What an amazing trip we had! Caving with Go Adventures was a thrilling, tiring, and safe experience.
Several scouts said this was their favorite campout of the year.
See the gallery here (but you must be logged in!)
After wondering at our interaction with local deer during our drive, we arrived at Pine Grove Furnace State Park campgrounds (near Gardeners, PA) around 1o PM; we were lucky enough to be the only campers as far as eyes and ears could tell. We braved 6 inches of snow and temperatures in the teens Friday night. Campsite setup went well.
We braved 6+ inches of snow and temperatures in the teens Friday night, setup camp with only a few cases of cold toes.
Getting up at 6:30 am was very difficult given the temperatures, but scouts cooked a delicious egg skillet breakfast and made bag lunches, and given a difficult cleanup (thanks to the cold temps) we departed for caving only 1/2 hour behind schedule.
We met our guides in the parking lot of the Yankauer Nature Preserve in West Virginia. We could feel remarkably warmer temperatures (in the high 40’s,) as we ate lunch and geared up with helmets, headlamps, gloves, and kneepads provided by the guides.The caves were in the 50s, and by the time we got
We hiked 1/2 mile along roads and more within the nature preserve to arrive at the caves. Given the tight space within the cave, we split into 2 groups to take turns exploring 2 different caves:
- Whitings Neck Cave was amazing; lots of mineral formations and geological features. The caving was challenging with lots of climbing, crawling through small openings, and darkness.
- Liberty Cave required a hike down a very cool trail along the Patomic River to find the entrance. This cave was loaded with bats (hibernating bats which we successfully avoided waking from their long slumber) and more cool places to explore.
The caves were in the 50s, and by the time we got outside, it was 67 degrees! We were hot and sweaty.
We drove back to the campsite to find temperatures already falling through the low 40’s.
Scouts cooked an amazing fajita/taco dinner and 2 scouts earned their firemn’ chit as we they built a warm campfire, while others put up rain flies (tarps) to make rain shelter for the impending rain. It cooled back down Saturday night, but not as bad as the night before. We did have steady rain Sunday morning.The meals were all done well.
It cooled back down Saturday night, but not as bad as the night before. Rain started around 5AM, and scouts were awoken by 8AM.
We awoke to a steady rain Sunday morning, which, as scouts, we were prepared for. Scouts cooked a one-pot breakfast of hashbrowns, sausages, and eggs.
As we are still young scouts, it took much longer that expected to pack up our gear and clean up the site. We ended up leaving around 10:30 (90 minutes after out targeted departure time.)
Overall, a great adventure. Several scouts want to go next year and rappel down the 40 ft drop inside the cave.
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The planning information
We have an amazing campout planned for this coming weekend! Caving with GO-Adventures (http://go-adventures.com/adventure-instruction/caving-adventures/) in Whiting’s Neck Cave in Yankauer Nature Preserve, WV (just over the border from Maryland.)
We’ll also spend 2 nights of camping outdoors with a good weather forecast (though small chance of rain late Saturday Night.)
When: Friday Feb 10 – Sunday Feb 12
Depart: 72nd and West End, 5:30 pm, Friday Feb 10
Return: 72nd and West End, approx. 2pm (We’ll notify you 1 hour before arrival) Sunday Feb 12
Program: Caving with GO Adventures (https://www.facebook.com/go.adventures/)
- Caving in Whiting’s Neck Cave – Parking lot is across the street from this house:
- 455 Whiting’s Neck Rd.
Martinsburg, WV 25404
GPS: N39 30.086 W77 51.191
- 455 Whiting’s Neck Rd.
Camping Location: Pine Grove Furnace State Park
- Location of Parking Lot for Group Camping:
Cost: $120 including food and program.