Mason County News
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Bat Cave Report
Wednesday, June 3, 2009 • Posted June 3, 2009

A large natural stream of water emptying into an ocean, lake, or other body of water and usually fed along its course by converging tributaries…that is what a dictionary defines as a RIVER. The James River outside of Mason, Texas must be forged in order to get to The Eckert James River Bat Cave.

There is probably not a single soul that has visited The Eckert James River Bat Cave who does not remember the famous “crossing” of this body of water. To some, the river at this point looks (with the help of an online thesaurus) apocalyptic, baleful, baneful, dangerous, dark, dire, direful, dismal, doomed, fateful, fearful, forbidding, gloomy, grim, haunting, hostile, ill-boding, ill-fated, impending, inauspicious, inhospitable, lowering, malign, perilous, portentous, prescient, prophetic, sinister, suggestive, threatening, unfriendly, and unpropitious. As one follows the road into the flowing water, many visitors to the cave proclaim that they have had an experience similar to that of Moses at the Red Sea.

Unlike the situation with Moses, there is no dividing of the waters to cross on dry land. There is however, a solid rock ledge that goes all of the way across to the opposite side. This is normally safe to cross. Many ask why there is not a sign posted that states that it is safe to cross.

As I just mentioned, normally, it is safe to cross….BUT, if there is heavy rainfall upstream then this normal crossing can quickly become not- so- safe- to- cross. If a sign were posted declaring it safe to cross and the river got on a rise, there would be liability to consider. Some may ask, “Who would cross a raging, flooded body of water?” If a sign says that it IS safe, for many there would be no hesitation or second thoughts, and those people would be following the path as the above definition says… heading out to the ocean (see first paragraph). Hmph! That does not sound like such a fun time.

If you do want to have a fun time without all of the excitement of seeing the old family station wagon become a pontoon boat, then call the bat hotline (325-347-5970) before starting out. I will be able to alert you to any hazardous weather or river conditions so that the worry and stress can be alleviated right from the start. We shall await the latest saga of the “crossing of the James.” Have a safe trip…and see you at the cave!

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