A caver since age 11 and a member of the ISS since 1966, Gary was one of the developers of Squire Boone Caverns and was part-owner and manager of Marengo Cave National Landmark for 28 years. Read Full Bio
Chronicles the rich history and ongoing exploration of the Binkley Cave System through those who know it best.
Fifty Years Under the Sinkhole Plain chronicles the exploration of the Binkley Cave System, from the collapse of a small pond south of Corydon, Indiana, to its current status as the longest cave in Indiana and the 11th longest cave in the United States. Much has been written about a few of America’s great caves. However as Dr. Art Palmer, well-known cave expert and author of Cave Geology wrote, “There is not that much in the literature on sinkhole plain caving.” For the most part, the large stream caves of sinkhole (karst) plain that covers large areas of many eastern states have been long overlooked.
The story of the Binkley Cave System will give the reader vivid insight into what sinkhole plain caving is all about. In large measure, it is also the story of the Indiana Speleological Survey (ISS), a loose knit group of Indiana cavers, several of whom are in their fifth decade of unraveling the secrets of Binkley. Follow them on long, arduous trips through the cold water and the seemly ever present mud, as they push their personal limits while experiencing flash floods, rock falls, body-sized squeezes, sleazy slime, and numbing fatigue. What motivates intelligent people to subject themselves to such adversity? Come along and share their adventure as they explore, survey, dig and blast their way into virgin cave.
A fascinating 380 day journey of constant and costly struggle, prevailing against all odds to forge Indiana Caverns.
How Indiana Caverns came to be is a fascinating journey that unfolded slowly over many decades. Gary Roberson and his high school caving friend, Terry Crayden, had dreamed of opening part of the vast Binkley Cave system to the public for over 40 years. Finally, after almost giving up on their dream, the development of the caverns came to improbable fruition in one unbelievable year of unrelenting effort. The Longest Year is their story and that of the drive and ingenuity that made America great.
This is the story of how through 380 days of constant struggle; they overcame many seemly insurmountable obstacles with the grit and determination to not allow circumstances to defeat them. Indiana Caverns opened to the public on June 15, 2013, just in time to avoid bankruptcy. One more week and the business would not have survived the first winter.
The Longest Year is a must read for anyone with a passion for adventure or an entrepreneurial spirit. There is always a price to be paid to accomplish anything of lasting significance. You will be inspired and amazed as you follow the team through what, for many of them, was the longest year of their lives. This book is a must read for anyone who dreams of one day of opening their own business.
Retrace a fascinating journey through time for one of the longest caves in America.
The Geology of Indiana Caverns and the Binkley Cave System retraces a fascinating journey through time. Follow the progression from the bottom of a shallow sea millions of years ago to what is presently on of the longest caves in America. The author, Gary Roberson, even attempts to look into what the future may hold for this vast cave system.
Historically, caves have been shrouded in mystery. Only in recent decades have speleologist begun to understand the chemical and geological process that result in the formation of a cave. This book begins to unravel this mystery for Indiana Caverns and the Binkely cave system – one of America’s longest caves.
While a large majority of american caves open to the public are privately operated, up to this point most of the in depth research has taken place in a few large and well-known National Park Service caves. The Geology of Indiana Caverns and the Binkley Cave System is one of the few recently published books on this subject in a private show cave.