Meeting Minutes

Jersey Lily’s Roadhouse Meeting Room

November 16, 2018



Susan Burr – Vice Chair                      Dave Socky – Treasurer                                      Mary Sue Socky – Secretary             

Bob Gulden - Chair                              Jeff Huffman                                                         Marian McConnell

Dusty Gulden                                        Lynn Ott                                                                 Karen Kastning

Nicole Gulden                                       Trish Geiger                                                          Doug Feller                                          

*Odin Gulden                                       Carl Cornett                                                          Bill Walker

*Jason Delafield                                   *Jennifer Suggs                                                    *Nick Schmalenberger                                       (*guest)


Meeting began at 6:49p.  Chair Bob Gulden officiating. 




10/6:  BRG grotto trip to Friars Hole Cave Preserve, WV.  Doug Feller, Jeff Huffman, Nick Schmalenberger, Susan Burr did a thru-trip in the North Entrance, down the 15‘ “dry waterfall” (with a handline, that was a few feet short of the floor!) and throughout the cave to exit via Snedegar’s Saltpeter Entrance.  It was a fun trip, but they have to go back because they bypassed the saltpeter works. 


10/27:  Horse Thief Cave, MT. Team 1: Landon Woodward, Marlis Woodward, Natalie Hirneisen, Jennifer Aston, and Tim (local caver). Team 2: Tony Canike, David Socky, Kathy Schultz, Bill Schultz, and Brian Mayfield.  This is an 8 mile cave system on the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. This was primarily a photo trip. Team 1 went in first, leaving the gate open for us since we weren’t far behind. The gate was small, in a crawlway. We locked it behind us. The trip was great. The Entrance crawl was about 600 feet long and so dusty we used face masks. But after the crawl, the cave was large. We took many photos. Late in the day, we met up with the first team. We told them we would continue caving for a while, and that they should come looking for us if we weren’t out by 2am. They left and we continued caving. On our way out, we went to unlock the gate, but the key wouldn’t work.  After fiddling for a while, we realized that we had the Bighorn Cave key! Shit! We were trapped in the cave. There was room close by where we could pace and stay warm, plus we had food and water. After nearly five hours, at 2:40am, Landon and crew showed up to set us free. Long cave trip!


10/28: Natural Trap Cave, WY. Participants included Tony Canike, Landon Woodward, Marlis Woodward, Kathy Schultz, Bill Schultz, Brian Mayfield, Natalie Hirneisen, Jennifer Aston, and David Socky. We just visited the entrance to this 70 foot vertical cave, which is heavily gated. It is a paleological significant cave, where scientist and cavers have work expeditions during each summer to collect bones of many ancient creatures that have fallen into this “Natural Trap”.


10/28: Double Barrel Cave, MT. Participants included Tony Canike, Landon Woodward, Marlis Woodward, Kathy Schultz, Bill Schultz, Brian Mayfield, Natalie Hirneisen, Jennifer Aston, and David Socky. Again, we only visited the entrance to this double pit since it was late in the afternoon and we didn’t have our gear. This pit is located on the edge of the Bighorn Canyon. About 40 feet down, you could see light, and it became obvious that the bottom of the pit exited on the side of the Bighorn canyon and dropped a thousand feet down the canyon to the Bighorn River. What a through trip that would be!


10/29: Bighorn Cave, WY. Participants included Tony Canike, Landon Woodward, Marlis Woodward, Kathy Schultz, Bill Schultz, Brian Mayfield, Jennifer Aston, and David Socky. Another 7 to 8 mile system, but this entrance is vertical, about 60 feet down to a large room with multiple passages going all over. Once down the entrance drop, the cave is horizontal – and large. Unlike Horsethief, most of Bighorn is large walking passage with even larger rooms throughout. There are many formations with lots and lots of gypsum.  It was a very beautiful and dry cave. We spent about 10 hours in the cave, taking many photos.


11/3:  Mary Sue Socky drove up for the day to volunteer at Grand Caverns, VA.  Mary Sue, Carol Tiderman, Tommy Carpenter, Red Schock, and Charles Kahn spent the day in the “Persian Palace” room, going off trail to pick up broken glass and trying to I.D. areas of the cave that was photographed 100 years ago.  They think they found one of the areas – it has been modified during trail development in the past century.  


11/10:  Jason Delafield and a group of VPI cavers visited Pig Hole, VA.  They dropped the Entrance Pit, the Empire Drop and exited via the back entrance.  Other groups were also there, including a group from Radford and VPI Venture Out. 


11/11:  Karen Kastning and seven other people, including NRVG cavers and Pulaski HS teachers and a student took part in the NRVG cleanup along Hickman Cemetery Road, Radford, VA as part of the “Adopt A Highway” program.  It was a cold & brisk day, but they picked up EIGHTEEN full bags of garbage.  Afterwards, they had a quick trip into nearby James Cave, VA. 


11/14: Lowmoor Cave, VA. Participants included David Socky, Ed Saugstad, and Bill Koerschner. Surveyed in the mine near the middle truck entrance and headed north east. The mine passage this way was more complex then I'd thought, so we didn't get down the passage as far as I thought we would. We did find another small entrance. Also, it was very cold in this section of mine. We saw three Big Brown bats and one Tri-colored. They were all solitary and looked healthy. We surveyed a total of 1560 feet in about 7.5 hours.



·         Nov 17 cave trip to Scott Hollow Cave (tomorrow).  Leave 8:30a from HROM.  Doug Feller is leader.  This is not a beginner trip.    

·         Dec. 1, 2018:  Caroling in the Caverns, Grand Caverns, VA – need volunteers to set up, light and take down decorations, monitor tourists in cave.  Contact Carol Tiderman to volunteer.

·         NO December trip is being planned at this time.  Maybe something nearby?  On Marian’s neighbor’s property? 



