The diary of Alvin McDonald, "Chief Guide" of Wind Cave
September 14, 2006 1:55 PM   Subscribe

The diary of 17 year old Alvin McDonald is a fascinating primary document about the exploration of Wind Cave. Like Stephen Bishop at Mammoth Cave, Alvin mapped and named many of the rooms in the cave. He died of Typhoid fever at the age of 20.
posted by cosmicbandito (11 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Great find, thank you.
posted by hank at 2:01 PM on September 14, 2006

Here's a discussion about Ted's Caving Diary that this post reminded me of.
posted by now i'm piste at 2:11 PM on September 14, 2006

This is so cool, thank you.
posted by saladin at 2:19 PM on September 14, 2006

Wonder if some interactive fiction writer will pick this up.
posted by paladin at 3:25 PM on September 14, 2006

Also of interest: Davis McCombs's Ultima Thule, which contains two narrative sonnet sequences about Mammoth Cave--the first in the voice of Stephen Bishop, and the second in the voice of McCombs himself, who worked as a guide there for a while.
posted by Powerful Religious Baby at 4:13 PM on September 14, 2006

paladin, someone already did! William Crowther used his intimate knowledge of Mammoth Cave to create the seminal game Adventure!
"This reproduction is apparently so faithful that experienced cavers who have played the game but never seen the cave have been able to find their way around significant parts of Bedquilt." via
And you can play it online (flash).
posted by now i'm piste at 7:56 PM on September 14, 2006

"You are reading a twisty page of Metafilter comments, all alike."
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:09 AM on September 15, 2006

Extra points for "batshitincave" tag.
posted by sidereal at 7:19 AM on September 15, 2006

Great find, thanks. I used to do quite a bit of spelunking, including in Mammoth Cave. I also have a Stephen Bishop t-shirt :)
posted by redivider at 8:36 AM on September 15, 2006

now i'm piste, that was why I asked: this is not Mammoth Cave, but Wind Cave, so a brand new adventure.
posted by paladin at 10:40 AM on September 15, 2006

Hear that? that was the sound of your point going right over my head.
posted by now i'm piste at 4:20 PM on September 15, 2006

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