Maquoketa Caves Expedition
The Ice Cave, pictured above, is a large cavern with a small, almost-hidden chamber at the back and to the left. The chamber is a great place to hide and spy on other hikers entering the cave.
  Above: Ciaran, left, and Jeff take a break above the park's valley. Below: Ciaran checks out a small cave on the valley's east wall. Bottom: A varmint we encountered on a ledge near the Lower Cave Entrance. We fed it a few sunflower seeds before it scampered down a small cave that we decided not to explore.
  Heavy humidity and fog at Maquoketa Caves played havoc with the digital camera and prevented us from getting good shots inside the caves. Next time we will have to bring a regular film camera. At left, the fog is visible floating above the creek of the Lower Cave Entrance.

  Inside the caves, the moist vapor was refreshing -- like an air conditioning break during a hot day.
   After an easy trip through the main cave, we helped a group of college kids from Decorah locate the Wye Cave. A mixture of large caverns and tight squeezes, the Wye Cave is one of the best in the park, but for some reason it was left off the park's most recent trail map. The Guild still has an old trail map with the cave marked.

  Signs around the park note that climbing and rappelling are prohibited. This means the place has to be great for climbing and rappelling. At right, Julie surveys a wall after scrambling up some rocks on the eastern side of the valley.
At right, Julie squeezes out of Shinbone Cave at the end of the trail. Not much to see there.
Email the guild.


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