Late-Night Escapade

I will keep you in suspense no longer! Here are the pictures from our little hike down to the end of the Bates’ driveway; you see, that’s where the mouth of the cave was.

The mouth as seen from the road

Despite it being 10:30PM by the time the days work was done, dinner was cleaned up, the family meeting over, and the thunderstorm past, Dad and Mom let us go exploring. After all, it was the last opportunity.

Picking our way along the zigzagged pathDavid examines a unique formation; passageways came in all shapes and sizes

At first, I thought it would be a relatively small cave; but it wasn’t long till I was assured that days could be spent in the exploration of this place!

Almost looks like the catacombs!"What do you think we can we find in this big room?"Pausing for a quick pose

The cave was full of winding tunnels, tight passages, and huge rooms.

It wasn't no cakewalk; it was as close to spelunking as I'd ever experienced

It was important that each person had their own light, just in case. Because we were shy on flashlights, the Bates’ brought out their kerosene lanterns. It greatly enhanced the experience!

Jonathan emerges from his hideout
Michael observes his surroundingsWe were grateful for working lightsNathan climbes down from a shelf which appeared to be the ceiling

We had to watch out for many things, including drop offs, water collected on the floor, jutting rocks at head level, and old, rusty junk from previous visitors near the entrance of the cave.

One last pose before climbing out of the cave 
Watch where you step . . .. . . and watch your head! 

Our time at the Bates’ was well spent. It’s refreshing to interact with a family so totally sold out for God. We experienced firsthand a clear principle of relationships: as each individual draws closer to God, they all become closer to each other. As seen at the Bates’, our Father is not only a creative Designer, He is an interpersonal God.

Well, this is just the end of the beginning of our trip to the Regional ATI Conference. Tomorrow, we head to Nashville!


  1. Allen P June 4, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    WOW! That’s amazing! I have never explored a cave for real. I have visited Howe Caverns in central New York State, but the paths were smooth and well protected. This looks like a lot of fun! I am eager to explore such a cave some day. Perhaps when I visit the Bates family?

  2. Jonathan June 5, 2009 at 5:26 am #

    That was a lot of fun, Though I slip in a couple of puddles and hit my head once it was well worth it. Thanks for posting about it.

  3. Adam June 5, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    Wow! How exciting that must of been! I wonder what it was like seeing all those diffrent holes and passage ways. Looks like fun.:-)

  4. Michael June 9, 2009 at 4:35 am #

    It was a very enjoyable excursion! Everyone’s cautiousness and looking out for each other made it both fun and safe. It was amazing to see what God had hidden underground and allowed us to enjoy.

  5. Dad & Mom June 10, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    We’ll all have to go in the cave the next time. Because we were able to get your mother into our tree stand for a visit, there is a good possibility we can get her to join us for a little exploration of the cave.

  6. Robert June 11, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    What an adventure!

  7. Casey July 22, 2009 at 6:05 pm #

    Found your wonderful blog thru a google search for the Bates (they are my inlaws!). These are great pics of their cave, and house! We were just there visiting, too and were amazed by both! Aren’t they a wonderful family? We are constantly inspired by their devotion to God and their loving, happy family.

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