Alvin McDonald Signature and Shirk Street

Alvin McDonald signature Shirk Street
Alvin McDonald signature Shirk Street

NPS Photo by Geu

Trip: On 8/8/2009 Rod Horrocks led Ken Geu, Scott Babinowich, & Garrett Radke to the Dragon Room area in the Historic Section where they found an Alvin McDonald signature in a passage they named Shirk Street.

Trip Report: We went back to the Dragon Room to continue surveying side leads off of an old 1973 survey. Starting at PR22, we shot two shots into a side passage before it became too tight. We could see that the passage opened up after the tight spot, but it was impossible for a human to get through. Moving back to PR3 in the Dragon Room, we shot to the south into a maze of passages. We found a small virgin crawl that Garrett crawled into first. This led to a small room and a tight bellycrawl that became too tight just before a second room. We abandoned this passage and shot to the east, where we connected to PRE11. Dropping back to a side passage, we shot up into a side passage with an obscure fissure in the ceiling. Shooting up into the fissure, we surveyed to the east down a straight passage. This passage continued straight for some distance before suddenly turning north and reconnecting to PR25. About half way down this passage we found a small dome that Alvin McDonald and Joe Shirk had written their names in the corrosion residue on 7/17/1893. Unfortunately, they had also heavily vandalized this passage. Dropping back to a slot in the floor, we reconnected to PRE13. After shooting into a dead-end side lead, we went back to the side lead and shot into a wide passage that hadn't been surveyed. Although, this quickly reconnected into the PRE survey, we didn't close the loop. We then shot to the west into a passage that paralleled the PRE15 survey. After closing a couple of loops with that survey, we called it a day. We surveyed a total of 453 feet for the day, leaving several leads for a future trip.

SHIRK STREET: Joe Shirk and Alvin McDonald signed their names in a dome in this passage on 7/17/1893.

Click here to return to Caving Narratives.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747


(605) 745-4600

Contact Us