2010/01/06

Determined Moonshiners Hole

Determined Moonshiners Hole entrance, Roy Price, Gerald Moni, Putnam County, Tennessee "It's not a saucer." - Gerald Moni

I had been contacted by a landowner in Putnam County to check some caves on his property. I met with Gerald Moni, and the landowner's father, Roy P. Roy is an intelligent and likable guy, 72 years old, and in pretty great shape.

We parked on a cul-de-sack and proceeded on foot. It was bitterly cold at 15 degrees, snowing, and windy, perhaps not the best day for a stroll in the woods. But since I work all the time, I take what I can get.

Not far below where we parked was the Hartselle-Monteagle contact, and the features Roy wanted to show us were there. I slipped in the first, a 15 foot dud, but blowing lots of air through a hole about big enough for my cat. The other two were less impressive than that, but all blowing lots of steam.

Gerald and I wanted to field check Determined Moonshiner, a nearby cave. We found it, and after taking pictures of the beautiful ice flow over the entrance, I kicked the ice out and went in to confirm the narrative. I think my only addition was that there was now a waterfall in the back of the cave (perhaps it was dry in 1975?). Climbing through water and ice to get back out into sub-freezing conditions we went to our next destination.

Roy said he knew of another cave whose entrance was even larger than the duds he took us to. We set out on foot from Determined Moonshiner and within 15 minutes had found the new cave.

The entrance is a small vertical climb, whose width and depth closely match the climbdown of Breakdown Palace. It spilled out onto a flow of mud and into a breakdown room about 60 feet across, 200+ feet in length, and an average ceiling height of about 20 feet. To the right the whole trunk dropped abruptly into was I'm guessing is about a 40 foot pit. The ground here was encased in thick black mineral deposits, so seeing the depth of the pit was difficult.

To the left from the entrance the trunk continued about 200 feet with several leads being observed in the breakdown.

I'm re-using the name Saucerful of Secrets (much to Gerald's disappointment) because the other cave I named that was discovered to have a previous name.

2010/01/01

Curriculum Vitae

Hello and welcome! This page includes some of my publications, activities and awards. My interests are broad and I have incorporated web pages and self-published posts, some of which may not be easy to categorize. Thank you for your interest in my work! Chuck Sutherland




Bio

Geographer - Photographer - Caver


I am a professional geographer. I work with the 14 counties of the Upper Cumberland and the 31 municipalities to provide GIS and data management services for spatial and aspatial data. I developed and now manage public and internal dashboards for the Upper Cumberland Development District, and Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency. I also maintain relevant regional datasets derived from external sources such as American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I've been taking photos for a long time (see Years Active to the right). My skills as a geographer have assisted me in the photographic documentation of many landforms like caves, waterfalls, natural arches, and sinkholes. I have a large archive of photos of the southeast (see Photos to the right) which can be easily searched. I have been fortunate to be well published as a photographer. ABC, BBC and the Discovery Channel have utilized my work. My photography appears in academic journals, music videos, news outlets, books, magazines and websites. If you need a specific photo, feel free to ask me about it.

I love caving. It is the most accessible form of "frontier exploration" available to human beings. It is a way to see the Earth from the inside out. Rocks and water have stories to tell. Like a detective, the curious can tease out their stories by carefully reading clues.

As much as I enjoy learning caving, photography, and geography, I love getting people excited about science even more. I am a hobbyist citizen scientist, and every now and then I get to use all the above mentioned skills work with with scientists doing amazing work.



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