30 Years in 52 Weeks – Happy Holidays

Ringing in the New Year underground

Don and I used to have a saying. “If we rang in the New Year underground it would mean we would have a very good year.” It was just something that we as cavers liked, actually strived, to do. We lived by that theory and so it became common to be somewhere like on rappel on an expedition in Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico at the stroke of midnight. You can read about in “Getting in Deep” by Lisa DeLucia (read the preview available on Amazon.com).
Sometimes we stayed closer to home and rang in the New Year with a champagne toast in Pisgah lava caves in California. This is a slideshow from one of those trips. We celebrated with Gregg Oelker, Patty Riley, Ernie Garza, Russ Harter, Bill Liebman, and us, Don and Lisa DeLucia. This was the way it was for us in the 1980s and 1990s.

On this trip the sky was blue but it was still brisk. The lava caves of Pisgah are located on private land that needed permission to access entry onto the gated road. The significant caves are far and few between but worth it. There are some shelters along the desolated walk to Cat and QQ caves and rope work is involved to cave the main lava tubes. We were fortunate to have Russ Harter, a volcanologist, on our trip who shared his expertise on the many geologic wonders in the various lava tubes.

Let’s go!

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