Today Charlie, Suzanne, and I (Matthew) went on a caving/exploring trip with Kim, Ken, and Ruth. We all met at 11 a.m., and then headed up to Christmas Canyon. It was raining/snowing most of the day, but we still had a great time.
Waterfall shooting out of Christmas Canyon Cave
We walked up to Beaver Bay and Christmas Canyon Caves first. They are erosion caves, so we didn’t want to go in them this time of year. In fact, Christmas Canyon cave had a big waterfall shooting out of its entrance! We walked around looking for the tree mold entrances of Christmas Canyon Cave, but didn’t have any luck.
Lava Drips in Dogwood Cave
After a while, we headed up toward Bat Cave while keeping a look out for Dogwood Cave. After about 3/4 of a mile, Kim found a cave and we stopped to look in it. Ken came walking over to the cave and said “Has anyone seen Ruth lately?” No one had seen her since right after we left Christmas Canyon, so we started yelling and whistling, but didn’t get any response. Ken and Kim went back to look for her while I (Matthew) checked out the cave Kim found. It was a small cave, up to about 4 feet high and about 50 feet long. There were some small lava drip formations and lots of roots hanging down inside.
After about 20 minutes, Ken and Kim came back with Ruth! She had seen a cave and went inside to investigate, and when she came out everyone was gone. Kim thought she had found Dogwood Cave, so we all headed back that direction to check out the cave. It turned out that she hadn’t found Dogwood, but with the help of Kim’s GPS we found it after a few minutes.
Knife Blade formation in Dogwood Cave
We all went in Dogwood cave and enjoyed looking at a variety of formations, including a “knife blade” formation hanging from the ceiling. No one had ever seen anything like it before, so we all took pictures. We also saw that Dogwood Cave is still forming new formations through microgours / rimstone dams.
By the time we came out of Dogwood, it was raining outside and everyone was ready to start heading back. We decided to try again at locating the tree mold entrance of Christmas Canyon Cave.
We did find a small tree cast that was pretty deep, and Ruth went down on a rope to check it out. It wasn’t the entrance we were looking for, so we went on looking. Charlie found a large tree cast that he could hear water flowing in, so I climbed down to check it out. There was a pretty good flow of water down there, and it looked like there was about 8-10 inches of crawl space if there wasn’t so much water, so it could be part of Christmas Canyon Cave, but it still wasn’t what we were looking for.
By now we were all getting wet and tired, so we headed out. Going down to the power line was a lot easier than climbing up! We got back to the cars at about 4:00 p.m., said good bye, and headed for home. It was a great trip! Special thanks to Kim for taking us along!
Suzanne’s and my pictures of the trip are posted here: