Since this years speleo-ed was being held at Millerton cave which is closer to my new home in Bakersfield then Sacramento I figured I should be sure and attend. Also since the following Friday I wanted to be in Sacramento I decided I could continue heading north and maybe see some sights on the way.
Since Millerton is a cold water cave I always enjoy my trips there but of course speleo-ed is about the presentations and a chance to meet up with other cavers. As usual the presentations were great, the biggest problem being that I couldn’t see them all. I stuck with the expeditions track and really enjoyed all the lectures.
Saturdays dinner was a fundraiser for the NCRC and the food was great, the business meeting even kept to a self imposed time limit(almost) so that folks could go sample beer. During the meeting a couple of motions were passed to send money to the Oregon grottos to help with graffiti removal and the mapping of the glacial cave they’ve been involved with. Both are great projects and I look forward to hearing how they progress.
Sunday it was time to go caving. The weather was suprisingly cool which meant a late start down the trail didn’t leave us dripping with sweat, yet the beautiful sunny day still caused me to look forward to getting into the water.
We made our way through the middle section of the cave and back again, along the way we spotted the usual dead mice, a couple of snakes, frogs etc. A garter snake was still alive in the cold water so we placed it in a nalgene bottle I had in my pack and released it outside of the cave. We also spotted a large gopher snake just resting on the trail an the way back.
After a great day caving it was time to head over to Prather for a delicious dinner at Velascos restaurant. Next I was heading East towards Shaver lake to escape the heat for a few days before heading to Sacramento, but I’ll write about that later.