MAR Madness

Location: Northern Maryland
Date: 2000
By: Chuck Hilpert

This years gathering of the M.A.R. was hosted by Pittsburgh Grotto at Little Meows Camp grounds in Northern Maryland. I didnít actually count , but I would estimate that about 70 to 80 cavers attended the regions event . The board of the Pgh. Grotto did a fantastic job of orchestrating the festivities. The camp ground was very nice, we had plenty of room to camp & 2 clean port-o -johns in our immediate area.. A pavilion w/ electricity , water and a fire place was also reserved for our use. There were free showers available on the grounds, they werenít great but as I said they were free. The food which was prepared and served by the board was delicious, (I had a venison Burrito that weighed about 3 lbs.). Wild Goose Porter and Amber Ale were on tap. A near by saw mill supplied us with cheep fire wood, so we had a hell of a fire , preceded by a brief pyrotechnics display. Along with the food, fire and beer on Saturday night, we were entertained by Tyne Snyder accompanied by her Mother and Grandmother, together they are billed as Three generations of Strings. Tyne does an interesting version of amazing Grace using a fiddle bow and one string on a banjo. She strayed away from the blue grass just long enough to do an enthusiastic rendition of LA BAM BA. (well how ever you spell it you know what I mean)

Yah,.. we even found time to go caving during the event. The two most popular cave trips offered seemed to be for the Maryland caves , Crab Tree , said to be Maryland's longest and Ridgeview, (the one that I did) which I believe to be deeper than it is long. We rigged a hand line for the 60í semi vertical entrance drop, then continued down from there through large break down passes for about another 30-40 feet of descent till we reached the first horizontal passages. One direction was on a slight incline , taking you past a small area of pretties (the only ones in the cave) ,this passage was fairly large walking pass, but ended rather abruptly in sand packed pinch outs. The other direction was a downward pass through high fissures and tight rocky or muddy crawls. The tight crawl near the beginning of this leg stopped two in our party , one of them was Pgh Grottoís Rick Falconer , AKA RF9inchsqueez (a self dubbed E-address)after having made his way through the mail slot at Barton's. Rick has to exhale to get through the mail slot , but he would need liposuction to get through this rocky crawl. The reward for your effort is a vertical chimney of about 25ídown to a mud filled stream pass , eventually leading to a small , low room with a sump. Now turn around slither back through the mud and have fun going up that Vertical chimney! This is a tough little cave,it shredded my outer shirt that Iíve been wearing for three years,(I take it off when I'm not caving) It gave us a good workout for itís relatively small size. Donít get me wrong itís not all small and tight, the floor to ceiling height in the junction area to the first horizontal passage is about 60 to 80 feet. I think that we had about 13 people in our party, my self Bob Brannan and RF9inchsqueeze from Pgh. and the rest from various other grottos of the region. We spent about 3 hours in cave, had a great time and everyone worked really well together.

To sum up MAR 2000, kudos to all those who put it together so the rest of us could enjoy it!

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Modified: Wednesday, 12-Mar-2014 09:38:26 EDT