General Meeting Minutes from July 25, 2023


In attendance: Taylor T., Diana, Mark, Justine, Peter, Rob, Taylor O., Emily, Vinnie/Savage, Lauren, Phil/Sully, Lisa, Mike, Stephan, Maria, Ken


  • Thank you to Zeke for hosting the June meeting.
  • Membership dues for the year are now reduced to half-price ($7.50 for an individual).
  • Mike and Lisa brought two old TriTrog grotto shirts to the meeting and they found good homes with other members.
  • Per a show of hands, there appears to be some interest in Emily’s “Trog Luddite” design, so we’ll look into pricing.
  • A Boy Scouts event on Sept. 23-34 wants a short presentation on caving. If you’re interested, consider taking the squeeze box which is currently at Lisa and Mike’s.
  • Taylor reports that we have 27 responses to the communications survey. 67% would like to be able to communicate using an app other than email/texting. Discord is preferred over WhatsApp. Discord can be used from a computer’s web browser or downloaded as an app. In addition to planning trips, it could be used to swap gear and make other announcements.

Past Trips

NSS Convention

  • Stephan went to Smokehole and Seneca Caverns as part of the Geology Field Trip at the NSS Convention. He got a cool geology guidebook and learned some tricks from George Dasher.
  • Mike visited about fifty feet of Dreen Cave as part of a sketching class. He learned to sketch digitally using TopoDroid, and he highly recommends the class.
  • Mike, Lisa, Ken, and Emily went to Tolly’s Secret Cave. We were told it’s the largest sandstone cave in the country. Access was granted to members of the NSS during the week of Convention only. The rock had strange ripple patterns in places and pretty colors. They encountered lots of spiders and a monorail worm.
  • Ken took a class in cave formation repair, partly at Hamilton Cave. The work appeals to people who like details and DIY stuff.
  • Stephan, Ken, and Emily visited Sharp’s Cave. The entrance was not where we left it. The cave contains an extensive and impressive sculpture gallery and a noisy waterfall (which we heard but never saw). A huge, massive block that had fallen from the ceiling was huge and massive.

Other Past Trips

  • Lisa and Mike and about 40 other people attended the post-convention camp at Butler Cave. On a separate trip, they took Bram to Butler to do some vertical stuff in the Bean Room. On Day 2 they surveyed for 5 hours, and on Day 3 they scoped out nearby Fossil Sink Cave dig. The dig goes about 40 feet down and hasn’t been worked for 5 years. There’s tons of mold and some of the wooden shoring is rotten, so it will take some work to get it going again.
  • Phil went to Carpenter-Swaygo Cave and did a little surveying.
  • Vinnie surveyed in Perkins Cave for his first wild cave trip. He was surprised at the size of the cave and how much there was to study. 10 out 10. Would do it again.
  • Diana went to Grotte di Castellana in Italy. It’s quite decorated, but they don’t let you take your own photos. It’s about a mile long. A 50-minute trip makes a nice tour of about half the cave. She also attended mass at an underground church. They mine a lot of limestone in this area.
  • Mike and Lisa took Lisa’s mom into Butler Cave for her first wild cave trip. She got to take a camp chair in and sit and admire the formations that they pointed out. She entered and exited in style on a sled rigged to the Subaru.


Culverson Creek Cave, in Greenbrier County, WV, is about a 4.5- to 5- hour drive from here. Group camping at Blue Meadow. We can access water at the nearby campground. Expect no cell service at the campground due to its proximity to the observatory. We’ll use the Wildcat Entrance, which has a culvert and ladder. The water gets possibly waist-deep in places. The stream reaches probably 60-65 degrees in the summer. Culverson Creek water flows under the Buckeye Creek system and emerges at the Spring Creek resurgence. Stephan has a book with more information than you could ever want, including history, maps, and photos.