May 19, 2006

Dave Socky Mary Sue Socky Chris Heptinstall
Al Stewart Susan Burr Pat Sims
Marian McConnell Dan McConnell Whitney Wells*
Allyson Lee* Jeff Perdue* Paul Stoutamire*
Jennifer Perdue* Carl Cornett Doug Feller

1. Trip Reports:
At VAR on 4/28, Mary Sue Socky, Trish Geiger, Pat Sims, Susan Burr, Meredith Johnson, Cole Frantz, Craig Hindman, Tim the cave manager, and a cost of 20 (some of them weird, even for cavers) went on a Midnight Trip into Grand Caverns. They had to wait forever for Kelsea Johnson to get back from the campground so the tour could begin. Kelsea, a friend, Mary Sue, and Trish decided to leave early at Dante's Inferno. As they approached the cave entrance, they found many more cavers trying to sneak in for their own trip. Mary Sue talked them out of attempting to join Craig's tour and encouraged them to visit Grand during visiting hours during VAR weekend. (Craig may have held another Midnight Cave on Saturday and took a bunch of them along). They had beer and champagne glasses!

At VAR on 4/29, Mary Sue Socky, Nicholas Socky, some teenaged girls, and several families with little kids ventured into Fountain Cave for the "Kiddie Trip." Everyone seemed to have fun, except for one little 3 year-old girl who didn't want to keep her helmet on. The rest of the group explored around the old tour routes and the maze in the back. They did the Wint-o-green life saver trick. One little boy started throwing rocks (his dad was oblivious) so Mary Sue got him to play Jenga blocks with the rocks instead. Charles Kahn was also in the cave, doing photography with his faithful owl, "Horace." On the way out, Mary Sue told some incoming kids that there was a real owl in the back of the cave and to ask the real tall caver [Charles] to point it out to them.

At VAR, 17 people (Susan Burr, Pat Sims, Trish Geiger, Ricky Shortt, Leeanne Barley, Shane, Preston, Cheryl Jones, etc. went into 3-D Maze Cave on 4/29. It was fun and "sobering."

Dave Socky led a trip into Cave Spring cave with owner, Pat McNamara, Matt and Mike and ? (James River guys) and a novice on 4/29. They spent about 7 hours underground. Our old haunting buddies from James River Grotto, two out-of-shape guys named Ralph and Danny Fong (?) too. They went everywhere, got wet to the waist, and had a good muddy time.

On (date?) at VAR, Susan Burr, Pat Sims, Trish Geiger, and Cole Frantz went into Glade Cave - very muddy and lots of fun.
Dave Socky, Susan Burr, Ricky Short, Leeanne Barley, Ben Doan, Rob NLN, Pat Sims, Aaron Moses, went into Midwest section of Grand Caverns to do some videoing on 5/7 - did about 40 minutes' worth in heavy boot-sucking mud. They were in the cave about 9 hours.

On 5/6, Mary Sue Socky accompanied several other cavers and rockclimbers into an unnamed cave in Cave Hill to check out some high leads. Later, Mary Sue did some solo tourist caving through Grand Caverns and picked up a ziplock bag full of trash (with the help of Mr. "Thingy." She left the cave cleaner.

Dave Socky, Aaron Moses, Doug Feller, and Randy Michael visited Devil's Marbleyard and Big Hell's Gate Canyon ("caving above ground") on 5/13. Doug saw and heard a rattlesnake - a common sight at Devil's Marbleyard. They did an interesting rappel between 2 waterfalls in Hell's Canyon.
On 5/16, Susan Burr and Carl Cornett did a hike to Falls Ridge Sanctuary where they found about 6-7 little cave entrances.

Upcoming Trips:
BRG trip May 20th to Porter's Cave to be led by Mary Sue Socky.
Grand Caverns is the first weekend of every month (except July and August). Next trip is June 3rd, then July 8th.
June 11th will be the Emergence Filming of the breakup scene at 3rd Street Coffeehouse - need Dave Socky, Marian McConnell, Paul Stoutamire, Cyndi Hutchison, and any interested Grotto members (no cave gear required).
June 17th BRG trip will be to Smokehole and Links to be led by Dave Socky.
July 15th will be Emergence Filming in Tawneys for Dave Socky, Marian McConnell, Jennifer and Kristen Perdue, Paul Stoutamire, Ricky Shortt, Jeff Richards, and any interested Grotto members.

2. Program of the Day - About 11 minutes of Dave's video of Midwest Section of Grand with Susan Burr and Ricky Shortt.

3. Treasurer's Report:
General $5,225.29
Conservation 575.00
Cave Bucks 231.00
Equipment 239.00

4. Reports of Committees:
Newsletter - Great cover by Aaron Moses, and great article about VAR by Pat Sims. Need artwork, articles, photos, etc.
Membership - See New Business.
ROCKS - nothing.
Safety & Techniques - anyone interested in a "lip negotiation" class at Giant Caverns in August? Will have to be other weekend than 3rd weekend; but Dan is willing to set a date and teach it.
Conservation - Vacant
Ways & Means - Vacant

5. Membership Proposals: Jennifer Perdue (sponsored by Marian McConnell) submitted her request on paper plates with home-made awesome rum & chocolate cake! Yum! Tabled until next meeting.

6. Old Business: none.

7. New Business:
a. Girl Scouts (Nancy Kuebler's troops) want to do 2 beginner trips; one on August 6th and one on August 13th. Both are on Sundays. They will provide helmets, transportation, and some leaders. Marian is willing to do both if she can get some help - August 6th will be to Island Ford for Juniors; August 13th will be to Tawneys for Seniors. Mary Sue will put out a notice online.
b. Distribution of Cave Bucks. We have $231 in cave books that needs to be distributed. Dave Socky and Susan Burr will review and propose a distribution at the next meeting.
c. Proposed to have the BRG July meeting on Saturday July 22nd at a pool (Sockys are members) and combine with meeting, potluck, fun, etc. Mary Sue will check on availability, fees, etc. and report at next meeting.

8. Announcements/Mail-Bag, etc.:
Morefield Mine (owned by Sam and Sharon Dunaway in Amelia County - Sam is a caver and friend of Phil Lucas) is for sale. They will be closing the mine to tourists for the summer.
Article in 4/30 Roanoke Times about some students in Arkansas who captured some bats and let them go in a college dorm. They got into lots of trouble.
SERA will hold a Cave Carnival in Alabama June 1-4.
Speleobooks new catalog is out.
Karst Field Studies upcoming
NSS Membership - make sure you join, pay dues, give them correct info, etc.
Watched promo video of NSS Convention coming up in August in Washington State.