General Meeting Minutes – July 25, 2017


In attendance: Mark, Jared, Charles, Jake, Zeke, Marlis, Mike M., Lenny, Eric, Andy, Peter, Emily, Mike B., Kim, and Ken

Our favorite leaves, respectively: [On second thought, this has been redacted due to gratuitous word play.]


  • Mark is going to order some cases for our grotto loaner headlamps.
  • September 16 is BugFest. Peter will be running an exhibit and looking for volunteers to help show off the wonderful world of orthoptera. This is a great way for us to give back to the museum which provides our meeting space each month.

Trip Reports

  • Mike B. and Lisa introduced Mike’s dad and sister to Butler Cave for their first wild caving experience. They went in the SOFA (Stubborn Old Farts Access) entrance and got as far as the 90-Ugh Crawl before turning back.
  • Mike M. visited five caves in Walker County, Georgia: Petty John’s Cave (with two young kids), Anderson Spring Cave (which had a good salamander population), Natural Waterfall Pit and Cave (where they saw some bats and lots of fossils), and a horizontal trip through Ellison’s Cave. There was lots of water in all the caves. They encountered more bats in Ellison’s than they have in recent years.
  • Emily joined Mike B., Connor, and Nicole for a weekend at the Butler Cave homestead. Mike led them and a couple from Pennsylvania on a four-hour trip in Butler Cave. It was a relaxed trip but they covered a lot of ground, especially considering there were two non-cavers along. After exiting and resupplying, Emily, Mike, and Connor went back in for another four hours. After exiting again and opening but not drinking a beer, Mike couldn’t resist the opportunity to go drop the vertical entrance of Barberry to help with a dye trace. The next day, Keith W. led Emily, Mike, Connor, and Hal through the woods to three small caves: Black Root (pristine blockage), Bone (pile of leaves and, yep, bones), and Birthday (so many bugs).

Upcoming Trips and Events

  • Aug. 22: monthly meeting
  • Aug. 25-27: Annual Fun Grotto Trip
    • We can park on the upper field where we’ll be camping.
    • Trips will be tailored for novice to intermediate cavers.
    • Visit our FAQ page for a list of recommended gear.
    • Caves on the agenda are Porters, Blowing, and Island Ford.
  • Sept. 1-4: Old Timers Reunion (Dailey, WV)
  • Sept. 1-5: Cave Fest (Sewanee, TN)
  • Oct. 5-8: TAG Fall Cave-in (Lookout Mountain, GA)


As our scheduled program presenter was absent, Ken showed some old photos of Butler Cave while Mike B. narrated. Then we adjourned to the Oak & Dagger.