Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An adventerous new experience

No, this is not a picture of me :)
 What do crazy teens and young adults do in the snow and cold until 10pm just to give them a thrill and a chance to get muddy, bruised, and wet?  What extent do these wackos go to simply to get everybody together to discuss theology and the Bible and Pizza Hut and sausage? 
Well, I'm one of them for the first time in my life, and we are the cavers.  Yes, I went caving Saturday with my sister plus 9 other people, and I loved it!
Here is my adventure.

I got off of work at 2pm and hurried home, changed, and heard the doorbell.  I grabbed a change of clothes and mom's tract phone and headed out the door with my younger sister.  After actually finding the driver's Jeep - another in the party had played a practical joke and driven it out of our driveway and down the ally - we piled into a very sawdusty space, packing two of us in the trunk.  After waiting maybe 20 minutes in the church parking lot - our meeting place - the rest of our group arrived.  Then another 20 waiting for some of us to get back from Kwik Trip.  In all we had 11, so we took the 11-passenger van belonging to (wait for it) a homeschool family from our church.  Two hours of driving got us to our destination at 5pm thanks to some confused back-seat drivers, and we ran across a field, through a cold creek, and up a very slippery, muddy, and steep slope to get to... a hole in the ground.  In the dark.  In the cold of a northern November.  About half of us had been caving before.
Sending the newbies down first with lights, our insane gathering discovered that caves aren't always like in the pictures.  They are damp and dark and grey and rough, with tiny hanging bats.  The ground is anything but even and walkable, and my whole upper right shin is bruised up from the crawling.  
Not all caves look like this

The various "rooms" we went in were simply different spaces that were larger than others, and more-than-likely separated by tiny crawl spaces on multiple levels.  The one was so small we dubbed it "the birth canal", although there were spaces much smaller than that one.  I'm happy to say all of us were born without too much difficulty.  :)
Oh, and the laughs we had!  From the 12 year old constantly stating that he was "very hungry", to my near silent being, and the guy's goofy jokes.  There were many, many little crevices and holes, being a natural cave, so when Brian was trying to squeeze his slim frame into an even slimmer tunnel, we all agreed that he could make it if any of us because "he had no hips".
  "What!" exclaimed he, in good humor, "I feel like this is Insult Brian Day, or something.  How dare you hurt my feelings!"

They're more like this.
Then when Josh laid out the rule that this cave was not our property ( the cave was on a resident's land which he let people used), and not to deface it, he concluded that was a good rule for life.  We started to discuss whether wearing makeup was defacing our faces.
And then, at the end of our trail, we all sat down in a circle, turned off our lights, and passed the Mentos around.  We all bit down on them at the same time, and watched the sparks.  (You should try it sometime too!)  The marvelous singer in the group led us in some hymns, and we sat in the pitch dark for probably 5 minutes in silence, praying.  You could hear a pin drop!  Finally, something like one did, and we all started snickering when the youngest boy's stomach started making strange, hungry-sounding noises.  We put our headlights back on and headed back, making a slight detour into a little hole within the hole, and rediscovering "the mud room".  I sat outside the pit in the dark (I had no headlight) and laughed as I heard the mud slinging going on below.  And when they came back out... lets just say they looked a lot different than when they went in.  Their happy-go-lucky time turned them into glop-monsters, and they paid for it when they got out in the open again.  At the top of the cave - back on real land again - we realized it was snowing.  Back down the muddy hill we walked/slid, and back across the creek.  Along the road to the van, where one side of the huge vehicle was designated to girls, and the other to boys.  Some of us went back down to the creek to wash off our faces (completely brown), and scattered in the dark to find a place our clean clothes wouldn't get wet... which was nowhere.  Not having eaten for about 8-10 hours, we debated whether going into a restaurant with muddy face and hair and no shoes would be advisable.  Taking a leap of faith with no logic, we called around until we found out where the nearest Pizza Hut was, and put in an order for three large pizzas, one cheese, one stuffed-crust pepperoni and another Hawaiian, and a mega size bread sticks with sauce.  We all approved, since it figured to be only a little over $3 pool for each of us, not including gas for the car.  We figured that 10pm was just as good as any time to eat greasy carb-bomb, so we set out, choosing the best looking one of us to go in for our grub.  Imagine our relief when we pulled in the parking lot and saw a drive-through pick-up!  The driver's face was streaked with what was now dirt, keeping his facial expressions to a minimum because of the mud's strong plastering effect, but he was so glad to see food, he didn't care!  Neither did we, because we looked pretty much the same if not worse, except myself who didn't go into the mud pit.  Our Pizza Maker was at first very confused, and then very amused, as he heard a great commotion from the great white van, as he passed a great big stack of napkins through the window to our great load, as if we feared getting messier.  Pizza never tasted so good!  And yes, we did get messier.

One of our passengers needed to work at 11, so we hurried back to the most central town and he went in one of our group's houses to shower.  Mom and Dad were in bed when my sister and I finally returned home, and we quietly and efficiently showered. 
The next day at church, we all smiled knowingly at each other as we passed by in the hallways, knowing how much different we had looked only hours before.  ;)

So would I go caving again?  Yes, I honestly would!

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