In attendance: Emily, Ken, Robert, Lisa, Mike, Diana, John, Carlin, Mark D., Summer, Zeke, Steve, Jennifer, Matthew W., Joel. During introductions nearly everyone stated something interesting about themselves, but not so interesting that it made it into the notes. You’re welcome.
- The holiday party date has been set for December 4 chez Mike and Lisa in Durham. Details to follow via email. Party-goers are encouraged to keep the party going until Diana’s done with the holiday pops concert that night. Challenge accepted.
- Something is still supposed to be done to the email list.
- As promised, Robert brought in some cave-aged cheese for our consumption. He found it in a local store and it doesn’t taste like cave (one imagines), but it was well appreciated.
Ken was pressured into getting a group into Scott Hollow Cave. Eight of us went up, including Matthew, who now has a new favorite cave and a new favorite cave entrance. There is no natural entrance. Instead, cavers descend via ladder through a hole cut out of the floor in what would be the living room of what looks like an abandoned, threeish-story house. A really cool house. Ropes rigged from a catwalk spanning the top floor turn the atrium below into a possible rope-climbing practice space. Anyway, inside the actual cave, the huge Mystic River passage was really beautiful, and everyone got to appreciate the big light that Matthew brought along. Matthew, Carlin, and Mark got bogged down taking pictures.
The rest of the group went upstream towards the Double Waterfall. This was the second trip to Scott Hollow for Mike and Lisa. The first was ten years ago, back when Mike thought it counted as a muddy cave. It isn’t (some people come out looking cleaner than they went in). We climbed John’s Flowstone which is sort of 50 feet wide and maybe 30 feet up to the first real plateau, then slopes up and back another 60 feet to a group of impressively large rimstone dams, each of which is 3-4 feet deep with 8-inch thick walls. From near the top Mike followed a side passage that led to a little keyhole about 12 feet above the main river passage. We finished with that and stopped for a lunch break and the other group was still back at the sump taking pictures.
Eventually we regrouped and found our way into the Root Canal which was not painful at all but replete with soda straws and gypsum around every turn.
The loose plan was to try to get into Patton Cave the following day, but we were unable to contact the landowner.
- Nov 14-15 – Hancock Cave bat count / Dead Air Cave
- Nov 20-22 – Smyth County survey trip
- Dec 4 – Holiday Party
- Dec 11 – ?
Ken Walsh attempted to lower expectations before giving a presentation about his recent visit to Lava Beds National Monument, but the caves were colorful and he took pictures.