Cave Diving and Bike Riding in Marianna Florida

September 2, 2008

Tuesday we opted for a mix of activities.  We had Merritt’s Mill Pond to ourselves as we made our dive in Jackson Blue Cave, and then afterwards we went for a relaxing bike ride in Florida Cavern State Park.

Going to the back of the JB cavern, we tied into the mainline where it heads down the crack and continued to the back of the cavern, and tied into the circuit.  Heading left on the circuit, we descended, twisting around to get to the bottom where the circuit met up with a line heading off under a ledge with an arrow with a 27 on it.  Since this was only a taste of circuits prior to her class, we turned around and headed back up.  Once back at the top of the circuit, we headed down the other leg.  It’s a bit tight, but not impossible for a back mount diver, so Penny stayed on top, and I slithered and spun around, weaving to the bottom of the crack, mostly using Penny’s light from above.  Once at the bottom, I was able to see the other leg of the circuit and the cave arrow with the 27 on it before headed back up to the top where Penny was watching.  For some reason, this type of cave diving is the most appealing to me, rather than going for the furthest reaches down the main line.  I’d rather focus on the nooks and crannies of a cave, and am looking forward to Penny’s completion of full cave so that we can do more progressive travel along these less-traveled paths.

After sunning ourselves in the Park (you can’t come to Florida in the summer and go home looking as pale as when you arrived… LOL), we packed up our gear, got a bite to eat, and loaded our bikes up for a ride into the Florida Cavern Park.  It was empty as well, being the day after Labor Day, so we biked on the roads at our leisure.  Starting straight away, we had a nice descent that gave me a top speed of around 26 miles per hour from all coasting and no pedaling.  The rolling hills and steep climb out was a nice change of pace from the flat trails we typically do.  If we’d have had more time, we might have gone on the dry Cavern tour, but we were near park closing time.

The ride was only about 7 miles long, but it was a good way to break up the cave diving we were doing.


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