'The path again ascended and then suddenly met a set of crumbling stairs, of concrete, with a rusted iron handrail. This part of the cave was dry, and everything lay in powdery dust. The stairs curved up toward a squared doorway. Ahroe paused there, then entered a strange room.
Rows of circular tables, each with four chairs, occupied most of the room. One end was dominated by a long counter with stools in front of it and shelves of glasses and plates behind it. A sign above the counter read "Lunch at Smedley's Cave," and behind that faded, framed pictures dimly showed features of the cave below. Also on the wall hung a crumpled paper diagram with numbers on it. Ahroe read "November 2009" above the chart, and saw after the number 22, in fierce but clear handwriting, "And here it all ends, inside as well as out!" '
So now I know what happened and also when it happened ... pretty recently as it seems. Good stuff that.
More updates as events warrant.