About this site:
UtahCaver.com is a centralized location where I share some of my underground adventures, and provide useful resources for others to further their own adventures. If it happens on a caving related trip, it may end up here. The site itself has been around in several iterations for years, with the last major overhaul being in late 2014 after a server crash. (Excuse the occasional mess. I try to sweep the random bits and bytes up, but sometimes they get back out while I’m not looking.)
Look around the site, enjoy the pictures and stories. For many people it is enough to simply know others have seen new places. National Geographic has quite the following! If you find yourself looking for more caving information, send me a message or stop by a local NSS Grotto meeting to find some local connections. (You’ll find www.caves.org should get you started.) Typically you will find a room full of friendly people who would love to share their hobby with you. Just be warned that it can turn into an obsession if you’re not careful.
About the author:
I am an avid outdoorsman, and have been my entire life. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family that enjoyed the outdoors, and in a western state with easily accessible public lands. Eventually I realized that I have put more miles on my hiking boots than some people have on their cars, and greatly enjoy getting out and seeing new places. I also took up an interest in basic photography at a very young age, and had access to a spare camera to carry along and document my adventures over the decades.
I have found that I really enjoy finding places that no one else has ever seen before. The experiences of learning and new discovery are unique, and something that keeps me coming back for more. Unfortunately, childhood memories of remote weekend trips without seeing another vehicle on the dirt roads we travelled for 1-2 days have now given way to some of those same hikes and adventures beginning by parking in the designated parking lot next to a pit toilet with a line in front of it. The surface of the earth has been fairly well covered by explorers at this stage. I don’t particularly enjoy swimming, so exploring the subsurface of the two-thirds of the planet covered by water was out. My remaining options subsequently become: exploring the subsurface of the land, or investing in some really expensive rocketry research. (If anyone wishes to help fund the latter option, I’m open to offers.) In recent years, caving has provided me with consistent activities where, with some effort, new discoveries can be found. Sometimes even in the heart of well travelled surface areas there is potential for a completely unknown cave, if you know where and how to look.
I have visited many caves over my lifetime, but stumbled into consistently going caving as a hobby in 2005. My sister took me to a cave in a nearby state, and after enjoying a couple 3 hour one way driving trips in rapid succession, I decided there must be something closer to home. I started searching the internet, and came across the National Speleological Society and subsequently the local grottos. (If you are just starting out caving, I recommend this route as a great way to meet new people, and learn some basics quickly.) At the first meeting I attended I happened to hear about a trip the upcoming weekend that was compatible with beginners. After two days of caving and camping I found myself asking when the next trip was. The rest, as the say is history…
I have held multiple officer positions in the local grottos over the years, and typically find myself on dozens of cave related trips in a given year. To my wife’s dismay, I now have enough caving connections I can find a cave to visit most anywhere in the country if time allows. Family trips often involve at least one detour off the normal route. At times I have managed to turn this full time hobby into a part time job, landing a few contract jobs associated with caves and karst that have kept myself and some friends busy during the summers. As my interests have evolved, and the sport itself continues to grow and change, there will be many new adventures waiting for others well beyond my lifetime.
The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is. –Marcel Proust