Many years ago, in my married days, my husband read a book called, “Shibumi” by Trevanian in which the hero/ writer had some great descriptions of going deep into caves. He got all excited that this is a sport and found the Toronto Caving Group. One thing lead to another and we were off to West Virginia for him to do his first cave trip.
I was not interested at all. The thought of being underground with all that earth and rock above you scared the shit out of me. But I loved hiking and being in the woods so I went on the trip so I could go deep into the mountains of West Virginia.
Well, damn if they didn’t talk me into a ‘beginners trip’ and I was hooked. I had fun! There were plenty of places to stand up and not feel claustrophobic. It was like hiking but with an obstacle course. I found something I was really good at, too, and my husband wouldn’t insult me or talk down to me around other people. We would go down to the States, usually Tennessee and Alabama, several times a year.
Caving really helped me build self-esteem. The trips became harder and longer. We took courses in rope work and learned to repel down into deep caverns. Every time I would end with the feeling of; “I did that!” The peak of my caving career was at forty years old I did Ellison’s Cave in Georgia. It was hardest, scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. But knowing I did it makes me proud of myself.
I wrote a post about it;
In those days we had cameras with film and developed photographs. I’m so glad now I still have these. Here are a few of me, underground.
Yep, that’s me!