March 23, 2021 General Meeting Minutes

A fowl beginning to the March TriTrogs meeting: Lee was painting ducks while Zeke was laying eggs. Then the meeting began in a food-oriented way. Zeke asked everyone to share their names and a favorite food. He began by listing his perfect fluffer nutter sandwich. Andre shared his love for mozzarella sticks, and Lisa couldn’t choose between whiskey and chocolate (after Lee mentioned wine and chocolate). Emily expressed a fondness for chocolate-covered espresso beans, but Mike preferred his home brewed beer. After Zane mentioned massaman curry and Martin ordered up kung pao chicken, Zeke broke in: “I wanted to hear about your ideal cave foods.”

Martin stayed on the exotic side with his call for peanut butter and habanero jelly on burnt toast. Peter discussed how to adjust the ratio of skittles to cherry bites based on the endurance required for the caving trip but then chose a pouch of tuna fish with a spoon as his preferred food.

Diana talked about how she grew accustomed to making sandwiches while in Quebecois caves (like Mike does), and Lee recanted his decantation of wine (no drinking on cave trips). The lists went on from there: Joanna (protein bar), Ken (fresh fruit), Carlin and Karsten (shrimp dumplings, strawberries and not cherries, cheese steaks and quesadillas), and Kelly (Jet A–half pb, half Nutella, cranberries, and crackers).

Membership dues are still $15 or $22 for an unlimited number of family members. Zeke also mentioned that everyone should consider NSS membership as well.

There was no old business. The grotto web site is being updated but has not yet been uploaded. A question was raised about the Museum’s pandemic policy for meetings of affiliate groups [ed. answer came the next day that NC Museum of Natural Sciences will add that topic to their list of policies to sort out right now].

The 2021 NSS Convention will be virtual again this year at the end of July. Diana pointed out that the virtual convention will not be plagued by the mythological meteorological events from previous conventions.

Andre and Kelly shared a trip report about their visit to Stephens Gap Cave. B. Stanley let them camp in his driveway, prepped eggs for them in the morning, loaned them gear, and led a pull-down trip. Andre got some nice photo shots of their adventure and went out and bought a wetsuit for caving right after that.

Lisa led Mike on a tour of the Blue Ribbon Loop in Butler Cave, trying to navigate aided by a map. Previously a crawl that had been dug threw her off, but this time Mike had a compass along. After some heated discussion, they determined that the web site’s overlay was incorrect.

On a second day back into Butler Cave, Mike and Lisa noted that the snowmelt had significantly increased the water depth in the cave before they got back to the Air Dig. Mike noted that the fog outside the cave (from sublimation) was significant.

Zeke looked longingly into a storm drain, and Martin has been replacing pipes beneath his house.

Next month’s meeting will be hosted from Ken’s Zoom account because he’ll be sharing the program.

Emily launched us into a game of Just One that everyone played, some better than others. Hairy crickets and hanging stalagmites were featured, as Emily tried to stump the group think mentality and challenged us to think independently about how to convey caving terms to our teammates.