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Smyres Well #1

A 96 foot climb through a methane filled chamber..

Looking for some adventure, and after a failed attempt to find this well, using only paces and a compass about two years previous, and after a successful but failed descent with Randy a year previous, Bobby Watts and I returned for a go at the unconquered pit.  After locating the pit once again, mind you, it's very difficult to find in a shallow 15 foot diameter depression...

 
 
Snail Shell Cave

Snail Shell Cave is the largest cave in one of the most extensive known cave systems in Tennessee. Together with Echo Cave and Nanna Cave, it forms a vast underground complex of which 8 miles of passages have been explored (fig. 104). The main channel of the cave is occupied by a stream which is ponded in huge lakes, the larger of which holds between 1 million and 2 1/2 million gallons of water. The actual flow of water is slight, except after heavy rains, when portions of the cave are apparently completely inundated and the stream becomes a raging torrent.

Snail Shell Cave system is a vast underground dendritic network, draining a relatively level limestone plain in which surface streams have made only shallow incisions. Sinkholes dot the low surface interfluves, leading downward into the underground system. Lapiez, sinks, and limestone pavement characterize the surface, which is either bare rock with a scattering of grasses and cactus, or dense cedar thicket with under¬brush of catbrier and young black locust

 
 
 
Snail Shell Sinkhole

The rappel, from the top of Snailshell sinkhole, isn't all that high of a drop, but it is rather spectacular.  It can be bounded in only one bounce off the wall.  After dropping over the edge, there is a free swing into open space, then a slippery wall drop to the sink floor.  You can climb the west wall back to the top.  This is a great drop, and particularly can be fun after mild rains, allowing you to splash down into the water at the bottom.  Super fun.

 
 
 
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