After months of planning, acquiring, reserving. Dee and  I did our first wild cave exploration and it was magnificent! Her husband Ricky joined us on this trip and drove his truck. We did not arrive at our hotel in Scottsboro till a little after midnight. We could not find a clerk anywhere. There was a guy in front  already there long enough to become frustrated and an was pounding the the bell for service.  We look around and found no one. But I looked across the counter and noticed a stack of reservations lying there. Ours on top we took them and headed to our room while we waited on our elevator the clerk came back from her extend smoke break. Turned out to be a very nice lady who got us in our rooms very quickly.

We had planned on leaving at eight the next morning. Dee must have been excited,  she was knocking at my door at six. We had our Continental breakfast and was ready to ride into the fog. Not before snapping a few photos of the spider webs in the garden outside our hotel

It was a beautiful ride to the cave. Driving past the farm lands that bordered the Tennessee river. Sometimes getting to glimpse at the river adorned with fading lotisce   leafs all blanketed with a beautiful dress of puffy fog.  Up to a gate with a key pad

And so it begins

Not without getting a photo of the heath Asters along the edge of the parking lot.

It was a nice hike up to the cave mostly along a dry creek bed pretty sure there was a creek under us. We thought we was there when we came up on the first pit.

We seen quite a bit of beauty bush and a few other wild flowers

We went past the horizontal entrance to see the rappelling entrance it was beautiful.

This where we seen an eerie reminder to be careful.  In july 2019 Philip Whitehead died when he was trying to rappel down the 140-foot tall cave. April 2019, Juan Gerado Cruces, of Madison, Alabama was found dead in the cave after having been reported missing by his family.  In 2015, a Birmingham teenager was killed after falling while exploring the cave.

The entrance looked magical

Dee the explorer!

Looking back up from the inside

But when made our way around the bend. WOW! It was like out of a science fiction movie

Some people came in from the top

I wanted to climb out on the pedestal for a picture like this but the fear of dying held me back. I watched this guy get down there then walked back and forth like a confused mouse before finding his route back up. I walked over and surveyed the way down, even thought about it more, when the guy rappelling jumped down there tied off his rope then jumped back up like it was nothing. But in the end fear of death won!

Sox and I decided the cave would be an excellent place for a picnic

After we took way too many pictures we headed back out

On the topside, we celebrated with tequila shots

Now time to get off of this mountain and head towards Helen GA.

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