suburbans, that changed our minds. We all had smart aleck comments about the "cave" as we walked through the culvert, not really knowing what we were in for. Then it opened up into the cave we all know and love. It really made an impression on me and I have been there a few times since. Back when I first went there, I don't remember a gate being there. Since then, the gate is seems to be easily accessed and not a real issue.

My understanding is the boat entrance is off-limits and I've always heard of the "flushing" but haven't talked to anyone who knows first hand.

I love the natural bridges and the many levels of the cave. I wish I could spend some more time there just studying how it formed and all the details of the cave. Maybe after H.S. track season ends and things slow down again!
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Re: Favorite Indiana Caves

Postby hoosiercaver1 » Feb 9, 2009 7:50 am

I have been a couple of times, and once I was trying to be polite and stay clear of the new church built by there by the culvert, and two men flagged me down and pointed me to the entrance and wished me a good trip. They just asked that we be safe. So I was pleased to see that the didnt mind us being there. I just try not to affect anyone and be courteous.
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Re: Favorite Indiana Caves

Postby Grandpa Caver » Feb 9, 2009 6:29 pm

fireman1904 wrote:Brian.... where are the parking spots you are talking about?


The car lot on the north of the culvert. The dealership has moved and the property is up for sale. I've heard the realtor is, for the time being, tolerating cavers parking there. The other spot is curbside on the street in front of the church south of the culvert. IMO just one incident in the cave or complaint about the traffic to and from the cave, will bring an abrupt end to parking at both spots and may lead the "local authorities" to be on the watch for trespassers.

Illinois Caver wrote:My understanding is the boat entrance is off-limits and I've always heard of the "flushing" but haven't talked to anyone who knows first hand.


As I've said, I do not know the official status of the boat club entrance but I do believe it should be concidered closed. The owners of the boat club may tolerate cavers occasionally (and descreetly) exiting thru the spring entrance but they have never been overly happy about anyone using it to park and enter the cave.

I can recall two ocassions, long ago, when the city flushed the sewer facility and overflow from the procedure entered the Dog Hill section of the cave. It may well have happened more often than that. The cave did not flood but it did stink to high heaven. Other than the odor, I dont believe the Donahue section was affected. Those incidents were at least 15 years ago. I doubt the city still practices the same routines.

The Doghill Donahue System is a fun and interesting cave. It's accessability status has been up and down for many years due to locals complaining of caver traffic and the occasional rescue. I advise anyone visiting this cave to do so in moderation and to use discression when doing so.
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Re: Favorite Indiana Caves

Postby Jeff D » Feb 11, 2009 5:48 pm

Thanks all!!!!
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Re: Favorite Indiana Caves

Postby blindfish » Feb 13, 2009 4:30 pm

#1 Wayne
#2 Jewell Box
#3 Salamander (during the first year of discovery)
#4 Blue Springs

I once led a blind person thru a cave and he taught me that any cave is worth "looking at", so one should really say that their favorite cave is either their last cave or the next one.
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Re: Favorite Indiana Caves

Postby Miss Brown » Feb 14, 2009 11:36 am

Anyone know what water levels are like now in Doghill-Donnahue?
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Re: Favorite Indiana Caves

Postby bravo6 » Apr 12, 2009 8:34 am

Been a long-time since I have been caving, glad to see Queen Blair still popular, I helped dig out the entrance just a few years ago ('61 or '62 I believe)with Dick Blenz, Jerry Estes, Denny Fox and a few others. If Blenz is still kicking tell him I am Still irritated that they blew the entrance to put in the barrel when they did, (we were inside). :shhh:
I'll put in my vote for Wayne Lost, I still remember finding a fairly large passage well past the well traveled end (camp four or five, yes there was a five), published the trip in the windy city Grotto Newsletter and haven't been back since, was told well after that that the passage didn't exist..................ok..............if they say so........
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Re: Favorite Indiana Caves

Postby batrotter » Apr 12, 2009 9:17 am

bravo6 wrote:I'll put in my vote for Wayne Lost, I still remember finding a fairly large passage well past the well traveled end (camp four or five, yes there was a five), published the trip in the windy city Grotto Newsletter and haven't been back since, was told well after that that the passage didn't exist..................ok..............if they say so........


Interesting! I have heard that rumor a number of times over the years. I have been to Camp 4 a number of times but it's been a few years. We didn't really look that hard for anymore going passage but that was before we heard the continuing passage rumor. Also heard one story of another entrance back there but don't know. It seems as though some of the old timers(60's & 70's) liked their chemical persuasion quite a a bit.
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Re: Favorite Indiana Caves

Postby Caver1402 » Apr 12, 2009 9:50 am

bravo6 wrote:I still remember finding a fairly large passage well past the well traveled end (camp four or five, yes there was a five), published the trip in the windy city Grotto Newsletter and haven't been back since, was told well after that that the passage didn't exist..................ok..............if they say so........


You don't happen to recall which newsletter do you? A time frame? I and a few others are curious to read about the report!
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