SUNNY CAL JOURNAL - Life Without Boredom, Calhoun Caves

(12/31/2003)

By Bob Weaver 2003

Ronzil Lynch in Richardson Cave in 1957

Life without boredom - the making of ones' own adventure.

It has been an advantage experiencing life in the country, not to be afflicted with "I'm bored."

Life at Hur was filled with climbing rocks, sliding down mud banks, jumping from barn lofts, shinnying up trees, playing in the the creek and crawling into holes.

We called the holes "caves," but most were overhanging rocks with a sheltering space, but some had a little more adventure, tight passageways requiring belly-crawling.

Calhoun has few really good caves, but my buddy Ronzil Lynch and I made do. We crawled under most every rock in Washington, Lee and Center district, and some of them were real caves, sorta.

Paulser's Cave hid AWOL Civil War soldier from Hur

Paulser's Cave in a tiny holler off Rowels Run was the hiding place of Paulser McCune, a Confederate soldier who decided to come home to the Village of Hur a little early. The cave had considerable space under which to build a shanty, and that's what Paulser did. He lived there, hiding from those who came after him, until the war was over.

In the late 50's, Ronzil and I explored the Richardson Cave, not far from the famous Mose Hole of West Fork River fame. It was a nervy experience, squeezing through the tiny hole and crawling about 100 feet in the claustrophobic space, barely able to raise ones' head to look about. Ronzil went first, encountering spiders and other creatures not often seen in daylight. There were a few open spaces and crooked turns.

In a more recent exploration of the Richardson Cave, we discovered the entrance has been completely covered by the building of a road.

Several times we went to the Barnes Run Cave, located on the original Albert Ball farm. The cave, now mostly collapsed, rests just above the roadway and was once inhabited by a Kerby woman who decided to escape the pressure of family life. Old-timers told the story, like old-timers do, the cave went deep into the mountain, secret passages and deep fall-offs. It just wasn't true. The bats loved the place, squeaking when hit by the head of crawlers.

The Mount Zion Cave, a short distance behind the Mount Zion Church, is a pretty good crawler. Three or so years ago we took a truckload of folks to "explore" the cave.

Two of the younger explorers delved deep into the cave, where it narrows to a tiny hole. Poking their head inside the hole with their light, a black cat screamed and squalled in its' flight past their heads toward the opening, seventy five feet away. They flew out too. Marvin Stemple said generations of students at the Mt. Zion one-room school would drift to the cave on long lunch hours.

Fetty's Cave used for gatherings and reunions

Kids and adults from several counties have been traveling to Fetty's Cave near the edge of Bear Fork country. Newspapers in the early 1900's reported family picnics and reunions were held under the large cliff. You can park several cars under the hangover, which is located a short distance from Steer Creek in Gilmer County.

Ronzil and I spent hours climbing around the rocks along the West Fork between Rocksdale and Richardson, including Bear Rock. Yes, it does look like the head of a bear. The steep rocks above the river near Richardson was home to bobcats, whose night squalls would awaken the dead.


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