BLUE RIDGE GROTTO
June 20, 2008
Pat Sims Al
Stewart Mary Sue Socky Doug Feller
Susan Burr Carl Cornett Marian McConnell Todd Martin
Carl Alls * Amy Faub Cyndi
Chris Heptinstall dropped by for a moment to open the
room for us.
* denotes guest.
5/17: Aaron Moses,
Susan Burr, Pat
Sims, Doug Feller, Cole Frantz and John
Semones visited Pocahontas Poor
Farm Cave, WV. It was a good trip through the Junction Room
and the Tight Squeeze and beyond. Cole
and John elected to stay on the entrance side of the Tight Squeeze. Susan, Doug and Aaron played a while in the
back, and took lots of photos. This took
a lot of time (it’s only worse on a photo trip!) Cole and John finally came partway through
the crawls, and the group reunited and moved to the main entrance rooms. Cole and John left, and the remaining cavers
explored the rest of the cave. Good
trip, a little exposure.
Feller, Susan Burr, Carl Alls, Amy Faub, Paul & Melanie Stern, Chuck
Waller and an intern named “Sunny” (nln) went to Porter’s Cave, VA. They were taking the Sterns to the Keyhole,
and beyond (test driving the cave for Fall VAR). Paul
and Melanie loved it. The group went on
several side trips in the maze cave, too.
Then, dinner in Clifton Forge, VA.
A group of non-caver strangers at an adjoining table accused them of
taking a wristwatch, and the police were called. BRG
remains innocent. (their accuser was an
ASSHOLE). Susan phoned trip callback Pat Sims, and said "...We are out of the cave
& we're NOT in jail!"
SPRING VAR – June 5-8, 2008
6/6: Perkins Cave, VA. Pat
Sims, Susan Burr and other VAR
cavers went to this great cave. It had
gorgeous formations, and some scary stuff.
The “Swaygo Guys” were also on the trip.
Several groups were in the cave at the same time, so there was some
congestion at times in the passages.
6/7: Morrell/Worley Cave, TN – Trish Geiger,
Cyndi Hutchison, Mary Sue Socky, and the 2 Ralphs. What a great cave! Trish had us do a big loop. Really pretty areas of giant formations, huge
rimstone dams, nice cool water in the stream passage. There were many groups in the cave, but
everyone dispersed, and only occasionally met up another group. It was nice!!
Afterwards, after lunch, Trish & Cyndi went swimming in an Elk waterfall, it was 40’ high, with strong
currents and hydraulics – several people have drowned in there. Despite the dangers, it is a popular swimming
area, with cold water for a blazing hot day.
– Ken Walsh led the trip. Dave Socky, Nick Socky, Susan Burr,
(who else?) went to this 2.5 mile long, jungle gym of a cave. Lots of climbing, crawling, and chimneying to
places named The Octopus Room, the Toilet Bowls,
the Funnel Tunnel, and the Vertical Maze. Nick Socky and another teen irritated
Susan – bad idea, guys! She gets
Aaron Moses, Doug Feller,
Rickey Shortt, others visited these
caves during Spring VAR:
6/7 - the Blowing Entrance of Omega Cave, VA. Man, the air
was blowing! Nice 140’ drop.
6/7 – Parson’s Cave, VA – BIG booming passage.
6/7 – Spurlock
– beautiful canyon water passage (see cover of the June CARBIDE DUMP)
6/7 - Franklin’s Pit,
VA. The entrance looks like a miniature Neversink and there are intact saltpeter
mining relics inside.
6/8 – Bailey’s Cave, VA, a 120’ drop.
6/8 – Caine’s Cave, VA with a 98’ pit inside
the cave. You access the pit via
6/8 – Miller’s Cave, Scott
Co. VA - they had to get through a squeeze, then a floorless canyon to get to
the 60’ drop. The cave was more trouble
than it was worth. (Orig. announced as Moore’s Cave, but the description fit Millers Cave
in the VAR/SERA guidebook)
Carl Cornett and others also went caving during Spring VAR:
6/ 6 –
three of them did Worley’s Cave, TN
6/7 – Berry Hill
–they did the 105’ and the 98’ drop,
6/7 – Omega System, VA – they were exiting Omega/Blowing
when Doug and Aaron were coming in.
Saturday 6/21/08– trip to Greenbrier Poor Farm
Leader -Doug Feller. Trip leaves from HROM at 8:30a.
