Dave and I about to hike our second trail for today. Going to see if we can get into the ice caves
The trail is mostly up hill going to the caves. There are many rocks to climb over and go around.
This whole area has so many glacier rocks. It is a spectacular sight.
what a guy! He would have heisted me up but luckily we could walk around this rock.
The trail to the ice caves is about one mile and goes through the tall pines and extremely large glacial rocks, the rocks are covered in moss and ferns, many have trees that have grown up and the roots surround them.
There are metal rungs, courtesy of the Nature Conservancy, to climb down into the cave. As you go down, the temperature drastically changes. Just standing in front of the entrance today my glasses fogged up. Down inside it's the same as the temp in a freezer. If visiting in springtime you should have warm clothes, mittens and ice grips for your shoes and a long piece of rope so that you can get yourself back up again. During the spring and summer, the ice covers the walls of the caves and starts to melt and forms ice cycles .
There are a few rooms in the caves, the first one is big enough to walk around in and head into the back rooms. The back rooms are smaller and harder to get squeeze into. If you are claustrophobic it won't be something that you would want to investigate. If you like searching small places make sure you bring warm cloths and flashlights because even the larger front room is very dark.
Dave wasn't able to get into the larger room very far because of the ice build up and snow on the ground. He could get down but the problem would have been trying to get back up. We didn't know if the snow covered floor was solid where their is a stream that runs through keeping the floor in ice and snow. We didn't bring a rope to get us back out and the snow slope would have made it impossible to get out. It will be getting dark in a few hours so we didn't attempt to go down. The ice cycles were like bars on a jail cell today. They extended all the way from cave ceiling to the floor. The cave height is about 8-10 feet high normally but the snow inside made it a crawling experience.
This location is also the location of an EarthCache for those that follow the Maine Earth Cache
This cave is a talus cave, which means huge boulders of rock lying in a heap and do not really fit together, so there are crevices and cracks between them. The shrinking glacier, leaving huge boulders which came from the north, formed these caves. Talus caves are rather rare, especially the big ones.
The ice cycles were thick and barred the entrance to the cave. Dave was able to snap a few pictures of the ice formations inside.
It was rather warm outside today in the middle 60's but the fog escaping from the entrance left the cave a mist. This is the entrance to one of the rooms
Dave stepped down into the cave. The snow sloped down another 8 to 10 feet. He wasn't going any further without a rope or snow axe, but he sure wanted to.
If we would have had more time we would have gone the distance down to Debsconeag lake but it was getting late and I wanted to get my feet out of the woods before dark.