Click here to check out day 1!
Gearing up and getting ready to make our descent! We arrived at the mouth of Popp's Cave around 2:30pm and anticipated being within the cave 2-3 hours total depending on our pace and energy levels.
The entrance of Popp's opens into this main chamber (the largest room) allowing us to stand and walk freely to the next section. This room provides a fantastic gathering place with multiple routes exiting from the sides of the chamber.
Once entering the cave, there are plenty of opportunities to explore and discover different areas within the cave. Several side-passages and tunnels can be found on and around slabs within the cave. Pictured here: Mark explores a side-passage near the main chamber of Popp's using caution with his movement.
Laura explores one of the main slab tunnels within Popp's.
Rachel manages to slide through the "Birth Canal" with a smile on her face. This section is one that often appears impassable to most beginning cavers, but has more than enough functional space for any individual to slide comfortably through.
Exploring deeper within Popp's! Calie thoroughly enjoyed her first experience participating in underground recreation. Our trip was easily a highlight of the semester for many participants!
Inevitably, some entrances are tighter than others! Mark demonstrates expert technique here with a head first dive into a slab tunnel section. Disclaimer: In caving situations where the segment that you are entering is not known in length but seems tight, it is always advised to lead with your feet rather than your head and shoulders. The opening pictured here leads to a previously explored and cleared route.
Calie and Laura in the innermost chamber of Popp's Cave. This photo was taken about one hour into the experience upon arriving at the "Elvis Room".
Luckily, we found an unused utility-grade glowstick when entering into the "Elvis Room" and had some really fun times taking photos with an elongated exposure.
Laura -- Enjoying the glowstick fun!
Austin gets fancy with the designs!
Deep down within the "Mud Room" after back-tracking toward the entrance. Group photo that was taken at the lowest point within the cave! A little blurry, but it got the job done!
"Roommate Photo" -- Austin, Mark, and Bill posing together on "Pride Rock"
Dramatic scene from one of our caving escapades on the way out!
The fearless leaders of the expedition, AJ and Rachael, heading out toward the entrance.
Most of them managed to pull off a "serious caver pose" in this group photo! We ended the trip around 5pm and headed back to UWL to clean up, eat, and reminisce on all the caving memories that were had throughout the day.
Reflections from the day included many creative contributions: pie charts, drawings, poetry, quotes of the day, favorite parts, and stories!