Thanks for the reply. I am currently on my 3rd copy of "Caves of Tennessee"... The binding wasn't quite designed for surviving hundreds of underground trips or being pulled out and shoved back into a back-pack over and over.
When I started caving back in 1998, my friend Ryan and I would pack up all our gear in my truck and just drive out to the area of the cave we were looking for, but since the locations in the book were not exact (and the internet was not much of a great caving resource back then), we would stop at some country store where the locals sat in their rocking chairs on the front porch and we would get directions from them. The directions we got from locals were always spot on, and being introduced to a nice older couple in Dekalb County who had an incredible cave on their property was a huge bonus, and being guided to a few other caves (Overall) made asking the locals the best way to find caves.
Problem is those same locals that could tell you where any of the caves were never had maps. The maps aren't a big deal. I have been to IGP and Espey probably over 500 times between the two... I almost feel that I could find my way out of Espey without any lights b/c I have been there so many times. Ryan and I used to use the hill as our own personal Stair-Stepper. Instead of going to the REC Center at MTSU we would go to Espey and try to find a new path, or maybe a room that we had somehow missed, and when we exited we would race up the hill. Whoever lost bought the beers. That was one hell of a workout!
IGP was the first cave I ever explored.
Espey, though, is my favorite.
Are you still in Middle TN? Would you like to join our little Coast Guard group? As of right now it looks like Feb 16 is IGP and Feb 17 is Espey...
For that matter, anyone else that would like to join us is also welcome! Just reply to me on the board or send me a PM.