last years rescue many had wondered if that was the last Field Camp but, here we
are again! The 1994 Mammoth Cave Restoration Field camp was the sixth annual
event and was held from July 31 to August 6. As Bob Ward had assumed some extra
temporary duties with the Park Service he would not be able to spend as much
time with us this year as in the past. Rick Olsen would be filling in for Bob
and spending the majority of his time this week working with us. Norm Rogers was
again camp coordinator this year.
additional guest this year was Tina Tyvek who had appeared late last year at
camp. She was one of the suits used to clean the Snowball Dining Room (with
appropriate clothing) and had been sending cards and letters from all around the
world to Norm Rogers since last years camp. Unfortunately Tina was fatally injured Sunday afternoon when a van driven by one of the participants
backed into her lawn chair and knocked her to the ground.
She must be a hardy caver as she was miraculously resurrected later in
evening brought the normal introductions and outline of this years projects. The
projects were trail patching in main cave, graffiti removal in the restrooms at
Great Relief Hall, wood removal along Echo River Trail and entrance modification
and gate replacement at the Bedquilt Entrance of Colossal Cave.
A special presentation of a No Popeye Pancake T-shirt was made to Carole
one small crew started working at the Bedquilt Entrance where a concrete base
for the entrance gate had restricted the normal drainage into the cave. This was
to be removed (partially) and a new gate installed further into the cave to
return the drainage pattern to a more natural state.
second crew of about 15 began some
trail patching near Gothic Avenue
while a third crew of 6 or so started graffiti removal in the restrooms at Great
Relief Hall. The trail patching was
completed in short order and this group then moved to Audubon Avenue for a more
extensive trail patching job. Previous
trail patching had used material removed from near the end of Audubon Avenue.
The Park Service had decided that this was a bad idea and future trail
repairs were to be made with materials at the repair site.
So... with no surplus material where it was needed the plan was to break
up the hard packed trail surface, mix it with water (from the entrance
waterfall) and then smooth it out making a new smooth surface and eliminating
the potholes in the trail. Easier
said than done, it proved to be a lengthy task.
work continued at the Bedquilt entrance with a few people swapping places with
the other crews. The graffiti
removal in the restrooms continued. The
graffiti was mainly scratch marks made in the natural surface patina rather than
smoked names that were common in other areas. The removal process consisted of
wetting the surface and lightly rubbing it with brushes, rags etc. to blend in the dark and light areas.
The results were quite good. The
Audubon Avenue trail patching continued with the work area taped off as this was
on an active tour route.
work in the restrooms was completed. The
Bedquilt Entrance project continued and the trail patching in Audubon Avenue was
finished. A crew was sent to
Cascade Hall to remove the wood from the former boat storage rack. Part of the
crew remained behind to dismantle the remainder of the boat rack.
They quickly discovered it was made of reinforced concrete rather than
wood as they had assumed. After a
short period of attacking this monster with sledge hammers and doing no damage
to it they decided to abandon the project.
They must of gotten confused on the way out because they were soon in
unfamiliar passage and it took them a couple of hours to get back to familiar
Tyvek was recovering and had found a new friend - GI Joe.
the majority of the camp went to Echo River Trail to remove wood.
The plan was for one bag load per person to be removed and then hauled
all the way out of the cave. There
were still a few working on the Bedquilt Entrance project.
After the wood was out of the cave work for today ended.
Thursday evening was a reward trip on the Frozen Niagara tour route. We
entered the New Entrance and exited the Frozen Niagara entrance just like the
tourists. No hard hats, no packs
and electrically lighted passages and a slow and easy tour with time to
photograph and enjoy the cave.
the entire Field Camp crew went to the Bedquilt Entrance to remove the debris
from that project. This consisted
of the old gate, a steel monster that took four people to haul up the hill, the
broken concrete from the former gate base and the tools used on the project.
We formed a chain gang part of the way up the hill and passed the broken
concrete from person to person till we reached the end of the line.
Then we moved on up the hill and repeated the process until the top was
reached. The debris was loaded into
a waiting trailer and removed from the area.
evening at supper Tina Tyvek suddenly went into labor.
Bob Ward was there and was called upon to deliver the baby.
The delivery was successful with the baby upon arrival having a tattoo
that resembled the tattoo of one of the Field Camp participants.
and another Field Camp was successfully concluded. A reward trip into Colossal cave was taken by many and ended
almost as a through trip out the Bedquilt entrance. Actually they got to the Bedquilt gate but had no key so they
had to return back the way the came in. Some
chose to take regular tours and enjoy the cave with the rest of the tourists.
seventh annual Mammoth Cave Restoration Field Camp was held on
August 7 -11, 1995. This year the camp started on Monday evening rather
than Sunday due to facility scheduling conflicts at Maple Springs.
On Monday a quick trip into the Frozen Niagara
area was made by Bob Ward and four others along with a photographer and
reporter from an area newspaper to demonstrate
what we would be doing there this week.
As usual the first evening brought introductions and an outline of
projects presented by Bob Ward from the NPS and camp coordinator Norm Rogers.
Projects included lint removal in the Frozen Niagara area, wood removal from the
Echo River area and a assisting the American Cave Conservation Association (ACCA)
with a move from their current office to a new office above the ACCA Museum.
work began on the lint removal in the Frozen Niagara area with a crew of six.
