Every August the Wasatch Grotto has to meet in a different location than the usual accomodations. This has turned into a tradition of simply a potluck wherever sounds fun each year. This years event was hosted by the Beard’s, and as always the food and friends were fun to hang out with. Mike had gone to the trouble of installing a pulley into a tree, so several people were able to try out ascending to burn off a few extra calories.
This cave is well into Nevada, and requires some planning if being visited from Utah. But the extra effort of thinking through your nights is well worth it. An interesting desert cave, with some reflecting pools and a massive formation deep inside.
The cave begins with a rappel through a double opening pit. In this case we discovered some buzzard chicks still in the nest on one side. Neat to see, but a little ominous to think about this being the “ideal” nest location above where we were headed. We rappelled into the cave anyway, and proceeded to enjoy ourselves immensely.
After traveling through some massive breakdown boulders we found ourselves among formations. In some areas you have to be careful where you put your head to avoid them. In others there are neat little pools of water and some rimstone dams that create little reflecting pools. And one of the real reasons people know this cave is the massive column deep inside. It is at least 30′ high, but subject to wild exagerations of up to 80′ in many places. It is a little like going from a regular forest and then to the Redwood and Sequoia forests, your brain can’t quite wrap itself around the change in scale.
After seeing the cave, we had some daylight left. We took a detour past a warm spring near Sunnyside to clean up a bit. Warm water, and a beautiful setting in the midst of endless desert. We also discovered what happens to a metal table at a rest stop when someone backs into it, and a disturbing lack of checking the spelling on a roadsign in the western Utah desert highways.