The Hidden Cave

The awkward transitional period between the death of winter and the explosion of spring is a rough one. Looking at the cracked surface of a grey Lake Champlain, the landscape seemed warn down and tired. But there was something different. A warbling, trembling uncertainty rumbled below the atmosphere as the lake surface cracked and groaned, and the distant sounds of water tumbling down dirty cliffs meant snow melt. It meant Spring, and everything was fragile.

Walking along a cold cobblestone beach underneath sentinel cliffs, amazed at how all the trees above me were growing and surviving from their strange perches amidst crumbling stone, I let my cabin fever get the best of me, and started climbing up ledges and over trees, enjoying the “warm” afternoon.

My hands and feet slipped constantly in the muddy banks, a sure sign that mud season is right around the corner. Gripping onto the skeletons of exposed tree routes and getting filth all over my jacket, I found myself staring up at a frozen waterfall of snow runoff, and behind it, the telltale blackness of a crevice in the cliff face. I decided to get closer.

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As I got closer, and decided it was safe enough to approach without falling down what I had just climbed up, I realized it was more than just an indent in the rocks, I was starting at the mouth of a cave.

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Of course, when you stumble upon a cave, natural instinct is to go inside and check it out, and that’s what I did. This cave was a constant surprise. What I had assumed to be small was actually a very decent sized chamber that went far back underneath the ledges. Greeting me almost right away was a very cool site, a makeshift bench made from driftwood hauled up from the nearby beach, and a DIY fire pit, with the scatterings of ash still inside.

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Further behind the sitting area, some artifacts had been left behind. A wicker basket was placed on a rock table, with a pair of Zebra striped glasses left inside.

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Now the cave was getting narrow and the ceiling was getting lower, ice water was dripping down the back of my neck. For an awkward section, I had to crouch down on my knees to get back further, and just when I thought I had reached the end, the cave suddenly opened back up again and created a sort of second chamber, with a rock seating area along the back wall, and some cool stand alone ice formations on the frozen cave floor.

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It was definitely a cool place, something I’d most likely build myself if I had more ready access to a cave. I wondered, who put the effort into making this cool cliff side hangout, when and why? And maybe the best question, how many people know about it? But all was a mystery. Even the few marks of cave graffiti very neatly painted on the walls offered no incite.

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At the top of the waterfall

At the top of the waterfall

Looking up the ledges

Looking up the ledges

The cave was an awesome discovery, and I can imagine it being the perfect place to hang out on cool summer nights. I know when I left for a walk today, I never expected to find a hidden hangout spot underneath a cliff. You never know what you’ll find if you don’t venture off the beaten path.

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5 Comments on “The Hidden Cave

  1. Very, very, unexpected cool find. I can’t believe you dared to enter it, but I’m so glad you did! Thanks for taking me on the adventure. Wished I’d been the one wearing the zebra striped sunglasses! The cave definitely told stories…. and you uncovered parts of some of them. If cave walls could talk….:)

  2. Thanks for sharing your adventure, Chad. I’d feel similarly delighted if I made the discovery unexpectedly, as well. Off the beaten path isn’t always as far away as one might imagine…

  3. Thanks for posting I think the FOOKIE BOOKIE was written over a 2 word obscenity, just my 2 cents. I like Obscure Vermont postings…the race track at Pownal was the saddest as I used to vacation in VT and stay at Ladd Brook and attend the dog races…shame I cant anymore

  4. Another great job. As usual each word brought me to the next until I had read the entire article. Keep up the great work. Thanks

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