The wood removal project was started along Echo River Trail however due
to high water it was determined that this project was not practical.
Wood that was above the water was collected and removed from the cave and
this project was abandoned after the first day. It will be resumed at a later
date when lower water levels permit.
the lint removal continued with a different crew.
An alternate project to the wood removal was started. This project was
removal of the fencing and handrails between the Echo River boat dock and the
Sands of The Sahara areas. Material
removed was transported to the normal staging area at the bottom of the steps in
Mammoth Dome. A reward trip was
taken to Great Onyx Cave this evening however it was guided and time limited as
it began about 7:30 and we had to be out in time to make the last ferry at 9:55.
was the day to assist the ACCA with their move. The move was about half a block down the street in Horse
Cave, Ky. With their limited staff
it was expected to take them a month or so to complete the move.
With the assistance of the field camp crew the move was accomplished in
four hours. Following the move we
viewed the museum exhibits and were given the Hidden River Cave tour by one of
the guides. Those who wished were permitted by the ACCA to enter and explore
Hidden River Cave. The remainder spent the rest of the afternoon shopping,
visiting area tourist attractions and generally relaxing.
a couple of people returned to Frozen Niagara to clean up the work area and
remove the tools. The remainder
completed the handrail removal project and formed the typical chain gang up the
stairs and fire tower to remove the debris staged at Mammoth Dome to Little Bat
Avenue. From there the debris was carried through Little Bat Avenue, Audubon
Avenue and up and out of the Historic Entrance to a waiting truck.
This completed another years activities.
eighth annual Mammoth Cave Restoration Field Camp was held on August 11 -17,
1996. The official start was as usual at
supper time on Sunday evening. After
the meal introductions were made and Bob Ward, the Park Cultural Resource
Specialist, outlined the projects for this years camp.
Norm Rogers was again the Field Camp Coordinator.
started the camp on the same day as the annual Church Revisited program.
This is a recreation of past church services held in the cave.
This was held in the Methodist Church area of the cave starting about
8:15 PM and ending about 9 PM. Many of the Field Camp participants took the
opportunity to attend this inspiring event.
the project for today began with four people heading to the elevator entrance
with tools while the remainder entered the Carmichael Entrance.
All would meet at Ole Bull's Concert Hall where two Echo River Tour boats
(or if you prefer 4 half boats) had been stored. A prior weekend trip had moved
the boats from near Cascade Hall and our project was to remove them the rest of
the way out of the cave.
drilled holes in the boats air tanks to drain out any remaining water
then moved them about a quarter mile by dragging, lifting and carrying
them to the last point in the passage where power was available.
At this location the boat halves were cut into three sections with an
electric saw then carried out to a staging area near the elevator.
We encountered problems with the saw on the last half boat and it was
left to be finished when the saw was repaired.
By about 3 PM the cut up sections had been moved to the staging area and
work for today was completed.
today's projects saw six people start the lint removal project on Broadway while
the remainder headed to Echo River for wood removal.
Due to the success of prior wood removal efforts and the increased
silting of the area the wood removal project met with little success.
Very little wood was found and removed.
After lunch the river rats proceeded to remove some remaining handrails
at Echo River and all wood and handrails were removed to an area just outside
the gate at the Historic entrance.
four people went to the Doyle Valley entrance (a 60 foot pit) with Rick Olsen
while the rest went to continue lint removal on Broadway.
The Doyle Valley crew did flowstone cleaning with the assistance of a
2000 gallon pumper truck from the Cave City Fire Department.
This was a real hose job, stringing fire hose down the pit and hosing off
Broadway about 1000 feet of passage was cleaned of lint for a distance of 3 feet
from each side of the trail. This ended at near the Corkscrew.
Following dinner a trip to Great Onyx Cave was enjoyed by many of the
the entire crew went to Horse Cave, Ky. to assist the ACCA with landscaping and
wall building at the entrance to Hidden River Cave. We built about 20 feet of a stone wall along the trail to the
cave continuing the project started by other groups. Rigged off the fence at the
street level Larry Bundy trimmed brush. Others groomed the flower beds at the
entrance. This project was finished
about noon and some of the group took the afternoon to explore the cave while
others went shopping or saw other tourist attractions.
It was noted during the morning that cigarette lighters would not
function on the sinkhole floor and it was necessary to go 15 to 20 feet above
the floor to get them to light. Those
working in the sinkhole did not have any significant problem with what was an
obvious lowered oxygen level. Those
who went on the afternoon exploration trip did experience some increased
shortness of breath and heightened anxiety levels.
It would appear that there was a lack of air circulation in the sink and
cave on this day.
was a clean up day with a small crew going to the Historic Entrance to remove
tools and material from the lint removal activities and also the river clean up
debris at the entrance (most of which had already been removed by the
maintenance people). The remainder went to the elevator entrance to finish
cutting up the last boat section in El Ghor and removal of all the pieces up the
elevator and onto a waiting trailer. A
small crew started trail clean up at Ole Bull's Concert Hall to remove any
traces of the grooves and aluminum skid marks left on the passage floor from
dragging the boats down the passage. Work
for this year was completed about 2 PM.
reward trips into Roppel Cave were conducted consisting of an easy 4 hour trip
(that wasn't quite as easy as some had anticipated) and a harder 7 hour trip
that included some quite beautiful passage and gypsum formations.
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