Looking back, I can see that my taste for down-in-the-dirt adventure started early. Apparently even as a small child I was a girl who wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty (or feet, or face, or clothes or hai......oh wait.....NOT the hair!). Our backyard in Oklahoma made ideal practice grounds for the belly crawling cave explorations in my later years. For this particular training session, I had arrived on my sleek, foot-powered three-wheeler, dressed for action in, well, a dress (I had yet to discovered REI) to hone my mud-mucking skills. It was a mere 55 years later that I was able to put those skills to the test spelunking in Costa Rica with my "Dirty Girls". Although this time around I passed on the tricycle transportation and traded in the plaid dress for expendable work-out clothes, it was otherwise the same crawling face-down on your belly in the mud that I had prepared for so many years before. Unfortunately the open-air backyard training did NOT adequately prepare for the minor differences such as squeezing through pitch black underground crevices the size of say....a coffin; discovering a good part of the "mud" you were slithering through was actually bat guano; that the said bats were actually covering the cave ceiling right over your head; and that the cave walls were also home to spiders the size of your hand.

But other than that it was exactly the same.


  1. Great one-I remember that sand box- as I recall, now that my memory has been jogged, it was also the resident cat-box for the neighborhood, as there were no fences separating the yards. I personally used the "little logs" to haul in my Tonka trucks. So, the muddy sandbox full of "cat guano" prepared you quite well.

  2. Ick. Another cherished childhood memory crushed.