7/19/08 – July BRG
trip to Buckeye Creek
Mary Sue Socky is leader.
Program: “The Spirit of Exploration” Carlsbad Caverns, NM. We saw the first half of the DVD. Good history, safety, conservation message, good
General Fund $ 4624.92
Conservation $ 251.09
Equipment Fund $
Hope you liked the cover of the June CARBIDE
DUMP. It’s a picture of Aaron
Moses, with Susan Burr’s
eyes! (Susan screamed) Thanks for your
submissions! Send in your artwork, photos, and articles.
S&T: no report. Marian reported that Dan
still wants to do a training session at RocWood climbing wall – sometime…
Membership Proposals –
tabled, nothing new. NSS Membership
brochures are at the front desk.
BRG Website: The new website is AWESOME! Other
grottos, cavers are checking it out for Fall VAR info.
Hosting Fall VAR 2008 (Susan Burr) Site is Covington Moose
Lodge. Date: Sept. 19-21.
BRG and JRG are co-hosting
the 2008 Fall VAR. Susan said it is
coming along well.
- Thanks, everyone! We probably have enough pop-up tarps to
create a nice registration area.
- Doug Feller will check on the site’s
electrical plugs for the vendors.
- 15 led cave trips have been
- Susan Burr,
Pat Sims and Mary Sue Socky need to work on the guidebook.
- Koozies – the company Susan intended to use was
under water due to the Midwest floods, so
we have to go with another company.
New company offers koozies in only a few different colors,with
Syndrome (WNS) nothing new
to report. Scientists still DO NOT know what is sickening, killing the bats, or how
it is spread. .
- Check VAR Limited
Access Cave List
for new updates and “gear cleaning” recommendations. Several closed caves have been opened for the summer to cavers.
VA Museum of Natural History
in Martinsville, VA 6/14/2008.
Marian McConnell and Mary Sue Socky talked with town residents about cave
safety, and more importantly, BATS. Lots of people in Martinsville have bats in their houses! We worked beside Brian
Williams, and got to see the William’s new house – beautiful!
BRG Pool Party. Will be Aug 16, 2008; rain date Aug 17. Please
Dixie Caverns Haunted Cave 2008 – Is a GO. The 9 nights
of Hell will be held only on Friday and Saturday nights for the entire
month of October this year. (Those nights have been the only money-makers for
the caverns). Mary
Sue Socky will coordinate the cavers; David
Hawks will be Haunted Cave Director. Oct. 3, 4,10,11,17, 18, 24, 25, 31. Mary Sue Socky
is hoping to visit with other area grottos to talk up Haunted Cave.
- Susan Burr laid the groundwork a
year ago. Marian
McConnell proposed 2 different banner designs (see June DUMP). Banner would be 2’ wide X 5’ long, outdoors grade
vinyl. Most of local sign companies have quoted $90 to $100 and will 24 hrs. to
3 weeks to make.
MOTION: Susan Burr
motioned that BRG choose the banner
with the all-white background. Carl Cornett seconds. Vote:
6 for, 3 against. Motion passes.
We will get
a few more quotes, get banner done in time for Fall VAR.
NEW VAR CLOSED CAVE LIST is available. We have a few hardcopies for folks. Some caves have re-opened for the
Marian McConnell, Dan
McConnell, and Carl Cornett will be
leading 12 beginner cave trips through Roanoke City P&R
this summer! They are caving lots, even
if we don’t see them that much, and they are “taking some heat” off BRG getting numerous requests for beginner cave
trips. The trips are in Island Ford and
Tawney’s, and are for beginners and conservation clean-ups with summer camps
and Girl Scouts.
Goodwin’s Cave, VA – status has been changed to “open
all year” in the VAR
list. The bats never “repopulated”; a
few bats use the cave in winter. Dave Socky also made DVD of the old footage and
gating of Goodwin’s” for its current owner (Mr. Drewry)
- Thank You letters for BRG’s generosity with 2007 Haunted Cave
funds from SECCI & NCA.
- NSS Convention
2008 (Lake City FL)
Aug. 11-15, 2008 registration info.
- 2008 Nittany
Grotto 60th Anniversary/MAR preregistration form. (Oct 10-12)
- Available from NSS Bookstore:
“Vertical Bill: The
Story of Bill Cuddington and
the Development of Vertical Caving in America”. On sale $28.00 - $32.00
Meeting ended 8:50p.
Minutes submitted by