September 21, 2007



Pat Sims                                   Al Stewart                                 Carl Cornett                   Mary Sue Socky

Doug Feller                                Trish Geiger                               John Layman                 Cameron Hall

Susan Burr                                Marian McConnell                      Dan McConnell              *Shawn Hinchey





9/15-16, 2007. – Trish Geiger vacationed in Carlsbad Caverns, NM.  She didn’t take too many photos, but took the Tourist Tour of Carlsbad Caverns NP, New Mexico.  She also took two “off trail” trips, to the Left Hand Passage, and to the Lower Level of Carlsbad Caverns.  Trish met 2 members of ESSO Grotto while she was out there.  She also visited White Sands, NM and saw a Hot Air Balloon Festival. 


8/??: Aaron Moses, Doug Feller, Rick Shortt, Pat Sims, Susan Burr went to the Higginbotham Caves, WVa.  They did #4, # 3 and # 1. First, they did # 4.  It was dry, the cobble crawl was no problem, and water levels were down low enough to please Susan.  Then they did # 3 – Rick and Aaron did a through trip out the entrance or # 1, and the rest of the group bushwhacked overland to find the entrance to Higginbotham’s # 1.  Everyone had lots of fun.



7/21:  BRG trip to Windy Mouth Cave, WVa.  Rick Shortt, Pat Sims, Susan Burr.  They took 3 hours to find the cave entrance!  They almost gave up, but it was a nice cave once they found it.  It also sounded like Susan was bumming beer off the locals down the river, after the cave trip. Oh yeah, exiting the cave, it took them 10 minutes to get back to the car!


7/21-27:  It was an outstanding NSS Convention.  Dave, Mary Sue & Nick Socky visited Marengo Cave, IN.  Dave, Alex Sproul, Carol Tiderman and Craig Hindman visited Wyandotte Cave.  On Monday, Mary Sue Socky visited Wyandotte Cave, and several caves and springs during a NSS Field trip.  They even saw a Shoe Tree!  Dave Socky went caving in Hanging Rock Drop Cave, IN.  Nick Socky did lots of caving with JSS:  a wild trip into Mammoth Cave, KY, Endless Cave and Flowstone Cave, both in Washington Co. IN.  For vertical, he did a 105’ rappel in Parker’s Pit and a 43’ drop in Bordens Pit, both in Harrison Co. IN.  Meredith Johnson went caving just about every day!  EVERYONE went to the Marengo Limestone Mine for Photo Salon and Banquet. 


7/28:  Dave, Mary Sue & Nick Socky visited Bluespring Caverns, IN.  Tourist cave navigated by boats!  The cave was ‘lousy’ with white crawfish, AND – we got to see Blind Cave Fish!


7/30:  Doug Feller, Carl Cornett, Aaron Moses, Rick Shortt, Leanne Barley went to Newberry Cave, VA.  VERTICAL.  They dropped Triple Wells, climbed back up, went over and did Bill’s Rappel, came out via the Devils Staircase. 


8/4:  Susan Burr, Pat Sims, etc. finally got into virgin cave in Grand Caverns, VA.  After digging and other numerous persuasive techniques, Scott Davis, Craig Hindman, and Jim Batterbee got the passage to “Susan size”.  Susan, Scott, Jay squeezed into a small room and app. 100’ of passage.  More small rooms lay beyond, but no one could fit into them.  (Are we up to 2 miles, yet?)


8/18: BRG Pool Party, Spring Run Swim Club, Roanoke, VA.  It was a good one!  The weather cooperated, the food was great, and everyone had a good time.


9/15: Dave, Mary Sue Nick Socky and Elliot George went up to Grand Caverns.  So did Pat & Susan.  Grand Caverns had been hit by lightning, BAD, in August 2007, (in some places, the plastic switches had melted) and it still is not safe for people go to off trail in the cave.  The whole place will probably end up having to be re-wired.  Anyway, Pat & Susan went seeking waterfalls; while the Socky’s, Elliot George, Bob Thren, Carol Tiderman, Craig Hindman, Kevin & Anya, and Scott Davis first went ridgewalking (no caves on THAT hill!) then drove to Cave Hill Farm Cave.  Supposedly there were a couple of mop up stations to be surveyed from when Scott & Craig were in there a few months earlier (it was a wet cave then).  But now it was a dry cave, and virgin passage was found and explored!  Nick and Elliot got into virgin cave, and Dave, Scott and Kevin taught Anya how to survey.  Small, flexible surveyors are needed to finish up the new leads.


9/22 – Tomorrow – BRG trip to Scott Hollow Cave, WVa.  You must be NSS for over 365 days to go on this trip!  Leaders are Pat Sims, Rick Shortt, and Doug Feller.


Next Month’s trip (10/20):  To Straley’s Cave, VA  Doug Feller is leader.

