Places like this do exist in the middle of the desert, Fossil Springs, Arizona

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At a speed of 0.5 mph it would take 30 minutes to crawl .25 miles. Imagine being 15 minutes into it and honestly, a bit winded from the effort. The ceiling lowers from the brutal 4′ down to 1.5′ with a foot of violent 56F water below. You are effectively trapped even though you are 15 minutes away from relative safety at either end.

You keep inhaling water as it splashes against your face. Your lights all all turned off and secured away. Complete darkness. In order to breath better, you try and lay on your back and scoot further into the depths.

A crawdad nips you.

A few minutes of this and you get wedged in but you cant see what you are caught on because your arms are pinned and cant access the lights.

Panic. You feel hopeless. Another crawdad nips you. Panic intensifies. A sudden gush of water chokes you but mercifully pushes you back hard enough to unwedge you.

After rerouting around what turned out to be organic debris covered in insects you are thankfully able to crawl again. After several minutes of crawling in darkness you get a strange sensation.

You know how it feels when someone is suddenly standing behind you and you can just sense their presence? You can also feel their absense. 500′ of stone above your back feels like a lead apron at the doctors office.

The strange sensation was reminiscent of removing a lead apron. You pause long enough to get a flashlight from its safe place and look upwards. There is a vertical crevice, possibly a false chimney. The crevice is about 50′ wide, 15′ across and the height is unknowable. Bats. Lots, and lots of bats hibernating.

Careful not to disturb the sleepy bats you put away the light and push onwards.

After 10 more awful minutes you hear the voices of your companions.

**Joy**

For a moment you cry just a little bit because the ordeal is almost over. Before beginning the crawl, you and your companions agree to enter at 5 minute intervals to avoid clogging paths or getting knocked into each other by the water if you lose your grip.

Unfortunately, sound can on occasion carry very far inside a cave. It takes another 10 minutes before you escape the crawlway and enter a magnificent room with a narrow rushing creek that you just crawled through.

Imagine being in sheer, claustrophobic darkness for 30-45 minutes. [This image from an underwater cave I visited can help you visualize the emotion I felt upon entering the large room.](http://bryant2.bryant.edu/~gcarter/scuba_photos/looking_skyward_from_35-feet_under-water_blue-grotto-spring_williston_fl_1-10-2007.jpg)

It was a neat cave and would have been enjoyable if it werent for the awful entrance. The exit wasnt much better but I was able to let the water drag me a bit.

The worst part is that I couldnt get an erection for 3 days afterwards. The cave is whats known as a saltpeter cave. Saltpeter is used in gunpowder, explosives, rockets and by religious fanatics to cockblock.

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