November 16, 2018 BRG Treasury Report

Fund Amounts

$   31.64                                Cave Bucks

$   110.64              Conservation Fund

$   185.41              Equipment Fund

$ 3115.21              General Fund

     $ 3442.90     Total Funds    David Socky, Treasurer



Newsletter – Got another CARBIDE DUMP out.  Editor Dave – I have been choosing the covers.  If anyone has photos or artwork they would like featured on the DUMP, please send them in. 

Membership –Pay your dues!  Some people (15) have paid for multiple years. 

ROCKS – New caves on Marian’s neighbor’s property!  Nothing from Spencer on quarry access. 

Safety & Techniques --- Nothing.


Membership Proposals:  None


ELECTIONS.  Slate of officers is closed; people are railroaded into the new term of office.  

New officers elected by acclimation. 

Grotto Chair  -       Susan Burr,  NSS 53888

Vice Chair  -           David Socky, NSS 16334

Secretary –           Marian McConnell, NSS 37358

Treasurer -            Trish Geiger, NSS 28182


THANK YOU, outgoing officers, for your two years of service in your old jobs.    

Outgoing officers will run remainder of meeting.  New officers will assume duties at 1/18/2019 meeting.


Old Business

·         Grotto Christmas Card designs.  Everyone loved what Marian McConnell created for the BRG card, using Dave Socky’s photo of a gypsum flower.  This year it will be a 2-sided card (with envelopes).  Marian will place order for 85 BRG Christmas cards; we got the discount + free shipping.  Total is  $122.98.  (Please pay Marian @ Dec. 16 party.)

·         Karst Day – BRG finally received a check for the Karst Day grant.  $300.00 has been deposited.  Marian McConnell thanked Dave and Mary Sue Socky for their persistence on obtaining the grant money. 

·         Auction – CaveSim T-shirt (L) and NSS Books.  Discussion on whether to auction now, or at BRG Christmas Party. 

o    Majority wanted to wait until Dec. 16 party.  Silent Auction on items will be put on BRG website so those who can’t attend party can still bid on items. 

·         Jersey Lily meeting room has been reserved next year, 3rd Friday of each month, 6:30p.   MSSocky will check with desk and make sure they know the room is free in Dec; we would like it reserved “our usual” for 2019. 

·         Grotto Christmas Party SUNDAY DEC 16, 2018.  Socky house.  Noon-6p.  Pot Luck, BYOB, family & friends are welcome.  Grotto approved of Dave and Mary Sue inviting “old, former grotto members” to the party, too.

New Business

·         RIP John Holsinger, who died 11/10/2018.  Caving legend has passed.  Goodbye Captain Karst.

·         National Cave & Karst Management Symposium (NCKMS) looking for volunteers sponsors for their Oct. 7-11, 2019 meeting in Bristol, VA.  (See packet). 

·         Notes from NSS Office (MSSocky).  Head’s Up – NSS is going to insist all grottos develop and implement a “sexual harassment” policy, or incorporate the NSS policy (under development) into their by-laws.  BRG sees no problem with that, and looks forward to the NSS’ statement.

·         Bob Gulden's NEW and IMPROVED Long and Deep Cave Lists are now online. 

·         Lynn Ott, Bob and Dusty Gulden related how Siler’s Cave, WV had been closed and sealed for at least 10 years. Announcement:  Siler’s Cave has new owners (who are also cavers/Baltimore Grotto members).  A management plan is being developed for Siler’s Cave, the entrance will have to be stabilized, and MAKC will manage cave access.   

  Announcements (also see announcement packet & Caver Calendar on back)

·         Please submit written cave trip reports to the secretary.  Thanks


·         Caver and cave owner Spencer Frantz gave Marian McConnell a “goody box” of newspaper clippings, OLD NSS News, cave related stuff from 1947 – present.  Marian will have these treasures displayed at the BRG Christmas Party.


·         Nov 23-25: Rock and Mineral Show, Salem Civic Center, Salem, VA $5 adults for weekend; kids r free.

·         Dec. 1: Caroling in the Caverns, Grand Caverns.  Contact Carol Tiderman to volunteer.

·         Dec. 1: Chris Nicola, No Place On Earth is hosting the Explorer’s Club “Tales From Dark Places” in New York City.  Several caver guest speakers.  $75.00 per person.  See ( 

·         Dec. 8:  WVACS Christmas Party!   (flyer)

·         Dec 16: Blue Ridge Grotto Christmas Party

·         Dec 21:  NO BRG MEETING Dec 21: 

·         Jan 8, 2018:  Happy Birthday Al Stewart! 

·         Jan 18, 2019:  6:30p, Jersey Lily’s Roadhouse Salem, VA

·         Feb 15, 2019:  6:30p, Jersey Lily’s Roadhouse Salem, VA

·         Mar 15, 2019:  6:30p, Jersey Lily’s Roadhouse Salem, VA

·         Apr 6-7, 2019 :(tentative date) Spring Restoration Weekend, Grand Caverns.  Contact Meredith Weberg.

·         Apr 21-27, 2019: Virginia Cave Week

·         Apr 2019 – Spring VAR one weekend, TBA. 

·         May 11-18, 2019 – NCRC Weeklong Cordon, IN 

·         June 17-21, 2019:  NSS Convention in Cookeville, TN.

·         Oct 7-11, 2019:  NCKMS meeting in Bristol, VA

·         Nov 3, 2019: 11:30a, VSS Meeting, Natural Bridge State Park, VA   


Meeting ended at 7:40p, followed by

ProgramPPS  Dave Socky’s  Oct. 2018 adventures “Caving in Wyoming:  Bighorn Cave and Horse Thief Cave”.


Minutes by Outgoing BRG Secretary,

Mary Sue Socky