General Meeting Minutes – September 26, 2017


Who are we (and what do we like about the holiday season)?

Martin (getting time off work), Zeke (leaving town), Diana (eating crazy food), Emily (wearing costumes), Carlin (making piñatas), Kim (matching socks), Michael (costuming the cats), Eric (making food green), Natalie (having dinner with friends), Ken (hibernating), Mark (taking a week off), and Peter (single-ply)


  • The museum has moved next year’s Darwin Day event from February to November, 2018.
  • Please email Martin if you pay your dues via PayPal so that he can add you to the list of members.
  • If you have feedback on this year’s annual grotto trip, send it to a grotto officer.
  • Officers had another meeting immediately before the September monthly meeting. See website or check your email for those meeting minutes.

Trip Reports

  • Grotto trip: Ken, Mark, Peter, Kim, and about 15 other people went to Porter’s Cave. They spent a good bit of time trying to find the cave entrance despite having both accurate directions and GPS coordinates. Ken was glad that he had spent so much time studying the convoluted cave map in the fieldhouse, because it helped him determine that they wanted to get down to the lower level early on. There were lots of pretty formations, even some hanging from the pendants. They also encountered low crawls, chimney climbs, keyhole passage, and some mazey areas.
  • Grotto trip: Meanwhile, Zeke, Diana, Emily, Eric, Lilea, and the Clawson family went to Blowing Cave. Due to the pinchiness of the pinch, three of the Clawsons backed out early in the trip. As Zeke put it, the map was from 1939 and didn’t show anything that we saw. Mud was the most noteworthy thing about this cave. We almost lost the remaining Clawson when he stepped and sank into a puddle of muck and it took three of us to free him. There was no decoration and no cave life.
  • Grotto trip: Kim, Matthew, and others went to Island Ford Cave. Kim reported that this short cave was not just easy to find, it was impossible to miss due to the large entrance. They took the dry passage on the way in, stopped when they got to the wet crawls, and took the stream passage on the way out. They saw a few salamanders and surprisingly little graffiti for such an accessible cave, and there were some formations in the smaller side passages.
  • On his trip through South Dakota, Mark saw a Townsend’s big-eared bat in Jewel Cave, lots of boxwork in Wind Cave, and lots of algae in the commercial Black Hills Caverns.
  • Mark and Rob attended CaveFest in Tennessee. Mark’s first trip was to Cedar Ridge Crystal Cave. With no natural entrance, it’s very well decorated and hot. His second trip was to bounce a 180-foot pit at Cagle Chasm. His third trip was to Gourdneck Cave which had a pretty waterfall and some nice formations. It also had a large PVC pipe running through it that carries water to animals but gets in the way of cavers.

Upcoming Cave Trips and Activities

  • Nov. 11 – WVCC annual banquet
  • Nov. 18 – cave survey trip to maybe Perkins or SnoCone (Carlin)
  • Nov. ? – Hancock Cave bat count (Ken)
  • Dec. 9 – Holiday party at 6:30pm at Mark’s (Dancing bears?)
  • Feb. – Frick’s Cave (TAG)
  • Apr. 27-29 – Spring VAR at Hungry Mother State Park


Martin presented a program about headlamp batteries.