Changing Locks

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Changing locks with HGRP
Location Black, Red Lake
Author William Tucker
Date Sunday, August 29, 2010

On Sunday, August 29, 2010, I, William Tucker along with Tammy Tucker and Lee Ann Dean were given the task of changing the locks on Black Cave and Red Lake Cave. We were attending the regular High Guads Restoration Project event. We had been camping at Texas Camp with 8 other cavers, mostly from New Mexico. Jennifer Foote assigned us the task.

We left our camping spot at Texas Camp at 9:20 AM and drove toward Black Cave. We parked and hiked along the trail to the cave and changed the lock. The old lock was exchanged for a recycled one which had been taken out of service. Nothing out of the ordinary was observed except that the road was very rough and overgrown. The grass was very tall - it has obviously been thriving in the recent rains. The road was a bit washed out in a couple of places with most of the soil washed away exposing the rocks. It was rougher than I have ever observed. We completed the task at Black and returned through Texas Camp on our way to Red Lake.

On our way, we stopped briefly at the lookout tower for a short break and stopped in Queen for lunch at the store. We arrived at the turn off for Red Lake at approximately 1:00 PM. After driving in the required distance, we parked and walked over to the fence to find the cave. I observed a lot of signs of fire. It seems that the fires this summer swept through this portion of the Guadalupes scorching the trees. The grasses were tall and healthy. The fence had obviously been replaced with a brand new, barbed wire fence using T-posts and a few of the salvageable cedar posts from the old fence. The fence looked good. The traffic may not warrant it; but, I think that some type of fence stile, even something simple would be helpful here. We found the cave quickly and replaced the lock. Again, the old lock was replaced with a recycled one. We then drove to the Guadalupe Administrative Site and arrived there at 2:00 PM.

After conducting some necessary business at the admin site, we proceeded to drive home with all of our tasks successfully completed. It was a satisfying end to a productive day with some great friends.