Dave Duguid welcomed the fourteen members to the last grotto meeting of the year.
TriTrog membership dues for 2009 will be collected again for all members in January.
The issues associated with web hosting had not yet been resolved, but Mike Broome was working on them while the meeting was going on. Mike had contacted Tiger support about transitioning our existing site to the new system. Tiger would prefer that the whole system be transferred to their system, following their step-by-step instructions. Issues would be simplified if anything went wrong, and there is no financial difference between the choices. Fortunately we have not received two bills for the same services this year.
Dave Duguid will host the holiday party on December 6. It will once again be a pot luck celebration, and Dave encourages carbide pumpkins but hesitated at the mention of song books. Ken will roast a turkey, and others are encouraged to bring appetizers, sides, and desserts. The party will start around 6 PM with food served beginning around 7 PM. Casual dress in a kid-friendly home.
Ken encouraged any members to share any information about 2008 activities of TriTrogs in the areas of exploration, protection, and education. This will be included in the NSS annual corporate report.
John Plyler shared that fellow caver Ed Kehs Jr. had been in a serious car accident. He is in pretty bad shape, and the TriTrogs send him their best wishes.
In terms of trip reports, John Plyler talked about the trip he and Pete Hertl took to OTR. They took second and third places in the ropewalker competition, third place in cable ladder, second place in knots, honorable mention in the obstacle course. When competing in beer drinking speed competitions, they learned to get their face down in the beer, remove the foam, and drink it warm and flat to down it in under two seconds. Pete did not recall where he caved on OTR Friday but did not indicate if the beer drinking influenced his recollections.
Dave Duguid described the digging trip to a North Carolina cave found in a county park. He, Tanya McLaughlin, Linda Waters-Lindqvist, Christian Lindqvist, and Ken Walsh found the first lead into the hillside closed down to an impossibly tight lead. Dave, Linda, and Christian did manage to dig two connections using a hoe, kitty litter buckets, and snow saucers. Dave described that we could dig for eternity in the cave in the loose soil, but it likely will not yield much. Odds are that the cave was not filled by the state as was once rumored.
Dave mentioned that Cato Holler shared the the 1970’s map of the cave, and that and the NSS article from the 1950’s described the same cave that we found. It’s probably not worth digging further in this cave, but we could go up and survey for a high quality map that covers the new connections.
Mike Broome and Lisa Lorenzin went on November 8 to Burnsville Cove with the Butler Cave Conservancy Society. They stayed at the homestead with BCCS members. They entered Basswood Cave at the base of an award-winning tree. Saturday they went in for a dig 10 minutes from the entrance. They microblasted dinner plate-sized rocks. A crawl led 25 feet to a dogleg in a thin crevice from 5 to 7 inches wide. They felt huge amounts of air blowing and stayed in the cave from 11 AM to 11 PM. There is another low lead down a cable ladder. Lisa bellycrawled through 2 inches of water for 20 feet to the turnaround point. Forty or fifty feet further she could have wiggled her chest through but had to turn around. They microblasted with soda straws and black powder. Two drills ran through the batteries pretty fast, but they could recharge at Nevin’s house just outside the entrance. The sounds they liked to hear while microblasting were “Woomph, crumple, crumple, crumple.”
Dave mentioned the possible upcoming trips to Boone’s Cave or the first weekend in January.
After the break, TJ Smith shared Jody Bailey’s presentation on their weeklong class of Level 1 certification from the National Cave Rescue Commission.