Welcome back. Having had a tantalizing look at the outside of my favorite (to date) brewery cave it is time to head on in. The nautical part of our journey was fairly short. About 20 feet into the cave the floor was higher, presumably by design. This allowed seepage and ice melt to drain off.
The floor was damp but a nice solid base layer of rock made footing easy. This was a well constructed cave, one that did not have the common problem of debris from the walls and ceiling piling up on the floors.
I was here at the invitation of a local history buff who got in touch after reading some of my Detritus of Empire postings on this topic. I promised him a heroic "intrepid explorer" picture. Heroic enough, Rich? The cave is T-shaped and goes back about 100 feet from front door to the furthest corner.
Most brewery caves had one or more vent holes. I have seen a few with metal or ceramic pipes fitted in them. This vent was remarkable in that it was larger than usual, and because somebody went to the significant effort to line the entire shaft with well cut and placed stone blocks.
Here is an odd feature. There were a couple of places where random holes were drilled into the side walls. They go in for 18 inches or so. I wonder if they were considering where to start side passages?
As I mentioned this cave has a nice slope to the floor which makes for clean drainage. And it lacks the common drainage gutters than can be either in the middle of the floor or along the walls. There was this odd curved trough, but I don't know if it was man made or natural. Because in the back of the cave there was something wonderful...
Water was seeping from a wall and making "Flowstone". These deposits of calcite come from dissolved minerals and are pretty much formed by the same mechanism as stalactites.
Here's a closer look...
And on the way out we noticed a couple of bats. Per my previous posts I try to avoid visiting caves with bats during their hibernation season. These guys were a surprise. So we gently tiptoed out and left them to slumber. Near as I can tell though, they have been spared the dreaded White Nose Disease that is tragically hitting bat populations so hard.
Sorry to keep this cave location a secret. It is on private property and I was there as a guest. This is a totally unspoiled cave. Not a speck of trash, no graffiti. I think we were the first to set foot in it in many years. It would be a shame to see it damaged.
Also our bat pals need more "space" these days.
And although this cave holds no danger to the Prudent I hate to image what trouble kids with beer could get into. There is water, a vent shaft that looks fun to climb in, steep cliff faces above.....yikes.
Just be happy that a few places like this still exist far off the beaten track.