1. A couple snaps from a trip to Oneonta Gorge with Myrria Q, Super F U N !

     
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  6. Real adventure.  GO!

     
  7. part2

     
  8. Hidden in the woods of the Gifford Pinchot lie several miles of lava tubes. Their locations are kept secret and are well hidden. Lava caves are not just a tunnels filled with breakdown blocks, they are complex beautiful passages filled with colorful formations,  diverse volcanic features, and adventure. 

          The locations of these caves are kept hidden for many reasons.  One is to protect the cave and the other is protect humans (from the cave). Caving is dangerous, it is a serious sport that allows zero mistakes. And for anyone that has ever visited Ape Cave we know that most people have zero respect for the natural world. This should not be tolerated. Ape Cave is filled with trash and graffiti. Fine, the damage has already been done. Lets keep Ape Cave active with traffic and tourism and let people trash it and smoke cigarettes in it and do what they will, but that is our sacrificial cave to the public. Let’s leave wild caves to the wilderness and to the few cavers out there who not only have the skills to navigate the terrain but also the restraint and mindfulness to leave as little impact as possible to these beautiful natural places. If you find this text frustrating then join a local grotto and become active.
    We saddled up and took the cars down the shit roads of the Gifford Pinchot. The one-way paved road snakes its way up the ridges of the buttes plateauing into a washboard road passing shot-up quarries and littered hunters camp up to our forest, half butchered from logging. Parked and straggled the kids up the kipuka down the other side to the giant gaping mossy sinkholes., quietly hidden passing seasonal swamps on the way. 
    Geared up and moving past the small entrance pushed our way into the large first chamber…The oohs and ahhs start as cavers examine the glowing and highly reflective cave slime coating the walls and ceiling of the cave. Brian and I explain that there are sandcastles in the cave. Drip-eroded pumice badlands that need not be trampled because we are in a hurry. Go slow and be mindful. Stay behind your cave guides and do not trample the sandcastles They will not grow back. They will not fix themselves. 
    We passed the lava bridge and made our way to the slippery banana peel passage. Cavers slowed up to brisk themselves as the creek got loud and the plate-like rocks become so slippery it seemed impossible not to fall. Everyone successfully made there way to the duck-under. “Great!” I thought. Nobody had chickened out yet.
    I felt excited to get into the other side of the cave. I desperately wanted to see the sandcastles and after Jeremiah and Nate chickening out the day before I made sure to psychologically bully the group today so they had no other option than to try and squeeze through the sump. I knew I had them in for the worst of it and to me it was nothing but a short wet crawl in to a candy store of beautiful cave formations and creek echoes.
    Everyone geared up   5 of us with wetsuits and 2 without. Brian decided to wear shorts and pink aqua socks.  What a great choice of gear (not pro). We got in set up six flashes and tried to make a go of it but the water level was too high. It eventually was over our heads. I snapped as many shots as I could until folks got cold.  We headed out. 

    part 2 coming soon

     
  9. My friend Alison Jean Cole creates beautiful jewelry. Her process includes collecting gems and stones, cutting and polishing them, and lastly stringing them. Beautiful stuff! Here is a just a snaphot of her process.

    check out her site. alisonjeancole.com

     
  10. Spent the fourth of July avoiding the city with the Lovely Sarah C. We visited Lake Cave, Iron Creek Falls, and Mt. Margaret. Feeling a bit spoiled!