I’m currently working on two books:
Historic Travel Guide: Alabama: I love history and I love to travel. This book is a comprehensive travel guide of all of the fantastic historic destinations across the state. Sections of the book include museums, civil rights sites, Civil War sites, archaeological sites, and historic trails.
Below the Surface: Live as a Caver: I’ve spent my entire life exploring caves. This book is a collection of stories form some of my more memorable caving trips as well as some tidbits about the natural history of caves.
Fern Cave: The Discovery, Exploration, and History of Alabama’s Greatest Cave
News: Fern Cave is a finalist in the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards! The awards, which include fifty-five categories recognizing excellence in book editorial and design, are regarded as one of the highest national honors for independent publishers. Purchase your copy of Fern Cave here.
Fern Cave: The Discovery, Exploration, and History of Alabama’s Greatest Cave, describes the history of Alabama’s most important and fascinating cave. Cavers (the term for people who love to explore caves) from Huntsville, Alabama discovered Fern Cave and the 437-foot-deep Surprise Pit in 1961 when the art of exploring deep vertical holes in the ground (we call it vertical caving) was in its infancy. Cavers used new and innovative techniques to plumb the depths of the deepest vertical pit (so far!) in the United States. For many years, Fern remained just that—a challenging vertical pit—until a combination of discoveries in 1968 and 1969 when Huntsville cavers once again made two of the most significant discoveries in southeastern caving history. They discovered the Morgue Cave and New Fern Cave, setting off a flurry of exploration and cave mapping in an attempt to connect all three caves into one system. They would achieve that goal, but the amount of effort that went into exploring the new caves was far beyond what cavers first expected—and along the way, cavers discovered much more cave than they ever imagined.
The book describes the discovery of the colony of endangered gray bats, ancient animal bones (and a human bone!), and locating torch marks throughout deep reaches of the cave. I also describe how the cave became a wildlife refuge in 1981, how cavers teamed up with biologists to effectively manage the cave, and how that partnership basically fell apart in the era of white-nose syndrome. Throughout the book, I describe many of the interesting personalities involved in discovering and exploring this massive cave system and I describe the cave itself. In fact, the cave is the most important character in this story. Here’s a chapter of my book about Fern Cave. Click on the image to display the chapter in a larger window.