The Maverick Grotto

The Maverick Grotto

Celebrating 20 years as a Texas caving organization in 2006!  The Maverick Grotto is the local caving club of Fort Worth and Tarrant County Texas. We are dedicated to promoting safe, fun, and environmentally conscious caving.  Our grotto is an internal organization of the National Speleological Society.

The Maverick Grotto is inactive effective November 2009!

Hill's Gate Cave, Texas

All photos are © The Maverick Grotto and the respective photographer
All Rights reserved!

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Jimmy Smith loosening rocks

Jimmy Smith, another volunteer member of the Tarrant County Archeology Society loosening rocks in the sinkhole floor.

This small tractor took most of the rocks from around the cave entrance

If you're wondering what happens to all those rocks, this small tractor took a lot of them from around the cave entrance.

Bryan Jameson and RD Milhollin loading rock

Once the entrance area was clear, a trailer was made available to remove rock from the entrance area.  Bryan Jameson and R.D. Milhollin just moved some.

Pile of rocks that came from the cave

There are now three rock piles as large or larger than this one.  A permanent monument to the diggers.

Bryan Jamison marks each bucket to indicate the grid zone it came from

As the dirt is brought out of the cave, Bryan Jameson carefully marks each bucket as to what "zone" it was removed from.

Sinkhole after most dirt removed

This is the sinkhole floor after most loose dirt was removed.  The remaining fill was mostly rock with dirt mixed in.

A small artifact from an armadillo shell

Occasionally a small artifact(?) would be found creating some excitement.  This turned out to be part of an Armadillo shell - naturally occurring.

Checking for signs of artifacts or habitation

The cave is checked for signs of habitation or artifacts throughout the dig.  Some incidental flint chips and animal bones were found.

Opening to a lower level

About 12' down, rocks were removed and these two small holes appeared.  Rocks could be heard falling for some distance.

Pit opening at the bottom of the dig

The remaining rock is being removed, one worker and lots of supervisors.

Wayne Peplinski is the first one down the new pit

When the hole opens up, Wayne Peplinski is the first one down with Ernie Parker monitoring his progress.

 Wayne's descent from another angle and camera

Wayne's descent from another angle and camera.

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This page last updated September 15, 2012