In 2017 we attended the Formal Wear Caving trip that was held on December 9, 2017 and enjoyed a festive trip that provided a great opportunity to meet folks throughout the caving community. Schedules prevented our attendance this year so instead, we through together our own Nashville Grotto trip to visit the famed Christmas Tree formation and take pictures with its lights.
On Sunday December 9, 2018, Grotto members (Ray Maslak, Dave Waescher, Alan Hatch, and Sean Evans along with Kevin McGinnis) and their children met at Tumbling Rock Cave Preserve at 10am. After gearing up with some festive attire and retrieving the battery cave manager Nathan Williams was generous enough to lend for the trip, we headed in.
The cave itself handles water well, but there was a significant amount of rainfall over the previous couple days so several key areas had small waterfalls or higher water levels than are usually seen. In particular the “King’s Shower” had significantly more water flowing than usual.
Making its way down to the Christmas Tree formation, the group got to take a standard group photo as well as individual family pics before backtracking and making our way out.
As mentioned previously, it had rained for several days prior to the trip so the King’s Shower had SIGNIFICANTLY more water-flow as is normally experienced during a trip to Tumbling Rock Cave. With the assistance of Hatch who was able to hold back the water flow momentarily while cavers climbed up to check out the Topless Dome. Others who had previously seen it stayed back to avoid the torrent.
Especially with children, Tumbling Rock Cave preserve will remain an annual visit in December for years to come thanks to the efforts of SCCi and preserve manager Nathan Williams. It was a fantastic trip for grotto members to enjoy with their children around the holidays. Merry Christmas!