Pumpkin Hunt 2002
October 26th, 2002

This year's theme was the Journey to the Center of the Earth, and participants relived key parts of the story through story-related clues, locations and activities. The theme gave us ample reason to send the hunters south to the volcano in Monterey and other new cave locations in Virginia. The poor safety practices of the original Journeyers led to an emphasis on safety techniques throughout the day.

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Photo Album
What's New
The cabin decorations leave no doubt as to why we are here! Pumpkin Stack Participants The eager participants line up to listen to Prof. Lidenbrock explain the hunt's rules.
To get things rolling, or flying, as the case may be, the team captains are blindfolded. Captains are blindfolded Blindfolded Frisbee Golf The blindfolded captains try to guide their Frisbees into the volcano guided only by the voice commands of their assistants.
What does this mean? A hard clue New Trout Cave In keeping with the safety focus of the day, Jen and Tim enforce the 3-light-rule for all cavers entering New Trout Cave. Craig and Carol tested carbide lamp assembly skills at Hamilton Cave.
The Guardian of the Mushroom Forest stands at the ready. Guardian Rigging Test The Guardian does not let any cavers pass until they demonstrate proper rigging and knot tying skills.
Once the Guardian allowed cavers to pass, they had to seek their clues in a forest of giant mushrooms. Mushroom Forest Setting explosives In keeping with the story, cavers had to set a load of "explosives" at the swinging bridge at the Aqua campground using a somewhat leaky canoe. They also got a nice tour of Marshalls Cave, and maybe Aqua Cave if they didn't search enough.
This year's winners, the Hodgepodge Testosterone Running in Heels and Helmets, clocked in just after 3 PM.
The Winners Gear! Pumpkin hunters are known to be gear freaks, but this takes the cake!
Some participants didn't get enough caving during the hunt and did a post-hunt trip and cleanup in McCoy's Mill Cave Cavers Planning Next Year's Hunt The winners get an early start on planning next year's hunt at the post-hunt party.

All photos by Jim McConkey

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Last update: 17.Apr.2004