Hello from southern Illinois

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Hello from southern Illinois

Postby cavemandan » Dec 22, 2010 8:56 pm

Greetings all. I started caving back in about 1986. I'm fortunate enough to live in an area near the Mississippi River that has lots of lime stone and was on the edge of the glacial activities of years gone by. We all know what those two things in combination lead to.... Caves. Spent many years crawling around in the depths.

I knew Arman Krueger (sp?) whom was a local cave legend and the caretaker of the Illinois Mammoth Caverns site for many years before his death. He held a wealth of information about local caves and he held it real close to the vest you might say. With many sessions, several sandwiches and a few 6 packs we finally gained his trust and he began sharing. On each visit he would remember where some other cave was. Kelly Spring, Kreuger Dry Run and Fogelpole mention a few by name. Well kept secrets in those days - probably still are - I'm not telling. Soon learned of the Missouri cave system nearby and spent many many weekends near Perryville. Took a lot of scouts down.

I caved for several years with a circle of 3-5 friends. We contacted a couple of "local" grottos and went to some meetings. After which we decided to avoid the politics of the grottos and "key control" power trips and went our own way. At the time my oldest son was 12 and my youngest 9. I took the 12 year old with me several times but never took my younger son because of his age and size. "When you get bigger." was the story.

On one trip I suffered a pretty serious eye injury half a mile into the passages. I glued my eye open and rushed out of the cave as quickly as I could go. I climbed the rope at the pit, changed my clothes and got into the car and closed my eyes. After a painful trip to the emergency room I spent many days on my back and when I got up it was to hang up my headlamp. No caving for 20 years. Youngest son never got to go.

This came to light for me this past year and as a result my interest has been resurrected and both of my sons and I (plus another unofficial son, all Life or Eagle Scouts) have heard and listened to the call of the caving adventure. We have made a few recent trips into Illinois' finest cave (Fogelpole - thanks Arman!) and have plans for more. We want to learn some on rope skills (which I managed to avoid in the 80s) and see some new places, explore some new passageways, open unopened doors. Would very much like to connect with some "key holders" in Perryville. Sure would be nice to see the Devil room in Mystery again. Brohm-Moore I know is still awesome. Never been in Crevice. Any SEMO folks in this forum?

Nothing like a small hole in the ground that takes you to sites beyond imagination! Anybody got a ball of string or some spray paint? :clap: Just teasing, just teasing :?)

Cave safe - come out alive - hope to see you next time,
Dan
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Re: Hello from southern Illinois

Postby Chads93GT » Dec 22, 2010 10:41 pm

<----------------- SEMO president. I responded to your PM as well then saw this. I sent you info on a soon 5 mile door to door trip in Crevice (keyholder). We can talk about how to get you into Mystery later, I was in there last weekend actually. Access there is much harder than it used to be. I look forward to meeting you soon.
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Re: Hello from southern Illinois

Postby l lambert » Dec 23, 2010 12:13 am

Wow, ask and ye shall receive. :kewl: Reminds me of Bob and Bob's logo...."caver's serving caver's". :bananabat: Leo
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Re: Hello from southern Illinois

Postby commanderzoom » Dec 23, 2010 12:43 am

K, I gotta ask. Why'd you let a painful eye injury turn you away from caving for so long??? No judgment from me, I'm just curious. I took close to a decade off due to being pregnant and having kids and I kind of regret it. Not having kids :laughing: , taking so much time off caving. Turns you can forget A LOT over that kind of time span. Are you sorry you took so much time off, too? Planning on taking the youngest son on a trip now that you're getting back into it?

Welcome to the forum! We're a friendly bunch around these parts.
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