November 17, 2006


Al Stewart (President), Susan Burr (Vice President), Doug Feller (Treasurer), Marian McConnell (Secretary), Mary Sue Socky Dave Socky, Cyndi Hutchison, Trish Geiger, Josh Boone*, Susan Neate*, Carl Alls*, Sam Aguilera*, James Poff*, Kayla Jenkins*, Greg McCorkindale, Haley Grasty*, Carl Cornett, Todd Martin, Pat Sims, Jeff Richards, Jared Richards, Randy Michael, Jennifer Perdue, Nicholas Socky

1. Trip Reports
Past Trips:
On September 29, Dave Socky went to Texas and went caving in the following caves: Bracken Bat Cave, Deep Cave, Devil's Sinkhole, Robber Baron Cave, Kickapoo Cave, Cave With No Name, Natural Bridge, and Howdy Creek Cave.[The program was Dave's video footage of the above caves and was excellent. Included bat flights, "high water" caving in wetsuits with waterproof cameras, and a rappel tower at Devil's Sinkhole.]

The 10/21/06 BRG trip was to Honaker Cave and Honaker Cave 2 and included Pat, Dave, Susan, Ricky, LeeAnn, Carl, Doug, and Allyson. The entrance was dry with lots of crickets and spiders. They had two interesting vertical "walsl" to negotiate during the trip.

On 10/22/06, Dave, Mary Sue, Nicholas, Allyson, and Alex checked out some new caves on Mr. Rader's property near Nace in Botetourt County. They found 3 caves; one 5', one 40', and one 30' long.

On 11/4/06, Doug, Susan, Cole, John, and Randy took a group of Girl Scouts into Porter's Cave. They did go back through the Keyhole and did the loop around the breakdown.

On 11/4/06, Dave went to North Carolina and went caving with Flittermouse Grotto into Rumbling Falls Cave, and Spring Cave. The first cave was granite, and made climbing very easy because of the dry rough surface. He took videos.

On November 4, Al Stewart attended the WVCC Banquet. Also there from BRG were Don Anderson, and Ed & Marianne Saugsted.

On 11/11/06, Pat, Susan, Dave, Mary Sue, Jennifer, Marian, and Aaron [Brian Williams and Bob Thren were there too] went to Grand Caverns to check out a tight narrow passage in the commercial cave. Susan tried to squeeze in but couldn't. Carol [Tiedeman] did determine that part of the obstruction is a concrete wall that was built for the commercialization of the cave, so it may be "microblast-able" to get in. They also watched Brian Adams and friend dive Stegger's Fissure. They went down about 89' and swam with lots of the endangered/ protected isopods. From there the BRG folks helped other cavers map Madison Cave, which is gated to protect the isopods. [There is speculation that Stegger's Fissure and Madison Cave may be connected by the water.] There were bets that Susan wouldn't last more than 1-2 minutes surveying, but she and Jennifer both did a fantastic job surveying for the first time for over 2 hours! The group mapped 14 survey stations and tied in to another survey at the 15th.

Upcoming Trips:
11/18/06 - November BRG trip will be to Poor Farm Cave in WV; with Dave and Doug leading. Meet at HROM at 9:30 am.
11/19/06 - Marian, Dave, Brian, Dan, and possibly Carl will be mapping and photographing Spencer Frantz's cave near Eagle Rock.
11/24/06 - Dave, Ricky, Aaron, Doug will be going to Culverson Creek.
11/24-25/06 - Note: Annual Rock & Mineral Show will be at the Salem Civic Center.
11/25/06 - Dave will be surveying in Perkins Cave.
12/2/06 - Surveying will continue at Grand Caverns and Madison.
12/16/06 - December BRG trip will be to Breathing Cave; with Doug leading.
6/16-23/07 - NCRC Weeklong in Roanoke (more details to follow)

2. Program of the Cave: "Caves of Texas" video by Dave Socky.

3. Treasurer's Report:
General $4,647.09
Cave Bucks 46.30
Conservation 575.00
Equipment 239.00

4. Committees:
Newsletter - Can always use covers, art, articles, photographs.
Membership - Dues are due soon. 2007 Membership cards will be available soon.
ROCKS - See trips above to caves near Nace and Eagle Rock.
Safety & Techniques - Dan and Marian have arranged with Aaron Conover at Roanoke City Parks & Recreation to use Rocwood for an SRT [Single Rope Techniques] vertical class on Sunday, January 14, 2007 from 9:00 a - 2:00 p. No charge but donations accepted. Bring vertical gear if you have it; Dan will have his gear trailer as well. [Open to BRG members; beginners are welcome. Please RSVP to Marian at 540.309.4707 by January 12th. Non-members may come depending upon how many members sign up.]
Conservation - Vacant.
Ways & Means - Vacant.

5. Membership Proposals: None.

6. Old Business:
a. Officers Election - The following were voted in as new officers:
President - Marian McConnell
Vice President - Pat Sims
Secretary - Mary Sue Socky
Treasurer - Susan Burr (Cyndi Hutchison was nominated too, but Susan had the majority of votes)
Note: Al Stewart, outgoing President, presented each outgoing lady officer with a really cool gift! (We almost fainted.)
b. Christmas Cards - Marian brought a proposed card of Santa rappelling on a candy-cane rack. Was accepted so she'll make 75 (?) copies to mail out.
c. Christmas Party - The BRG Christmas party will be held (in lieu of the regular December meeting) at Rancho Viejo (across from Tanglewood Mall) on December 15th at 7:00 pm. Please RSVP to Mary Sue Socky (if you haven't emailed or signed up already).
d. IO Report - This is due to the NSS sometime in the next month or so. Dave and Mary Sue will prepare it as usual; Marian offered to help.
e. Mount Pleasant Boy Scout Troop Beginner Trip - We've done an orientation at their meeting last spring; tabled until later to select a date. Will need volunteers.
f. Goodwin's Gate Improvements - Craig Hindman drew up some plans and suggestions for making the gate easier to get into (while keeping it safe for vandals). Any changes will need to be cleared with the owner. We should be able to get a grant(s) and/or the owner to pay for any materials.

7. New Business:
Marian received a CD with lots of beautiful pictures on it from Kevin Jose in New Zealand - would be willing to share as a program in 2007.

8. Announcements:
* BRG received a letter of thanks from the Mid-Atlantic Karst Conservancy for our donation and renewed membership.
* See NSS news about a Petzel carabiner (with ball lock) recall.

Adjourned at 9:01 pm.

Minutes by Marian McConnell