November BRG (11/17) trip will be to Repass Saltpeter Cave, Bland Co. VA.  Doug Feller is leader.  A cable ladder is needed.




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

Oct. 4 – 7: TAG

Oct. 6:  Trout Rocks Conser-vacation.

Oct 6-7 - Grand Caverns resurvey.

Oct. 12-14: Fall MAR/VAR, Dailey, WVa.


Program of the Day:  “July 2007 – Sump Diving Trip into Roppel Cave, KY (Mammoth Cave System).  Photo DVD and script by Brian Williams. 





TREASURER  9/21/07

General Fund       $ 4761.11

Conservation        $   578.92

Equipment Fund $    321.00

Cave Bucks         $     85.30

 Total:    $ 5746.33


Pool Party Expenses:

Pool rental fee:              $61.00

Food/drink/ice/supplies: 53.91    

    Total: $ 114.91


Committee Reports:

Newsletter:  Send in your artwork, photos, and articles. Mary Sue Socky has updated the exchange list.

Membership:  Mary Sue Socky has posted updates to the BRG membership list, and she has removed people in the “Potential Members” List who we have not seen or heard from for 6 months to 2 years.

ROCKS: No report

S&T: No Report”.  Marian says Dan is working on another vertical session at RocWood.

Conservation: vacant

Ways & Means: vacant


Membership Proposals

Nothing tabled, nothing new.  NSS Membership brochures are at the front desk.



·         New Cave Trip Checklist – is it working?  Is it helping? 

·         BRG Pool Party was a success.

·         NCRC Thank You Letters have been sent to all landowners.  In addition, NCRC bestows a certificate of appreciation on BRG for helping make the Week-long a success, and a special certificate to Mary Sue Socky, who helped with cave location logistics and got landowner permission for some of the in-cave classes.



New Business


·         BRG Xmas Cards – do we want to send them this year?  YES.  Bring designs to October meeting.

·         BRG Xmas Dinner: 12/21/07, Mama Maria’s, Salem, VA - must select menu. (see attachment)

·         Hosting a future VAR (Susan Burr) Is still up in the air.  Susan has NOT found the perfect price yet.

·         BRG has received renewal notices from WVCC and BCI.  Should we renew? (Susan Burr).  YES.  Renew us at the lowest group level. We can send them more money later. 

·         New Dixie Access.  The key to New Dixie Cave is no longer in the ticket office; some of the guides were handing the key out (happened to Marian during NCRC).  The cave owner now has the key at her house, and cavers will have to get permission directly from her to go into this gated, vertical cave.

·         BSA T-221 has requested a cave outreach and wild cave trip.  (BRG has worked with T-221 many times before).  Mary Sue Socky will give outreach; are additional cavers willing to take them underground in 2008?  YES (volunteers are Marian McConnell, Carl Cornett, Shawn Hinchy, Pat Sims, Susan Burr, John Layman, Cameron Hall, Mary Sue Socky)

·         Haunted Cave – Mary Sue Socky gave a short presentation, described what occurs at Haunted Cave, and asked BRG members to sign up/volunteer. 

·         BRG Website – caver Shawn Hinchy (new to Roanoke area) (GE Engineer) has volunteered to help improve the BRG website.  He welcomes input, suggestions. 




Pre-Register fro Fall VAR/MAR, Oct, 12-14!

Obituaries of Paul Stevens, Don Shofstall




Meeting ended  8:40p.


Minutes submitted by

Mary Sue Socky

Secretary, Blue Ridge Grotto.







(see attachment on p. 4)


(Attachment:  Mamma Maria’s)




Mamma Maria’s Menu



The $ 75.00 deposit will be refunded if 25+ adults attend.


Hours:  7p to 11p


We have reserved the back banquet room


BRG meeting: 7p to 10p (or so)


ABC on – beer, wine, mixed drinks


Buffet style.  We need to choose 4 items from the LEFT SIDE of the menu to be put on our buffet:

            Salad, antipasto, bread, dessert, etc. will also be offered on the buffet.


Need to call Dominick 1 week before (by Dec. 14) to give him a head count and tell him what 4 entrée’s we want.


Price:  Kids, 9 yrs. old and under will be half price.


Adults:  $12.50 + tax + 18% gratuity.   (OK: per person price of $15.50 ?)

We need to have paid for orders by Dec. 10, 2007? 


Your drinks are extra.



Mamma Maria’s Entrées from Choice 1 column (choose 4)



Fettuccini Alfredo

Penne ala Pomodoro

Cheese Ravioli

Meat Ravioli

Sausage Peppers & Onions

Mussels Marinara

Spaghetti with Garlic & Oil


Buffalo Wings


Stuffed Shells

Pasta Primavera

Penne Sunrise

Penne Napoletana

Stuffed Rigatoni

Sausage Napoletana

Penne ala Pomodoro