Mammoth Cave Restoration Field Camp [1994]

Friday the entire Field Camp crew went to the Bedquilt Entrance to remove the debris from that project. This consisted of the old gate, a steel monster that took four people to haul up the hill, the broken concrete from the former gate base and the tools used on the project. We formed a chain gang part of the way up the hill and passed the broken concrete from person to person till we reached the end of the line. Then we moved on up the hill and repeated the process until the top was reached. The debris was loaded into a waiting trailer and removed from the area. —Mammoth Cave Restoration Field Camp [1994] (Mammoth Cave Restoration Group)

I’m working on a new article on “Adventure,” and while trawling the net for new gems, came across the fate of the locked 3×3 steel grate that the Nameless Adventurer must unlock in order to begin exploring the wonders of Colossal Cave.

The thought of that famous grate — which I have opened hundreds of times on dozens of different computers (including the other day on my PDA) — hauled away and dumped somewhere almost makes me weep.

Colossal Cave Adventure was itself an entrance of sorts; bits and pieces of it may be found in games far and wide, even games played by people who have never seen a command-line interface.

Let’s hope that the metal from that entrance was recycled and that bits and pieces of it are reinforcing new structures spread far and wide.

I have fired out several e-mails to the MCRG, seeking photos or other contacts.