MOIRA - July 24-26 2009

Cavers: Rachel, Sid, Robert Han, Boston Grotto (Rich, Keluo, Dave, Lee, Aaron, Daniel)

We went to Canada to go in a cave.

We camped out just over the border in New York on Thousand Island State Park and got up early in the morning to drive to Belmont, Ontario.  Rachel and I were accompanied by a high school student named Daniel from Marlboro, MA who was on his first caving trip.

We eventually found the parking area, and Rich and Dave went to talk to the property owner to get permission.  He was very friendly and said we could come back any time we want. 

We had some difficulty actually finding the entrance, and after about an hour of searching along the banks of the Moira river and following various cracks in the bedrock, we ran into two Canadian cavers who had just come out of Moira and showed us the entrance. 

Moira is a maze cave filled with unexpectedly warm water and unexpectedly huge spiders.  The water flows directly in from the shallow river, where it's heated by the sun, and thus much of the cave consists of floating through 80 degree water while getting increasingly lost.

We first explored the dry half of the cave, where we tried to get ourselves lost in the maze-like passages but somehow always managed to pop back out in the entrance room.  There was also an enormous, grapefruit-sized spider.  Then we went to the wet half, where our group broke into several factions as we went down different passages.  Eventually we all emerged out one of the many downstream exits and washed off in the warm river water.  The strong current in the river was fun to ride downstream.

We were planning to re-enter the cave and explore a different area of the wet half and exit out the main resurgence, but we got distracted when we discovered "Across the River Cave", which is across the river from Moira.  This cave was quite similar to Moira, and we spent about an hour exploring it.  By then, it was starting to rain lightly and an upstream dam release early that morning meant that the water levels were expected to rise considerably by the early evening, so we decided not to reenter Moira. 

So we got changed, had dinner at some nice restaurant with a piano that no one was playing, then drove back to the campsite.  In the morning we ate bacon and drove home.  We stopped at Mrs. Shake near Mohawk Valley, New York, to see the Erie Canal and have milkshakes.

---Rachel and Sid