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One Girl, Five Guys, No Date - Part 6

I Was a Teenage Earthworm

by Bonnie Doerr (written when she was 16!)
Reprinted from the South Wind, May 7, 1965

Part six in which I nearly lose hope at the end of my rope.

Whitings Neck cave is entered through a sink hole unlike Molers. One must lower oneself through the opening and then crawl in. The first obstacle was a fifteen foot cliff. Nate climbed down a rope fastened to a stalagmite and waited at the bottom while I was lowered. This was a unique experience, especially since I couldn’t see the bottom of the cliff.

After crawling for fifty feet and then walking one hundred thirty feet, we came to another cliff. This one was forty five feet down. Again Nate went first. Naturally, the boys scaled the cliff, but again I had to be lowered, banging into the rock with every inch of rope they loosened. I could feel my bruises building.

The guys told me one thing that day that proved to be absolutely true. Whitings Neck was much prettier than Molers. It is beautiful, except for the hundreds of names all over the walls and ceilings. (Note: We did NOT scar the cave with our names.) The natural formations are magnificent.

At the bottom of this cliff was another flooded passage. I had changed into a pair of George’s dry coveralls an hour before and did not intend to get any wetter than necessary. The only way to prevent it was to put shoulders on one wall and feet on the other, then inch along, alternately working your shoulders and feet. We did this a distance of over fifteen feet.

We reached a point where we had to swing over to a twelve inch wide rim on the edge of a different cliff covered with flowing water. Here I stopped. I refused to climb this completely vertical, soaked, slippery cliff. My shoulders and arms could take no more.

There I waited. For a very long time I stood on that narrow ledge looking down at the water ten feet below. Alone, with nothing to hold on to but my heart. Much the way I expected to feel on the night of the prom.

END Part 6

Coming Next...Was getting the story worth it? Do I go to the prom? Tune in for the final episode, which includes a photo of me with Spelunkers, Inc. -- five fabulous guys.

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