For several years starting when I was 10 years old, Summertime, among other things, meant a week or two in Centerville at church camp... Camp Meribah.
Camp Meribah, founded in 1969, is a 250-acre Christian youth camp which derived its name from the place in the Bible where water came from a rock. The reason being, there are twenty-four fresh water springs found scattered about the camp property. And this is the place where I fell in love with many things, mainly the love of nature, the beautiful and intricate artwork of the Creator.
Each year we campers would do the usual camp activities: swim, hike, arts and crafts. And every year we went on an adventure to a local cave. This was a time in my life where I was fearless and spelunking was a new word in the vocabulary. One year we explored a cave that had a creek running from its mouth in Primm Springs. Another year we explored a cave with an entrance no bigger than a small fox hole, and we called it Thread cave.
What I learned only recently is one of the largest caves in Tennessee is just south of where I live in Culleoka, Tennessee. And it's nickname is Wild Cave.
The Southport Saltpeter Cave has kept its wild reputation over the years, and anyone brave enough to explore it must be extremely physically fit. The cave features unusual formations and large caverns that date back 300,000 years.
What I find fascinating is during the Civil War, the cave was mined for nitrate, an ingredient used in making gunpowder, and it also housed Confederate troops in hiding.
Fearless is not an adjective I would use to describe myself anymore, but just in case the mood ever hits I've made a mental note that Southport Saltpeter Cave is located at 2171 Mack Benderman Road, Culleoka, TN. If you describe yourself as fearless, maybe its time you considered a visit to Wild Cave. Tours are scheduled by appointment only for guided and unguided excursions, call 931-379-4404.