Approximately seventy feet in from the mouth of the cave are two 14” vent pipes that run to the surface. Our roof at this point is forty feet thick. We measured when we pushed four-inch whole house plumbing vent up. Pat Youngman showed circus like skills in balancing on walk boards and hanging from scaffolding. At the end of the day we confirmed that fifteen feet below the surface there was a natural ground water spring that consistently drips in to our vent pipes. In the peak wet season we can get one hundred and fifty gallons of water.
When we chose the front chamber as our building site, dealing with this water became a priority. At first we placed an aluminum pool underneath the drip with a sump pump to carry the water out. After Ed and Brent Peterein dug dozens of boulders out of the pond, Curt found inspiration—to create an indoor garden around this pool, using the rocks.
Thanksgiving weekend that year, we rented a ten-ton Takeuchi tractor, and placed the rocks in a serpentine path around the pool. With just inches to spare getting around the load-bearing wall behind the kitchen, Curt showed remarkable skill at maneuvering this piece of equipment.
At this point, the garden is unfinished, but the pool, the sump pump, and the pipes that carry the water outside all do their job. We keep nine goldfish in the pool, and with so much circulation of fresh water, they thrive there. We look forward to landscaping around the pool and adding an herb garden in the area enclosed by the rocks.