October 19, 2012 – 7:30p – Vinton Fire Department


1.     Attendance:


Mary Sue Socky – Vice

David Socky

Al Stewart

Trish Geiger – Treasurer

Susan Burr

Dusty Golden

Nicole Golden

Thomas Mitchell*

Bob Alderson

Marian McConnell - Secty





Note:  Carl Cornett, Pat Sims, Alan Staton, Cindy Hutchison, at Bridge Day.



·         8/26/12 – Piercy’s Mill, Piercy’s Mill Annex, and Piercy’s Cave (WV).  On the trip were Jordon Masters, Susan Burr, Stephanie Petri, Doug Feller, Pat Sims, and Alan Staton.  Per Susan:  “We did Piercy’s Mill first, rim pools dry hard to get good pictures because we didn’t have enough external flashes.  Jordon showed us around.  Got to see lots of pretties.  Water in this cave was warm.  After coming out of Piercy’s Mill Cave we crawled into the tiny little cave, Piercy’s Mill Annex & I took pics just to prove we were there!  It was gross getting in & out of there.  Next we hiked to Piercy’s Cave.  Water in this cave was VERY cold!  Jordon showed us where a movie was filmed.  FYI, Jordon was in a couple of scenes.  One of which was a sex scene!  He was wearing clothes however.  We told everyone we did a through trip because there are 2 entrances.  We did go in one & out the other after exploring the cave.  They are very close to one another.  The property they are on is very pretty & has an old mill complete with a water wheel.  I had a great time!  Would love to go back when there is water in the rim pools of Piercy’s Mill Cave.”

·          9/2/12 – Windy Mouth Cave (WV).  On the trip were Pat Sims, Susan Burr, Stephanie Petri, Alan Staton, and Rick Shortt.  Per Susan:  “Luckily we found the entrance fairly easy.  The water levels in the river were VERY low, so no problem getting to the cave dry.  Lots of fun walking passage after the never ending crawling/stoop walking… 900’ in the first section followed shortly by another 600’.  We went back to the waterfall & then up the waterfall to explore there.  Lots of pretties not too far from the top of the waterfall.  Stephanie had a wardrobe malfunction on the way out.  The entire toe part of her boot fell apart.  It was a fun trip, but I may never go back!”

·         9/15/12 – Breathing Cave (VA).  On the trip were:  Doug Feller, Susan Burr, Stephanie Petri, Jen Perdue, Jessica Jones, Ben Hester, and Jordon Masters.  Per Susan:  “Last day to go before it closed for bat hibernation.  We parked in the new parking area, but did have a little trouble following the new trail.  We went back to the waterfall which was basically nonexistent unless Stephanie would sit in the pool of water above, which would help push a fair amount over at once.  There were lots of mud slides that of course some of us had to slide down…others required adding water to make it even more slippier.  WE did have to go through the ‘Nut Cracker’ which I didn’t find too difficult.  I liked ‘Serpentine Way’ … it was cool passage.  It was a fun trip.”

·         9/22/12 – VAR, Natural Bridge, Butterfly Garden, Nature Trail, Natural Bridge Caverns (VA), Wax Museum, Toy Museum.  On the trip were:  Trish Geiger, Mary Sue Socky, Stephanie Petri, and Susan Burr.  Per Susan, “We had a perfect first day of fall.  It was a beautiful day.  We went inside the Butterfly Garden first.  That was way cool!  We then went to the bridge.  We saw water snakes (one eating a fish), frogs, wild turkey, an Indian Village, the Lost River… and it was lost, no water coming out, but you could hear it, old saltpeter mine, and waterfall.  We then toured the [commercial] Caverns.  That was a very short trip, but we did see the fault line in it.  Next was the Wax Museum and then Toy Museum.  We basically hung around Natural Bridge the entire day since it had flushing toilets and running water to wash your hands.  GREAT day!

·         9/3/12 – Blanchard Springs Caverns (AR) – Marian and Dan visited the commercial caverns during their annual motorcycle trip to the Ozarks.  Outstanding and highly decorated cave, and wonderful to visit when it was 100°F outside!  Very well done, including the welcome center, lighting, and Ranger tour guides; and they are very careful about WNS.  See photos on Marian’s Facebook page.  They also bought a DVD about the caverns that would be a good program for a BRG meeting.

