Blue Ridge Grotto of the NSS


July 19, 2013 - 7:30p – Vinton Firehouse


Meeting began 7:38p



Marian McConnell – Chair                 Carl Cornett                          Al Stewart                              *Shawn Daugherty

Mary Sue Socky – Sec.                        Dusty Gulden                        Nicole Gulden                       *Bob Gulden

Cyndi Hutchison                                   Susan Burr                                             * denotes guest.


Trip Reports:

6/22:  BRG trip to McClung’s/Lightner Entrance, WV.  No participants present to report on the trip.  Dave Socky was leader, Nick Socky, Stephanie Petri, Tommy Polson.   


6/22:  Tawney’s Cave VA.   Fun horizontal trip took the tour of the cave.  Pat Sims, Susan Burr, David and Zan Rose, Jevon and Heather Rose, Adam Dorris, Mary Sue Socky, Carl Cornett, Ivy Lidstone & David Tudge kept an active pace.  Trip was over in 3 hours. 


6/29:  Grassy Springs Cave, VA.  Dave Socky, Nick Socky, Joe Calderone, Bob Alderson  had a 12  hour trip and netted 371 ft. of passage, much of it virgin.  They were stopped by a pit.


7/6: Dave Socky and Bob Thren taught a cave survey course in Grand Caverns, VA.  Mary Sue Socky joined the “Biggers Diggers” crew in nearby Fountain Cave, VA.     


7/9: Dave Socky, Mary Sue Socky, Rebecca Stewart, Carol Zokaites visited Slusser’s Chapel Cave, VA.  (NOTE: This cave is owned by the CCV, and is usually closed).  They were helping Rebecca, who works for the state DCR, do a biological inventory of the cave.  The cave entrance was blocked by a large washed-in stump, until Dave extracted it.  This cave had recently taken a LOT of water and mud.  A new sinkhole /collapse had formed next to the cave entrance, flooding the cave with sediment.  Stoopwalks are now crawlways.  Most of the cave critters had been washed deep into the cave. Dave pushed a pool next to a drowned cave rat? Squirrel? (It had a fuzzy tail); then the group decided to exit. 


7/18:  Mary Sue Socky visited Dixie Caverns, VA as recon. for the upcoming Conservation cleanup. 


Upcoming Trips:

·         7/21 (Sunday): BRG conservation trip planned to Dixie Caverns, VA.  Will spray “the green” with H2O2 and pick up stuff. 10a – 2p.  Mary Sue Socky is coordinator.

·         8/5-9: NSS Convention in Shippensburg PA. 

·         8/18: BRG Kayak, Canoe, and Float trip on the Smyth River, VA.  Brian Williams and Stephanie Petri are leaders.  Bring your boat!  If you need to rent a boat, contact Brian ASAP.  

·         8/24: Fountain Cave, Grand Caverns project.  Resurvey of Fountain Cave will begin.  Contact Mary Sue Socky if you want to carpool. 


Program:  First half of Al Stewart’s copy of “NOVA: Extreme Cave Diving”.  We saw 18 min. until the bulb went dark and the projector started flashing red lights.  (Alan Staton was originally our guest speaker, but he was called away on family business.  Alan will do his presentation on “Heart Attacks, Strokes, and other Medical Issues as they Relate to Caving” at the September?  meeting.)







TREASURER’S REPORT (submitted by Stephanie Petri, read by MSSocky):

7/19/2013 Balance Sheet

Petty Cash                             110.00

General Fund                     3,841.39

Conservation                        266.55

Equipment                             225.36

Cave Bucks                            159.30

TOTAL BALANCE:     $4,591.60


NEWSLETTER –Thanks for the artwork and articles! Extra hardcopies of the DUMP are available at meetings.

MEMBERSHIP – membership lists are available at meetings.  Bring folks interested in caving to the BRG meetings. 

ROCKS –no report.



MEMBERSHIP PROPOSALS Bob Gulden, NSS # 13188 RL, FE, sponsored by Mary Sue Socky.  Bob was voted in 6-0.  Welcome, Bob!



·         Requests for Caving Presentations: Mary Sue and Marian upcoming talk 7/25 @ Franklin Co.VA library.

·         Porter’s Tree:  project is tabled until Susan Burr gets more info.  RASS may have already cleaned up the downed tree.  (NOTE: Susan Burr requested this item be dropped, but then RASS/ Glen Todd wrote and said he would let BRG know when RASS was going to work on the tree so our grottos could work together.)

·         NSS Fundraising –Last month, BRG decided to buy a brick for $100. 

This month’s question:  What do we want engraved on the brick?  After a short discussion, it was decided that the brick should say:


EST. 1970


Treasurer will send money and message to the NSS.


·         BRG Cave Trip Guidelines – (written 1990, has been revised from time to time.) Good basic document, needs updating.  No new suggestions, so the revised guidelines will be printed in the next CARBIDE DUMP.

·         BRG August activity:  It was decided to have a Canoe & Kayak trip on the Smyth River on Sunday, Aug. 18.

·         VDOT I-81 and its impact on Dixie Caverns.  Due to flash floods, no one attended the meeting.  A few people did write, send in comments to VDOT. 




·         Does BRG want to have an August meeting?   Susan Burr proposed that we drop the Aug 16 meeting. Mary Sue Socky 2nd.  Everyone voted to NOT have an August meeting.  Next BRG meeting will be Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. 

·         Discussion of new ropes course/Treetop Adventures at Mt. Lake.  Looks family oriented, Susan Burr wonders if it is too “tame” for BRG.

·         Sending a donation to Vinton Firehouse, for letting us have our meetings there.  Vote unanimous YES – treasurer, look up, send same amount $$ as last year.

·         BRG BASH kit is very outdated.  All expiration dates have done died.  Band-Aids are so old, they probably don’t stick any more.  BRG membership would like for someone with medical, first aid knowledge to look at the BASH kit and recommend what be restocked and how much it would cost. (Please put announcement in DUMP.)


NEW BUSINESS (cont.): 


·         FALL VAR.  No date or site yet.  Rolland Moore (Lexington VA) is interested in hosting it again.  Still open for other bids. 

o    VAR has dropped the “must provide beer” clause for VAR regional meetings.  BYOB.  This will make things easier for the host grotto.




·         Former BRG member Nancy Gale Kuebler died.  Nancy was 50 yrs. Old. 

·         WNS Decon protocols – HOT water (122 F) for 20 min. will kill WNS spores.

·         NSS Convention 2013 will be in Shippensburg, PA, Aug 5-9, 2013.  Preregistration is closed.  Register on-site in Shippensburg.

·         IMO is offering free shipping on orders over $35.00.  Note: Offer ended 7/2/2013.

·         Marian’s mom, Tillie, is celebrating her 84th birthday tomorrow.  Come to her potluck Birthday Party, noon-5p.

·         MURDER HOLE book by Marian McConnell is available and is selling like hotcakes! 

o    NSS members can get discount if they order MURDER HOLE through the NSS Office.  


Meeting adjourned at 8:31p. 



Minutes Submitted by

Mary Sue Socky

BRG Secretary