2008/02/12

Virgin Falls Winter Camping Trip

Greg and Alexis Flora Cascades and Flora Flowing Water Karst Feature Laurel Creek North-East Laurel Creek South-West Big Laurel Falls and Cave Greg and the Hillside Big Laurel Valley Greg's Tent Fire Pyramid Greg By the Fire
Alexis and I decided to take Greg Rhinehart camping at Virgin Falls. Plan was to get to the falls and camp above them. Reality was, old man Chuck hurt his back after a mile of hiking and we pitched tents at Big Branch creek campground. From there we wandered around finding an interesting old logging trail or road that runs between the afore mentioned campground and Martha's Pretty Point (MPP). We discovered some animal trails that lead us up the backside of the bluff the MPP was on. And we discovered some interesting karst features, including possible a cave or two.

2008/02/02

Blue Spring Cave - M and N Passages

The BS Gang Prarie Dog Formation Gypsum Snowball Closeup on the Gypsum Snowball Gypsum Snowballs Feline Tracks Scale on the Paw Prints Textured Ceiling Colonial Coral and Water Erosion Wall O' Gypsum - 14 Wall O' Gypsum - 13 Wall O' Gypsum - 12 Wall O' Gypsum - 11 Wall O' Gypsum - 10 Wall O' Gypsum - 9 Wall O' Gypsum - 8 Wall O' Gypsum - 7 Massive Gypsum Crystal Frosted Flakes Gypsum Needles Wall O' Gypsum - 6 Wall O' Gypsum - 5 Wall O' Gypsum - 4 Wall O' Gypsum - 3 IWall O' Gypsum - 2 Wall O' Gypsum - 1 Gypsum Gypsum Beards Mike and the Gypsum Beards Colonial Coral Mike and the Colonial Coral Gypsum Wall Gypsum Needles - 2 Gypsum Beard Gypsum Needles - 1 Gypsum Playdoh Factory Gypsum Curls - 2 Gypsum Curls - 1 Plenty of Needles in this Haystack Second River Crossing Mud Cracks
Anne Elmore and Bill Walters lead Kristen Bobo, Greg King, Mike West, and I into the far reaching passages of Blue Spring Cave (Tennessee's largest cave [#36 in the world]).
The formations we encountered there were unlike any I've ever seen, and likely will ever see until I return. Delicate, unbelievable, pristine gypsum formations for almost a mile of passage were common place. In other locations coral fossils jutted from the ceilings and walls with water worn weathering stripping the limestone from around them. Not to mention the giant feline paw prints. It was truly an underground museum.