·         9/2/12 – Sharps (WV) – Trish Geiger went with a group from the Allentown Grotto during OTR.

·         10/13/12 – Gap Cave (WV) – Bob Alderson went with Joe Zokaites and Dan; went to the phreatic tube and did a 700’ loop above the Kentucky River Walk.  Found a large cat skull bone and took photos to send CRF to try to identify it.

·         10/14/12 – Germany Valley Shoveleater Cave (WV) – Bob Alderson went and did the canyon passage, went through a small hole and found more cave.

·         10/13/12 – Savannah Cave (WV) – Dave Socky went with a group from WVACs; found access passage to the big trunk passage and a big waterfall.  Worked on Survey B with Vanessa and Errol; surveyed 60’ then pounded through blockage in the crawlway and surveyed 30’ of virgin passage.  Cave is muddy, narrow, low.  George Dasher got stuck and had to back out.

·         8/25/12 – Fountain Cave (VA) – Mary Sue worked in Fountain.

·         9/15/12 – Melrose Caverns (VA) – Mary Sue worked in Melrose.

·         10/8/12 – Fountain Cave (VA) – Mary Sue worked in Fountain; last trip of the season.


Upcoming Trips:

·         10/21/12 – Friar’s Hole North (WV) – Meet at HROM at 8am; Susan Burr is coordinator.

·         11/30-12/2/12 – [Cave TBA] – VPI Grotto Practice Rescue; 2 hours of classroom on Friday, mock rescue on Saturday, critique on Sunday.  Sign up by 11/26/12.  You can attend just 1, 2, or all 3 days.

·         November Trip?  TBA.


3.    PROGRAM:  Slide show of Dave Socky’s trek in the Indian Himalayans.


4.    TREASURER’S REPORT (Trish Geiger):

Petty Cash - $110

General - $3,647.08

Conservation - $266.59

Equipment - $225.36

Cave Bucks - $159.30

TOTAL BALANCE - $4,408.33


5.    NEWSLETTER – Our printer guy is retiring 11/5/12 and our old $.05/page agreement may no longer be honored.  Postage will go up $.01/stamp in 2013.


6.    MEMBERSHP – Nothing new.


7.    ROCKS – Marian and Mary Sue will follow up about the Blue Ridge Vineyards (Eagle Rock) caves and the Haymakertown cave.


8.    SAFETY & TECHNIQUES – Dan McConnell recovered from neck disc surgery, and from recent heart stent placements; is now facing surgery on his ankle (torn tendon and bone spur) before the end of the year.  Then he’ll be the Bionic Man and be back in the swing of things!






·         Fall VAR Report – 107 people attended and it was a gorgeous weekend.

·         Roanoke Go-Fest is 10/19-21.  BRG is not participating but you might want to check it out.

·         Craig Hindman is still hospitalized and recovering after a very serious accident.



·         BRG Christmas Cards – all voted “yes” to have them again this year.  Dave Socky will PhotoShop best group photo and send to Marian to get an estimate for 80 copies (with envelopes).

·         BRG Christmas Party – Will have at the McConnell’s house (Murder Hole property) on Sunday, December 16th.  Those who want to bounce the pit (must be vertically competent) can come early at 10a; the party will be from 2-5p and potluck.  Please RSVP to Marian at (540) 309-4707 or

·         Officer Nominations – Nominations remain open until  the next (November 16) BRG meeting.  Elections will be held next month at the BRG meeting.  Current nominations are:

·   Chair – Marian McConnell

·   Vice Chair – Dave Socky

·   Treasurer – Susan Burr

·   Secretary – Mary Sue Socky




·         New NSS website is great

·         New WNS Decon prototcol – HOT water (122°F) for 15 minutes kills WNS spores

·         WVCC Banquet 11/10 – see flyer

·         River Rock Climbing gym – no new news

·         NSS Members Manual Editor – Kelly Smallwood wants photos submitted for consideration for the cover; deadline is 1/31/13

·         NSS Convention 2013 will be in Shippensburg, PA

·         MURDER HOLE book by Marian McConnell is at the publisher and hopefully copies will be available before Christmas.  Will be hard color cover with lots of photos, stories, art, etc.


Minutes by Marian McConnell