Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chapter 22


Sprung Spring


" ....as far as being on the verge of being a sick man I don't take any stock in that. I have been on the verge of being an angel all of my life, but it's never happened yet.." – Mark Twain
 

Holidays came and went quietly in the cave.  Winter days rolled one to the next too.  Lee got a cold after taking a dunking when some ice gave way over a frozen spring and we passed it back and forth twice before we were finally rid of it. 

“That spring wasn’t there before,” I said while we both sipped a strong broth laced with poultry seasoning and garlic. 

“The one I fell in?”  At my nod he said, “No it wasn’t.  Why bring that up?” 

“I’ve been thinking.” 

“Uh oh.” 

“You want to drink that broth or wear it?”  Lee just grinned but he did settle to hear my thoughts.  “According to what I remember my dad saying this cave used to have a spring fed pool in it way back in the back, back before they shifted so much dirt and rock putting highways through and communities getting built up.  The pool dried up and a new seasonal waterfall popped up that’s now what I call New Victoria Falls.” 

“And?  ‘Cause I know you’re going some place with this.” 

“Well, I am.  I’m just not sure where yet.  It just seems strange the New Victoria has owed down and nearly frozen solid.  And then that new sprrring pops up out of the blue.  It wouldn’t bother me if it wasn’t so close to the cave.  What if the pressure that used to send the spring up into the cave – the pressure that went away when so much earth was moved – is returning?  And with things being like they are, that the cave won’t fill up and we’ll be left in a world of hurt?”

“Whoa, you have been thinking.” 

“Yeah.  How stupid does it sound?” 

“Welllll, probably not as much as you were hoping I would say.” 

“Great.  I was hoping you’d tell me I was nuts and I could forget about it.” 

“You ain’t nuts Bella, but … personally I don’t think your worst case scenario is something you need to get gray hair over.” 

“Why?” 

“Well, for starters this cave sets a good 500 feet above that fall yours and it’s a good 300 feet above the new spring.  And between us and the spring is a good size crevice and another steep incline.  You said yourself you had to take the truck up and over the ridge – and that’s enough of a good track I wouldn’t wanna take a horse on much less a truck – to get it here.  If the spring does spit out someplace new it’d be that crevice and unless it can build a bridge, that’s as far as I see it going.” 

“You sure?” 

“Pretty sure.  But you got me willing to talk about something that’s been on my mind.” 

“What?” 

“Well, you know them people we think were salvagers?” 

“Yeah.” 

“They talked like they had other caches of stuff.” 

“Yeah, but we ain’t salvagers.  I mean we’ve done some outta necessity but I’ll be honest Lee, I’m not real partial to the idea of making a living doing it.” 

“Me neither Sweetheart.  I’m not talking about salvaging so much as the idea of caches.” 

“OK, you lost me.” 

“What happens if we get caught out in a storm and we can’t get back home … or something else that catches out at night away from the cave.  Maybe one or the other of us gets hurt and can’t move too far in a day.  Anything like that.  Seems to me having a place we can ge some supplies in an emergency wouldn’t be a bad thing.” 

“Actually sounds like a good idea.  Dry clothes at least,” I told him.  “But it’d have to be bear proof.” 

“Not just bears but waterproof, rot proof, rust proof, squirrel proof … and human proof.  Most of that can be addressed with PVC and burying.” 

We talked about it some more.  Lee said he could likely get the PVC by hacking up some plumbing pipes and I offered to donate the MREs we still had to the cause. 

Lee laughed.  “you really got a hate on for those things.  Why?” 

“That’s all there was when we were forced to evacuate.  Bad taste, bad memories … but they’ll do in a pinch and they last a long time.”
 
He nodded in understanding but then shrugged.  “We’ll have to wait for the ground to thaw before we dig.  Things may change by then so who knows?”

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