Reconnecting with Tucks Cave

It’s always upsetting to lose something, such as: car keys, a wallet, or even reading glasses (for those old enough to use them). Well, we lost a cave. Technically, we still knew where it was but had lost permission to visit it. One of the rules of any National Speleological Society (NSS) sanctioned grotto, such as the River City Grotto, is to have permission to enter property. So, we waited.

We waited five years for the property to be bought by a new owner. Dr. Jeff Karr and Steve Nemith, from the Florida Speleological Society (FSS) reached out to those new owners and established a new relationship. So, on the beautiful morning of March 27, 2021–River City Grotto reconnected with Tucks Cave.

Tucks Cave used to be a favorite due to its easy walk in entrance, walk-able craggy passage, beautiful chert, and multitude of interesting fossils. Tucks Cave is unique, because in addition to the walk in horizontal entrance, there is a vertical (outside) pit entrance, that goes to a deep section of the cave. After a short crawl down under, you can then climb back up another (inside) pit to access the walking cave passage. In essence, you can run a beginning horizontal trip and a more advanced vertical trip in the same cave–and that is what we did.

After doing some exploring on their own. The group comes back to watch Phil and Carrie climb the inside pit.

[All photos in group by Nicole Marti]

It was fantastic getting back into Tucks Cave. We are very thankful to the new property owners that have allowed us to visit a wonderful cave on their property.

Story by Philip Walker