June 15, 2007



Pat Sims                                   Al Stewart                                 Dave Socky                   Mary Sue Socky

Todd Martin                               Doug Feller                                Trish Geiger                   John Layman

*Cameron Hall                           Carl Alls                                    *Sam Aguilera               *Leanne Barley

Rick Shortt                                *Holly Poole                              *Matt Poole

* Guest


·         Pat Sims was acting Chairman for Marian McConnell – Marian was at NCRC.

·         Dave Socky was acting Treasurer for Susan Burr, who was on vacation.

·         Susan Burr DID check in with the meeting, thrice. Susan was sitting on the beach with beer, and her programmed cell phone.  After the third call, EVERYONE scrambled to turn off their phones…




4/28/2007 – Middle of Nowhere Cave, WVa.  Dave Socky went on this trip, led by Doug & Hazel Medville during Spring VAR.  Total of about 10 cavers on this excursion.  Went into MoNWC#2  with Laura (NLN).  We were the only two cavers that could fit through the tight spot hear the entrance.  Very Wet.  Explored 500ft. to 600 ft. of cave.  No packs.  The group mostly did ridge walking.  We also saw “Middle of No Where # 2”, “ North of No Where”, “Edge of No Where”, Middle of No Where # 3, and Middle of No Where Pit.  Only Middle of No Where Cave # 2 did anything, but it was oly about 40 ft. long.  Got GPS locations.


5/20/2007 – Patton Cave, WVA BRG trip.  Doug Feller, Pat Sims, Susan Burr, Carl Cornett, Brian Williams, Mary Sue Socky, Leanne Barley, Rick Shortt,  Hayley Grasty, Carl Alls, Cole Frantz…Great trip!.  Played Frisbee with a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee in the Football Field Room!   Brian and others took LOTS of pictures.  Checked side leads, pushed down to the COLD sump on the way out.  That must have been cold water – never saw Doug, Carl, or Carl2 move so fast!  Had dinner at the Swinging Bridge Restaurant in Paint Bank.


5/25/07 – Pat Sims, Susan Burr, Carl Alls, Jeramy Sims, Karla Teeter went to New River Cave, VA.  They went back tot the Waterfall.  They encountered spelunkers on the way out; escorted them out. 

NOTE: New River Cave is CLOSED.  Susan got written permission from the owners to visit there.


5/26/2007 – Mary Sue & Dave Socky, Bob Thren, Ed Saugstad, lots of WVa and VAR cavers helped clean out a trash-filled sinkhole on Bill & Juliet Balfour’s property.  Then Ed, Dave, and Mary Sue went caving in the Hinkle-Unus/Balfour entrance of Culverson Creek Cave System.  Dave and Ed attempted to push a nasty, slimy, groady belly crawl over cobbles and through mud  - way into Culverson Creek (unsuccessful)(they got worried about possible thunderstorms.  Never made it to “the Tight Spot”.  Meanwhile, Mary Sue did some entrance solo caving until the Springer family showed up.  Neat, friendly cave, huge entrance, nice clean sinuous stream passage until you get to the slop.  The Sockys also worked on their limestone relocation project, Thank you Bill & Juliet for the rocks!


6/2/2007 – Hellhole, WVa.  Dave Socky, Miles Drake, Kurt Waldron did a 17 hour trip, measured 500’ of surveyed passage in the Triple Domes Area.  NOTE: Hellhole is CLOSED.  Dave Socky is part of the survey team that is working with the Quarry owners, and has special permission to be in this very closed cave.


6/2/2007 – Grand Caverns, VA.  Susan Burr caved with John & Paul, pushed some tight leads off Dante’s Inferno.  Mary Sue Socky worked with Bob Thren, Carol Tiderman, Jim McConkey, Craig Hindman, Scott Davis, and Jim Batterby to tear down the Octagon House & deposit it in dumpsters (Almost done).  Later Carol & Mary Sue went to Grand; found LOTS more coins in the Rainbow Pool area.  Someone needs to get a photo of Carol’s “barefoot method” of getting in the pools to locate coins! 


6/9/2007 – Maxwelton Cave Survey, WVa.  Dave Socky, Errol Glidden, Ed Saugstad, Drew Toth bagged 857’ of survey on a 12 hour trip in the rest of the long passage south of Thunder Hall.  They also surveyed a long canyon lead that was not on the original survey.


6/10/2007 – Mott Hole, WVa.  This multi-drop vertical cave was fun!  Rickey Shortt, Leanne Barley, Carl Cornett, John Layman, Cameron Hall did the whole cave.


6/11/2007 –Almost Rescue.  Carl Cornett forgot to check back with his non-caver contact, who called Mary Sue Socky; Mary Sue called EVERYONE at work, finally got a confirm that the trip had gone well and everyone got out and home OK.  Moral – be sure to let your call-backs know you are out, or you owe everyone lots of beer & pizza!


Memorial Day Weekend (May 25-28)

Participants:  Doug Feller, Carl Cornett, Aaron Moses, Cameron Hall, Leanne Barley, Todd Martin, John Layman, Rickey Shortt,  This motley crew went to several vertical TAG caves in Alabama.


