Mammoth Cave Restoration Field Camp


The fourth annual Mammoth Cave Restoration Field Camp was held from July 19 - 25, 1992. This year Norm Rogers was again the camp coordinator (no one else would take the job) and Bob Ward was the NPS person in charge of the field camp.

As usual camp officially began with the Sunday evening meal. After the meal Bob Ward outlined the projects for this year. They didn't sound too bad but remember, it was still early and we were fresh and eager.

Monday started with a leisurely stroll out the passage of El Ghor and Silliman Avenue to Cascade Hall and Echo River. Now the fun begins! OK folks see these aluminum boats? See that NPS maintenance man with the electric saw? Well, he's gonna cut these boats into one foot cross section pieces and you are gonna carry them out to the elevator. OK?

The main project was to remove some of the aluminum boats that had formerly been used on the Echo River tour. These boats had been retired some years before and were just waiting for someone to figure out how to remove them from the cave. You know, a one foot wide piece of an aluminum tour boat is DAMN heavy! You know, the elevator is a DAMN long way from Cascade Hall!

A secondary project for a couple of people was the removal of a carbide dump from Welcome Way passage near Cascade hall. Remember carbide dumps from last year? More of the same. The Speleo-Feces team (Their motto: We hate Feces to Pieces) attacked this project with gusto. Besides, it was a lot easier than carrying out pieces of aluminum boats.

Tuesday work continued on the removal of the boats from Cascade Hall and also on the carbide dump clean up in Welcome Way. Another crew was scheduled to remove a stone wall in a side passage between Giants Coffin and Bottomless Pit. A vertical crew managed rig and rappel Sidesaddle Pit (which had already been cleaned) for a reporter and photographer from The Daily News in Bowling Green. What some people will do to get their pictures in the paper. By the way, we learned that if you wanted to be photographed wear a red helmet - it shows up better in the newspaper.

Wednesday brought a change as we began to remove wood from the water along the Echo River Trail as we had done in the past.

Thursday a short project was to remove some surplus light fixtures, ballasts and wiring that had been stashed in a side passage between Giants' Coffin and the Bottomless Pit. As usual this was a half work day with a trip to the Labyrinth scheduled for the afternoon.

Friday and another years work ended with a haul out of the Echo river debris up the firetower and out of the cave. The vertical crews finished up a few small tasks, tools were stored and another years Field Camp was done.

Saturday and the reward trips this year were trip in Violet City to Wright's Rotunda and back viewing the historic remains of reed torches the Indian explorers of this area had left along the way. The hard trip was a return to Floyds' Lost Passage in Floyd Collins Crystal Cave.