Hey, it’s DD! We have a guest blogger that’s a great adventure buddy of ours, she’s based out of New Hampshire. She’s about 2.5-3 hours from us up here in Bangor, but we thought we’d showcase the great adventures you can have within a short drive from Maine! Also, we thought people that have done this adventure might be interested in what we have going on up here in Maine! SO – here is it! Spelunking, care of Laura Mountain. (YES, that’s her real name 🙂 )
Date: November 27th , 2016
Location: Schoharie, NY….Cave
There is a short trail to this particular cave and parking is but a ten minute walk from the drop into the cave. There is restricted access to the cave at this time because it is winter and the bats are beginning to hibernate. Because I’m a hippy when it comes to nature and want to protect it at all costs, I won’t be disclosing the exact location at this time. I can tell you the location is close to the main attraction Howes Cavern, but it is not Howes Cavern. However; when it opens up again in the spring I promise full disclosure. I just don’t want anyone getting any ideas and disrupting the bats slumber.
In order to get into the cave my friends and I had to crawl down into it: kind of like descending a mountain but more like a vertical tunnel into dark. Multiple headlamps, helmets, and sturdy footwear is required.
Some aspects of the cave that proved challenging were slippery rocks, steep ledges, and waist-highwater crossings, and tight squeezes to maneuver through or under. Team work is not only recommended but required! If you can’t hear your friends, you are too far away from them.
We didn’t see any other people as we were in the cave so late at night, but there were three of us exploring this particular underground gem. If I were to describe the vibe of this adventure it would be “peaceful and glimmering”. Everything underground is seemingly covered in golden glitter: absolutely breathtaking. In addition to the glitter I kept thinking that I was hearing voices around the corner but it turns out that that was simply the sound of the running water swirling through the crevices of the cave.
I can completely understand why caves have a reputation for being haunted now.To the left of the cave there is a tunnel that you have to squeeze through for at least a quarter of a mile. If you are able to squeeze underneath a couple of rocky areas (maybe 1.5 feet of room vertically) you will find yourself in a glittering room at the end of the tunnel. This is a great location for a break and a snack. It’s super important that people who explore caves respect nature and treat everything the way you would if you were 5000 feet above ground: don’t litter, don’t take anything from the cave as a memento, and don’t hurt any of the glowing frogs or spiders. Be respectful because these caves are spiritual places in nature and if we harm them (or leave our mark) we won’t be able to explore them anymore.
We chose to explore on this particular day because the season to do so was coming to a close and we didn’t want to have to wait until the spring. That being said, I already can’t wait to explore it again when the weather is warmer because we would have been able to explore more of the cave. The water was cold and wading through it wasn’t a safe idea so it held us back from seeing everything.
When it comes to gear we brought multiple headlamps, rope (but never used it), knee pads, sturdy gloves (because your hands are always on the rocks), warm clothing, water, snacks, small backpacks, and a lantern. I wouldn’t suggest carrying your backpack all throughout the cave: you should stash it as appropriate. We also brought significant first aid equipment and I would NOT recommend exploring a cave without it. If I were to do this again I would stash a change of clothes at the entrance of the cave because I was soaked and muddy and the car ride home was not pleasant.
I would say that the total mileage was a little over one mile, round trip. Rating: Moderate
Quote: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. – Joseph Campbell
To see more appropriate gear as well as recommendations:
To follow Laura on social media:
Thanks for visiting! Have you been to this cave, or any cave? post your info below!!
Sending Love and Light from Maine,
DD and Willow (& Laura!)