#12 – The Discovery of the Cave – 1982

Written by Russell Burrows:

Now this valley lies on a northwest to southeast heading and is about five hundred or so yards in length with a width of about seventy-five feet to about three hundred feet. It has a depth at the cliff walls ranging from about twenty-five to forty feet. The walls of the cliffs are water-worn and undercut to some degree, and there are several very large blocks of limestone/ sandstone lying at the base of the wall on the west side. The floor of the valley is rather flat with a small creek running through it from the south. There is a small pond located at the western end of the valley. I call this a sinkhole. If we had a hard rain for a few days it would rise six or seven inches, but it would always return to its former level very quickly.

One day, I carried in a small spool of fishing line which had well over three hundred feet of line on it. I tied a small rock to it and threw it into the pond. It just kept going down all the way and never did stop. That is one deep sinkhole.

I continued to spend my time searching the valley. It was at the south end that I located the entrance to the cave.

I had crawled under a ledge and was looking for petroglyphs such as I had seen in the pit. I had searched all the walls of the entire length of the valley, and while I had seen a few scratchings, I was not all that excited about what I had seen so far, and was beginning to think that the pit and sinkhole were the only things of interest in the valley. Finally, I gave up on this last place, and decided to quit. In disgust, I tossed my small rock pick against the inside wall of the overhang. The rock gave out a distinctly unnatural sound: a hollow ring, not what I’d expect from solid rock.

I wondered if I would be wasting my time to start digging, but then I thought, “What the heck,” and began to dig along the back wall of the overhang. Something about the lay of things there made me want to keep digging. As I dug along the edge of the overhang I eventually uncovered the top of what appeared to be another portal at about two feet down in the silt. As I continued to expose it more and more I could see that, like the door in the pit, it was sealed with cut and fitted stone blocks. I don’t know how anyone but a real expert stone cutter working over a long period of time could have done such a perfect job. The stones fit so tightly that it looked almost as if they had some mastic (like possibly bees wax) to seal them.

In the center of the portal, about a third of the way down or less, was a rock with a head carved on it, which to me had the appearance of a wild boar. Careful study of this rock indicated that it must be the keystone. If this one stone could be removed the others would surely come out very easily.