Articles by Hubert Crowell

On Caving

My First Cave Adventure

As a boy of fourteen I was always looking for adventure, and my first cave trip was one that I will always remember.

Exploring a Tennessee Cave

In 1984, while visiting relatives in Tennessee, they told me of their water supply. A pump house at the base of a large hill where they pumped water from a cave lake located below. A previous owner had used cinder blocks to block the entrance to a cave in the side of the hill and built a small dam to back up the stream flowing from the cave. As caving was my hobby, I became very interested and at once wanted to investigate this underground lake. This was too good to pass up, I persuaded one of my relatives to go with me and wait at the entrance while I check out the cave.

Discovery in Grassy Cove Tennessee

I felt like Neil Armstrong on the moon when I made that first step on the floor below and left that first foot print where no one had ever stepped before. The mud had a black coating on top and when you raised your foot it left a very clear orange print about 1 inch deep. It felt strange to walk down into that huge room and then look back at the lonely set of foot prints that would soon turn into a well-worn path.

Caving in New Fern Cave Alabama

May 15, 1971, John Van Swearinger IV introduced us to New Fern Cave. John Wallace, Bill Meier and I were excited to see what all the cavers in the nation were talking about at the time. A huge cave system had been discovered in north Alabama. Vertical cavers from all over north America were coming to drop the deepest pit at that time in the eastern United States, Fern Cave.

Adventure Through Sullivan Cave Indiana 1973

As we sloshed through the water the waves reached the ceiling getting us completely soaked, ears, eyes and all. There was no turning back now, we just gulped air between waves and continued.

My Third Most Favorite Cave, Tumbling Rock

Of all the caves that I have explored, Tumbling Rock Cave in Alabama ranks number 3 on my list of favorite caves. I have made many visits to this famous and Alabama's most visited cave. Tumbling Rock Cave is over 6 miles long and is mostly walking passage.

My Favorite Cave, Pettyjohn Cave

I could write many stories about Pettyjohn Cave, however I would like to explain here why this great cave is my favorite. For a Horizontal caver like myself, Pettyjohn has plenty to offer. Good climbs, challenging passages, waterfalls, formations, intriguing passages, extreme hard to reach places most of which I have not seen, possibilities for new discoveries and good mud.

Caving in New York State

My arms were in front of my head and I could not move them to release my belt. I could not turn around and I was stuck! Panic set in as I lay there against the cold rock and I wondered if this would be my grave.

The Loop in Pettyjohn Cave

When taking someone new to Pettyjohn Cave in north Georgia, I enjoy taking them on the Loop tour. It is great because the only part of the cave that the route crossed twice is about 250 feet of cave near the entrance. The round trip will take about four hours and involve tight squeezes, moderate climbs and some mud, but not the real mud.

Six hours underground

A follow up article on The Loop in Pettyjohn Cave Have you ever been in a place that you were not sure that you could get out of? I have and it is called an anxiety attack.

Stanley FatMax TLM 100 Product Review

I have used sonic measuring devices for years in my cave survey projects and have been waiting for the price to come down on the laser measuring devices. At last I have one that cost under a hundred dollars. Leica has made laser measuring devices for several years in the three hundred dollar price range, and now they are building one for Stanley that retails for $89.00.

Three Hour Underground Adventure

Three hours does not seem like a long time, unless you are climbing, crawling and squeezing through tight places.

Google SketchUp Cave Maps

Google SketchUp may be the best free way to display information about caves that is available. From showing the cave location on Google Earth to displaying a complete 3D model with photos, profiles, sketches, notes and anything else you wish to display.

Mile 1 of the Pettyjohn Cave Survey

History of the exploration and mapping of Pettyjohn Cave in Northwest Georgia.

Mile 2 of the Pettyjohn Cave Survey

Discovery of the Worm Tube, Echo Room and Mystery Room.

Mile 3 of the Pettyjohn Cave Survey

The third mile of Pettyjohn Cave resulted in the exploration and mapping of the Northwest stream passage, the Water Fall Room and the Free Way with its connection back to the Raccoon Room. The extensive dryer passages above the main stream near the waterfall were explored and mapped along with a connection at this level back to the Over N Under Room.

Mile 4 of the Pettyjohn Cave Survey

Mile four really starts with the passage above the Luge which led to the discovery of the Pulverizer Squeeze Tobacco Road and the Outer Limits.

Mile 5 of the Pettyjohn Cave Survey

Most of the fifth mile took place in The Labyrinth, a maze of stream passages from the surface water that drains in from Screech Owl Cave and other holes east of the entrance to Pettyjohn Cave.

Mile 6 of the Pettyjohn Cave Survey

Mile six of Pettyjohn Cave is a push to the extreme limits of the cave, The Outer Limits was pushed, then the discovery and survey of the Discovery Room and next the survey of Schreiber's Extension.

Mile 7 of the Pettyjohn Cave Survey

Mile seven occurs over the next twenty-six years of caving in Pettyjohn Cave. It consist of many new discoveries and previously unsurveyed well known passages.

Mile 8 of the Pettyjohn Cave Survey

Mile eight is an ongoing survey to be updated as new discoveriesare made. The latest discovery is the Nervous Breakdown Room.

More Articles by Hubert Crowell

My Poems
Just My Opinion
Work Place and Wealth
Support and Technical Advice
Construction Related
Stories to make you laugh
Things that make you think
Stories about things that interest me
Prospecting Stories
Growing up in the Fifties
Stories about special People in my life