What would you do if you won the lottery? I think we all now agree that we would help Michael realize his lifelong dream of swimming through a silo full of coins.
In attendance: Ken, Zeke, Matthew W., Kim, Martin, Carlin, Ben, Brian, Michael M., Emily, Peter, Jenny, Eric, and Mark D.
- Happy new year! Pay your membership dues. Yearly individual: $15. Yearly family: $22. Pay one of the officers or via PayPal. If you pay via PayPal, please email the treasurer to let him know that you did.
- Ken read a postcard from Amar and Bithika and young caver Pahi. Awwww.
- Spring VAR event. April 27-29. Put it on your calendars and prepare to invent an excuse for why you can’t volunteer to help out!
- Several members with finite storage space have expressed interest in a grotto auction or gear swap fundraiser. Kim has offered to start an online list of items that people might like to be rid of. Items should be limited to caving or outdoor gear. Date and location are still under consideration.
- Rappel in, walk out. Peter and Mark enjoyed rappelling into Lost World Caverns in Greenbrier County through the original, natural entrance drop and following the walking tour path out. The next day they went to the SSS (???) entrance of the Culverson Creek Cave system. It’s a low, stream crawl entrance, but it opens up into some large passage. They found some stuff to photograph and agreed that it would be worth going back there sometime. They did not navigate any passages that were very tight or very wet.
- Rappel in, woodchuck out. Brian saved an enormous, lethargic woodchuck from the bottom of the entrance to Flower Pot Cave. [I can’t do this justice, so if you’re reading this and you missed the telling, track him down—Brian, not the woodchuck—and get him to repeat it.]
- Giggle and bear it. Kim, Eric, Mark, and Ken went back to Paxton’s Cave for day one of the New Year’s weekend. The entrance was a cascade of giant icicles, and the air blowing from the cave felt relatively warm. They made it to the Throne Room in record time and spent the rest of the trip looking for the way to the Christmas Room. They didn’t reach that destination, but the rimstone pool filled with crystal candy corns that they found was the neatest thing Kim has seen in a cave. On day two, while looking for the entrance to Low Moor Cave, Eric discovered a black bear. Eric’s high-pitched scream and subsequent giggle unnerved the bear enough to do the trick, and it promptly left. Once inside, they did a lot of walking, saw a lot of graffiti, crossed a sketchy ladder over a pit, and got Eric stuck in an unnecessary, tight climb.
- Crash course in frog. Dave and Carlin roped virgin surveyors Natalie and Andy into the Radon Cave survey trip. Carlin bolted a traverse and found that he could remove the former (20-year-old) bolts easily by hand. They descended a short drop and surveyed maybe 100 feet. There was a pinch that Andy wouldn’t fit through, but beyond it the others discovered the large room that they had been promised. No obvious leads off the big room, but it still needs to be surveyed.
- Michael went to a much-visited, graffiti-riddled small cave behind a waterfall in South Carolina. Also, he definitely did not trespass in a [redacted] on [deleted] property in [omitted].
- Peter startled a sea lion while cave snorkeling in Mexico.
- Ben and his wife toured some caves in Vietnam. They spent much of one day hiking to and from a cave with an enormous entrance.
Upcoming Trips and Events
- Feb. 24 – Low Moor Cave survey trip (contact Ken)
- Mar. 16-18 – Florida Cave Cavort
- Mar. 16-18 – Chattanooga area survey trip (contact Brian, vertical required)
- Apr. 21 – Grand Caverns spring cleaning (VA)
- Apr. 27-29 – Spring VAR at Hungry Mother State Park (VA)
- May 3-6 – SERA Cave Carnival (AL)
- May 12-19 – NCRC cave rescue training seminar (AL)
- May 25-28 – Speleofest (KY)
- July 28-Aug. 4 – NSS Convention (MT)
- Matthew W. wants to lead a photo trip in Tennessee on some 3-day weekend.
- Ken will lead a photo trip closer to home if there’s interest.
Officer elections took the place of a meeting program. The 2018 officers are:
- Chair: Emily Graham
- Vice-chair: Eric Williams
- Webmaster: Carlin Kartchner
- Secretary: Kim Parks
- Treasurer: Martin Groenewegen