|20 MARCH 2003
WED CLUB VISITS PARKER CAVE
by Joel Jacobs
On 12 February 2003 four members of the Wednesday Club gathered on Jacobs Ridge for their monthly meeting. After dressing in our caving gear Sara Goode, Dan Bell-Jacobs and Joel Jacobs piled into Ted Sargent’s mini van for the short trip to Parker Cave, which is located about 100 yards in back of the Newville Fair Grounds.
The sharp, winter wind sliced into our coveralls while we donned our helmets and gloves and spurred us to hurry through the thick snow cover in the field we had to traverse before we could reach the protection of the trees. The sink resembles a huge funnel in the woods which is surrounded by fallen timber and scruffy brush.
We tied a hand line to assist us in getting out of the entrance and up the frozen slope above it. A ten foot drop guarded by a grate made of pipes was passed with ease. Much of the mud from the sink has collected in a muddy slide under the entry and in a short passage to the right which ends in a mud plug that looks diggable.
To the left was a small hall with tall ceilings the y-ed into two shorter passages which ended with no indications of further leads. Though the cave was surveyed at only 250 feet it was well worth the visit. There are some intricate formations the color of old bones on raised shelves and within the walls. Ted photographed many of them along with the members of the expedition.
The group had brought plastic bags with it to collect trash but only one broken piece of glass was found. This was a surprise considering that this cave has been known to the locals for ages.
We spent a leisurely hour in this small cavern discussing the speleothems and the possibility of getting permission and organizing a crew to dig out the earthen blockage. The surrounding fields are pocketed with sizable sinks, two of which contain streams that disappear at their bottoms. The whole area could be worked to find more caves.
We scaled the pit walls and climbed out into a sunny, winter day. On the way back to the van we checked out the closest sink.
At the Jacobs residence we enjoyed hamburgers, Valentine cookies and a roaring fire while we talked about our pleasant experience. We set the next monthly meeting for the 19th of March.