5/24 – left Thursday night, encountered a hazardous cargo truck wreck, were stuck in wreck traffic for 3 hours.  During this time, Todd Martin was doubled over in pain from kidney stone pain.  He drugged himself with Rx morphine and curled up in the back seat of Rickey’s car.  Later, Todd finally passed the stone in their motel room.  Everyone finally made it to Alabama by Friday.


5/25 – did Neversink.  Got there 10a Friday.  Nice day, nice weather.  The pit was pretty and slightly misty.

Mandy’s Hole/Mandy’s Pit – stopped by a guy with a bulldozer.

Fountain Pit – 100’ drop, found it easily.


5/26 – went to Stephen’s Gap.  145’ pit.  The sun rays streaming in the pit made for perfect photos.  Then tried to find Pretty Well, but had the wrong coordinates.  Aaron almost stepped on a rattlesnake.  Instead, they went to horizontal Limrock Blowing Cave – only went 400’ in, didn’t go further because it was WET.  Then they found a lost dog, returned it to its owner, who gave them precise directions to Pretty Well – finally!   They decided to save Pretty Well for Monday. 


5/27 – (Sunday) Did a nice 230- pit, Green’s Well.  It contained a misty waterfall.  Everyone climbed out; “Froggers” (those who use the Frog climbing system) are SLOW climbers; Doug Feller was coming down with hypothermia while waiting his turn to ascend.  Doug and Todd Martin decided to save time, do a tandem ascent.  Todd got nauseated from Doug bouncing him around so much on rope! 

Then they went to – AND FOUND – Dinky Pit.  Only a mile hike to the cave.  They experienced lots of ticks and poison ivy.  Dinky Pit is a double pit: 170’ and 140’ side by side shafts.  They also found Two Snakes Pit, along with a stainless steel rack and leather gloves in the bottom of it.


5/28 – Before leaving for home, they did Pretty Well (named because it has flowstone all the way down) and it IS a pretty well.  That’s it!



Saturday 6/15 – BRG trip to Cave Spring Cave, Lexington VA.  Dave Socky is leader.

June 30 – BATS/BRG Conservation work in Dixie Caverns, reward trip into Goodwin’s Cave, VA

July 7-8 - Grand Caverns resurvey.

July 21 – NEXT MONTH’s Trip - BRG trip to Chamber’s Cave, WVa; alternate: Windy Mouth Cave, WVa.  Rick Shortt is leader.

July 23-27 – NSS Convention in Marengo IN.


Program of the Day:  “Adventures in TAG  Spring 2007” outstanding slide show by John Layman, Doug Feller, and other trip participants! 





TREASURER  6/15/07

General Fund       $ 4883.63

Conservation        $   584.00

Equipment Fund $    273.00

Cave Bucks         $     80.30

 Total:    $ 5820.93



Committee Reports:

Newsletter:  out on time.  Send in your artwork, photos, and articles.


Membership:  BRG has 63 members and 4 subscribers.  That will soon change.


ROCKS: Nothing to report.

S&T: No Report”. 

Conservation: vacant

Ways & Means: vacant


Membership Proposals

Leanne Arethusa Barley, NSS # 38085, sponsored by Pat Sims.  Seconded by Mary Sue Socky. Leanne submitted a new membership proposal, on a fake stalagmite!  11 yes, 0 no, 0 abstentions.  Leanne is voted in.

Cameron Hall, sponsored by Susan Burr.  Seconded by Dan McConnell and John Layman. 10 yes, 0 no,

2 abstentions.  Cameron is voted in.


No new membership proposals at this time.




·         Perry Saltpeter Cave – assessment update – Dave Socky – nothing new to report.

·         DIXIE CAVERNS Conservation –Meredith Hall Johnson and MSSocky have planned a Dixie Flowstone Restoration Day & Caverns Cleanup on June 30, 2007.  BATS and BRG will continue the cleanup begun 4/1/07.  Trip to Goodwin’s Cave afterward.  A sign up sheet was passed around. 

·         New Cave Trip Checklist – is it working?  Is it helping?  Cavers ARE having fun with it, too soon to tell if it is working.  It DOES help with the beginner/Girl Scout trips.

·         NO BRG meeting Aug. 17.  Instead, BRG will once again have a POOL PARTY at Spring Run Swim Club on SATURDAY, August 18Rain Date:  Sunday August 19.  Sign up list was passed around.



New Business

·         BRG has received a box of broken formations from an anonymous source who request that we do something conservation minded with them.  It is not known from what cave the formations were taken – “a local cave” was the answer given.  Decision:  The formations will be returned to a cave environment instead of languishing in someone’s basement or garage for the next two decades.  They will be laid to rest in heavily vandalized Goodwin’s Cave, VA during the next trip there. 



·         Dave Socky asks, does anyone have a copy of the recently aired “Planet Earth – Caves” ?  Rick Shortt does, on VHS

·         The next BRG meeting (July 20), the secretary will not be present.

·         NSS Convention, Marengo, IN July 23-27, 2007.

·         July 25, 10p on History Channel, program “Journey to The Center of the Earth” visiting cenotes in Guatemala.  Be sure to watch and tape it, someone! 


Meeting ended  8:49p.


Minutes submitted by

Mary Sue Socky

Secretary, Blue Ridge Grotto.