TriTrog General Meeting (April 22, 2014)

Rob Harris called the meeting to order. He mentioned that
members wishing to pay dues ($15 for individuals and $22 for families) should
give them to Mark Little or any other member. That statement was amended to
share the money only with other officers. These reminders are going out because
old members don’t remember so well.
Next month’s program will be “Caving in Australia” by Dave
and Andrea Fielder. In June Matthew Weiss will teach us how to cave light. He
will be using the freight elevator to cart in his original underground lighting
systems.
Regarding the web site, members can now use PayPal to join
the grotto. There is also a move to the 25th anniversary web
site.  Although more than 20 people have
already added their home locations to the map on the home page, no notice has
yet gone out to the TriTrog list serve. Rob agreed to send the invitation out
to the list serve.
We next did introductions in counterclockwise order: Rob,
Dave, Andrea, Matt, Brooke, Emily, Lisa, Mike, Ken, Carlin, Rachel, and Peter.
Mike and Lisa went to Spring VAR with Lee Olson. The RASS Fieldhouse
is nice with running water and electric power, but the trip signups were filled
up.  Mike and Lisa went to Helictite Cave and dug with 17 people
in the Supersweet Dig, a tunnel that Phil Lucas is excavating toward the caves
of Chestnut Ridge.  The challenge to the
Supersweet Dig is that at least 8 or 9 people are necessary to run the buckets,
pulleys, wagons, and abacus. Lisa got stuck in the middle as the communications
specialist which meant that she had to dodge a cart rolling by her with wheels
on the bottom and both sides to avoid the walls. The outside weather was good,
and so was the dinner.  Front Royal
Grotto served their famous pancake breakfast on Sunday.
At the Grand Caverns Easter Restoration, Matthew was
underdressed on arrival and enjoyed sitting in front of the camp fire. He spent
the day trying to put a formation together in Fountain Cave. Matthew likened the experience to a 10,000-piece
jigsaw puzzle with only 2,000 pieces.  He
also had fun photographing the cave.
Meanwhile, Ken was spreading gravel across the floors in Grand Caverns and carrying out  supplies left in the cave after the Haunted
Cave experience.
Carlin shared that Perseverance Dome in Germany Valley is
now 526 feet high, the highest east of the Mississippi River.
Pete Hertl was in Wakulla
Springs
last weekend.  The cave is
now 33 miles long and 185 feet below the surface.  Thirty divers are necessary for every three
explorers. Pete shared that denser water holds back the flow of the freshwater,
and recent changes to the freshwater flow is changing how Florida’s
subterranean freshwater flows. 
Dave and Andrea Fielder joined Rob Harris for a trip to Worley’s Cave, Tennessee. Roughly 20-25
people caved together, and Andrea can name them all.  They headed for a big dome but only found a rotunda.  They had a dusting of snow, and the Fielders
discovered that cavers universally have the same sense of humor. 
Rob also recounted a trip to the Bat Ranch where he bounced Pig Hole on knots. He adjusted the
knots to be above his head but found out later that that distance is too far
and much more work.
Upcoming trips:
Buddy Penley Cave—Rob is going on April 26—VPI Picnic
May 3—Snowcone Cave (Dave and Carlin and Matthew Weiss and
Lisa)
May 3 –New River Cave (Dave West)
May 3 – Fountain Cave (Dave Socky)
May 24-26 Swine and Dine (Diana and Ken)
May30-June1—Huntsville for SERA
July 14-18 – NSS Convention
Aug 16 – Grotto Trip to Friars Hole Cave
Matthew Weiss is also in a Tawney’s Cave photo trip in
mid-May.
Brooke Massa shared a presentation about the current
understanding of White Nose Syndrome.