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Where I was this past weekend

Bob Zimmerman underground

Several readers have asked in the comments for a report on what I did this past weekend.

I went caving. The photo to the right, taken on a previous trip several years ago, will give you an idea. The cave is amazingly beautiful. The trip was to designed to give a bunch of people a chance to see it.

I won’t say much more than this, mostly because it is unwise to reveal too much about the caves one visits because this then attracts people to them who are often either inexperienced (and thus a risk to themselves) or untrustworthy in terms of protecting the cave’s beauty. I am totally willing and open to bring anyone who wants to go to the caves I visit, but a newbie should go the first time with someone experienced, for the reasons already outlined.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • LocalFluff

    Looks like a rubble pile. Gently moving away from it, would be my reaction.

  • LocalFluff: Nope, quite wrong. Those crystals are quite solidly placed.

  • Robert Elfers

    Looks awesome.
    I’d love to take you up on that, but I don’t get out west very often. Plus, it has been 20 years and 50 pounds ago.
    Our group mostly looked into wild caves in KY and TN. They were typically quite wet, and care needed to be taken.
    Amateurs with carbide lamps. Got some great photos, though.

  • wayne

    here you go..

    “Zimmerman Finds Promising Future Ground…..”
    Gold Rush season 10 snippet

  • wayne

    “Sampling the rubble-pile, and backing away slowly….”

  • pzatchok

    I have only been through a few tourist caverns, Cascade Caverns, Natural Bridge Caverns, and Carlsbad Caverns. Plus two private caves close by with a local geologist and spelunker.

    The local caves had some indigenous artifacts in them. We left those alone.

  • George

    As claustrophobic as I am, I love spelunking (as a firefighter, we trained in the “entanglement box,” in full turnout gear with a blacked-out faceshield, and that gives me the shakes thinking about it.) That photo reminds me of a cave I visited as a kid outside Las Vegas, since filled in with concrete, “for safety,” last I heard. Your article on carbide lamps also brought a smile to my face, as I recall difficulty with using those. A dream would be to visit the Giant Crystal Cave one day.

  • I must point out that experienced cavers do NOT use the term “spelunkers.” For us, a spelunker is someone a caver rescues. :)

  • pzatchok

    Sorry but I am no place close to a pro caver.

  • clay

    Looks like your standing inside a geode.

  • clay: You are literally correct. Many sections of this particular cave formed as very large geodes which were later broken into when the cave around them formed.

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