September 12, 2008


Pat Sims                       Al Stewart                     Mary Sue Socky                        Dave Socky

Susan Burr                    Carl Cornett                   Marian McConnell                      Doug Feller

Jen Perdue                   *Ron Dean                    *Jessica Dean              

* denotes guest.          



7/9/2008:  Buckeye Creek Cave, WV.  Dave Socky led the through trip, in Spencer’s Cave and OUT the Buckeye Entrance.  Everyone got wet!  Dave, Alan Staton and Aaron Moses Loved it, Susan Burr and Pat Sims HATED the duck under/connection.  Meanwhile, Mary Sue led the “Turtle Trip” (‘cause we’re SLOW) with Marianne Saugstad and Cyndi Hutchison.  They went from the entrance to the Watergate, took a break, read cave poetry by candlelight, and then moseyed out.  A pleasant trip, and Marianne’s first return underground since her back surgery.


8/3:  BRG members went to Carmike Theaters (Tanglewood) and saw Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3-D.  Great trip, especially for the geologists and gear freaks!


8/11: Dave Socky and Brian William sent cavern diving in Little River Spring, FL.  It was a 70-minute dive, 60’ -70’ deep.  Dave rented all his gear, including a woman’s wetsuit!  (nice boobs, Dave)


Aug 11-15:  Dave Socky, Marian McConnell, Alex Sproul, other NSS members attended the NSS Convention in Lake City, FL.  They found why it was named LAKE City, after 3 days of rain!  The campground was abandoned for drier motel rooms – and the hurricane had not yet come through.


8/15 – Marian McConnell visited the Lubby Bat Conservatory near Lake City, FL, where she saw amazing and well endowed  Fruit Bats and Flying Foxes. 


8/16: BRG Pool Party was in full swing.  Everyone had a good time, and Susan Burr was put in time out by a “mean ’ol lifeguard” (Nick Socky).  Great food!  Thanks to everyone who showed up!


8/23: Grapevine Pit, WV.  Nine BRG & JRG cavers did Grapevine Pit as a practice run for Fall VAR.  They hung two ropes, and bounced it a lot!   Susan Burr actually climbed out ONE TIME.


8/24:  Dave Socky, Dave Wickersham, Rick Shortt and Jimmy Richards visited Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID and did Beauty Cave and Indian Cave, two lava tubes on the NM that are open to the public.


8/29: Dan & Marian McConnell toured Crystal Dome Cave, AR and Mystic Caverns, AR during their vacation.


9/4: Dan & Marian McConnell took a 4 hour tour of Mammoth Cave, KY.  They had an excellent tour guide! 


Tawney’s’ & Island Ford Caves:  Marian McConnell, Carl Cornett and employees from Roanoke City Parks and Rec have held numerous beginner trips for a variety of camps.  Here’s a quick synopsis:  July 11, 25, Aug 1 & 8 they visited Island Ford Cave.  July 18, Aug 4 they visited Tawney’s Cave.  Marian also took a men’s church group into Tawney’s Cave on Aug. 23. 



Oct. 18 (Bridge Day Weekend) Rickey Shortt wants to lead a BRG trip to Higginbotham’s # 4 Cave – actually, this is Higginbotham’s # 3 – the pit entrance/short drop.  It depends on water levels and finding the entrance.


Nov. 22 – tentative – Dave Socky and Phil Lucas are setting up a BRG trip to the “Water Sinks” Cave, on Phil & Charlotte’s property.  Arrangements are still being made. 


PROGRAM:  Dixie Caverns Haunted Cave – sign up & volunteer to scare for Cave Conservation!





TREASURER  9/112/08

General Fund      $ 4,033.65

VAR Registration $ 3,271.00

Conservation       $    156.09

Equipment Fund  $   341.00

Cave Bucks         $      95.30

 Total:    $ 7,897.04



Committee Reports:

Newsletter:  the Editors took a break in Aug. and Sept.  Will get a good DUMP out in Oct. 2008

Membership: nothing new. 

ROCKS: nothing new

S&T:  nothing

Conservation: vacant

Ways & Means: vacant


Membership Proposals

Nothing tabled, nothing new.  NSS Membership brochures are at the front desk.



BRG Website: Has been a BIG help for VAR registration. 


Hosting Fall VAR 2008 (Susan Burr & Pat Sims) So far, 166 people have pre-registered! The koozies are in. Guidebooks are in.  IMO and Speleobooks will be on site. The BRG banner will be on site.  Pray for good weather!!


White Nose Syndrome (WNS)   Check VAR Limited Access Cave List for new updates and “gear cleaning” recommendations.  Several closed caves have been Closed for the winter to cavers.


BRG Pool Party – Wrap-up:  Special thanks to Susan Burr & Mary Sue Socky who worked so hard to make it a successful picnic/pool party... 



Should we have a BRG Christmas Party this year?  YES!  BRG voted to have party at Mamma Maria’s again, preferable on Friday Dec. 19 (In place of the meeting.)  All sign-ups/reservations must be pre-paid.  Requests were made for Carl Cornett to bring his squeeze box.


Does BRG want to send out a grotto Christmas card to landowners this year?  YES.  Please submit photos or artwork at the Oct BRG meeting.


Nominations for BRG Officers – next month.  All current officers must step down from their current posts. 



  • See you next weekend at Fall VAR!  It’s gonna be a good one!
  • 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
  • NEW VAR CLOSED CAVE LIST is available.  We have a few hardcopies for folks.  There are updates, winter closures, and new info on WNS.  . 


Meeting ended 8:40p.


Minutes submitted by

Mary Sue Socky

Secretary, Blue Ridge Grotto.