About

Central Oregon Subterrain is a blog about caving for the uninitiated spelunkers of the central Oregon region. It’s not intended to be a guide or resource on locating caves, rather an inside look on what it’s like to be involved in the caving world. I intend to record my caving adventures, discoveries, travels, news stories, historical musings on local caving in addition to anything else that strikes my curiosity. One of the main goals of this blog is to promote an understanding and respect for the caves of central Oregon.

My name is Matt Skeels, and I have been a member of the Oregon High Desert Grotto (OHDG) since 2003 and a member of the National Speleological Society shortly thereafter. Geoff MacNaughton taught me the ropes of caving and I learned to survey from Doug Marchant. I served as chairman of the OHDG for 5 years until I handed the torch off to Brent McGregor in 2010. My role in the grotto today continues as the newsletter editor of the Oregon Underground as well as webmaster of the grotto website.

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2 thoughts on “About

  1. I might have some interesting info on the 17 mile tunnel. I worked out at the military school off of dodds rd for a while, and got a chance to sneak around a little. Also I have a family member who was contracted to work underground on the facility years ago when they where abandoning/ blocking off the lower levels…..
    If you want more info. Please email me back.

  2. I grew up in Bend, Oregon back in the 50s, and have been in many of the local caves. In 1970 I discovered a cave in southern Malheur county just north of (at that time) the Tom Crowley ranch, and just west of the Crowley (BLM) fire guard station. I never got to go into the cave for two reasons. I was alone when I found it, and the entrance was covered by a large circular flat rock that I couldn’t lift, and secondly, because I saw to of the larges rattle snake I have ever seen slither down the hole under that rock. At that time I was working for the BLM, and I had decided after supper to go hunt for arrow heads on foot west of the guard station. ( I remember I found 27 that after noon!) when I was hiking back to the guard station I stepped up on the large circular rock that I mentioned earlier, I heard the unmistakable buzz of rattle snakes right under me. I jumped off the rock and turned just in time to see the two huge snakes go down the hole under this rock. I assumed I had found a rattle snake den, so I wanted to flush them. I went and got the BLM pumper truck and pumped 800 gallons of water down the hole, and when I got done I listened and I could hear water dripping way down inside that hole, and knew I had found more than just a snake den. Maybe someday I’ll get back there.

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