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Smoky Cave

I used Google Satellite images to locate the sinkhole that contains Smoky Cave and Steam Cave. I chose the property closest in distance to the sinkhole, and we drove out one morning to talk to the owners.


There we met two older gentlemen that live in a cluster of houses up The Steepest Driveway Ever. They were very outgoing and explained the cave and the trail without even asking who we were or where we were from. I started to explain that we were independent but knew some SEPRI members, but they cut me off to offer us to rinse our stuff at his place. He stated that only two other cavers had come since Hurricane María two years ago, but that the trail should be fine.

Well, the trail was not fine. There was absolutely no sign of a trail. The brush was absurdly impenetrable. It took us over an hour to cover the 220 meters from the car to the cave entrance. Carrasco abounded, but I knew better and we had double layers and wore gloves and a face mask.


Soaked in perspiration, we found Humo with its trademark humidity cloud blowing out. We put on our lights and descended into the dramatic entrance.

At the bottom of the debris pile, entering total blackness, we turned right and climbed up the flowstone. The cave ceiling was probably 200 feet high, and the noise of thousands of bats sounded something like a waterfall in a windstorm.

We followed the massive hallway back for maybe a thousand feet, then took a low-ceiling side passage to the left. This one brought us into an even larger passage with incredible amounts of mud and guano. The smell was horrific. As the passage widened, it came to a large pit, which, per historical reports, used to have a Tyrolean traverse set up. There were no ropes here. There was another small side passage on the left, with multiple graffiti, but we decided to turn back.


The terrible smell of the guano had me dreaming of fresh air. We returned the way we came, climbed up the entrance pile, and headed 150 feet due south to Steam Cave.

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