, -....., .. I I teTEXAS CAVER On-IClAL PUBLICATION or nIE TEXAS SPIJ.IDUJGICAL ASSOCUTIOII NATIOIIAL SPI!1JI)UJGICAL SOClm A N U A R V 1 9 6 4
T H E TEXA S CAVER VOLUME I X NUMBER ONE, JANUARY, 1964 C OVER: ONE OF THE LARG EST SINKHOLES IN THE STATE TERLINGUA SINKHOLE -SEE STORY IN THIS ISSUE BY C A R L KUNATH CONTENTS 3 TRAGEDY A T ROUNDTREE CAVE TOM MEADOR 4 TERLINGUA SINKHOLE -CARL KUNATH O T L CAVE -CARL KUNATH 8 MYSTERY AT SAN PEDRO PARK -FROM CHARLES MERRITT BARNES 9 CARTOON BY BRUMMETT 10 NEWS 1Z EDI T O RIAL INFORMATION
THE TEXAS CAVER, January, 1964 -3 Back in 1830 Mr. Bob Roundtree and his family had their ranch house east of the present entranc e to Roundtree Cave. The cave is located in the bottom o f a flat draw. Back of the first room i n the cave is a larg e pool or lake of water, which at that time was "almost over a man's head". A windmill and pump had been placed there and the family water was pumped from this cave lake. On May 27, 1830, while Mr. Roundtree and two older sons were in Austin selling their wool, a storm came up. Mrs. Roundtree, the rest of the children, and a M iss Agnes Terry, who was staying with them at the time, went into t h e cave in fear of being blown away. A heavy rain came up and t he water started rushing down the d raw and into the cave. Both women and childrenattempted t o get out, but the rushing flood waters swept them back. Mrs. Roundtree and Mis s A g nes were thrown against the rocks, knocking them unconscious for awhile. The two boys were drowned and washed deeper into the cave. Miss Agnes later died from the effects of their experience on June 8th. Uncle Billy Gibbons was the RO uno -I 1 E-E first man on the scene after the tragedy as he was herding sheep on t he range at the time, and drove in for the night. W. F. Luckie and Allen Hall searched in the darkness for nearly an hour i n t he lake room before finding t he bodies. During this ghastly search Mr. Luckie discovered the entrance to another room which had never been known of before. The bodies were carried to the outer room and rinally out a n d burried at Richland Springs. Roundtree Cave may have been entered by a Mr. Shaw the "Floyd Collins" of San Saba County, in 1930 when he commercialized near by Te rry Ca ve Roundtree was first explored by spelunkers in 1962. At that time the story was told that eight persons had been d.r o wned there. The cave has been explored o n bey ond the lake now, but the cave still holds its dangers, as C02 a mapping party in the first r oom during the last TSA Region TOM MEADOR ELDORADO (Reference: J M. Hunter's Frontier T i mes, July 1930 issue)
THE TEXAS CAVER, JanuaI"'J, 1964 -4 TERL s nKHOLE 'Ehe biggest sinkhole in the ggest c o unty, i n the rext-to-the biggest state in the Union--this LS Terlingua Sinkhole. To de be it i n one word--Impressive. Loca t e d in the rolling holls of the old minin g town of it is well off the beaten path, and hence very few people know o f it's existence and f e wer still have ever visited L, The sinkhole appears to be the result of the collapse of a giant orne However, the sinkhole is v ry old and the geology of the area and t s general appearance as c han ge d so greatly that only a well trained geologist might be abl to piece together the true story As it appears today, the ent ran.:.e is a giant funnel formed b y +he low rolling hills which surro r.d he entrance. The funnel hus forme is perhaps 300 feet r o s at the widest point. T h e throat o f the funnel is the open ing to the hole and is about 150 feet by 75 feet, and roughly recnf,ular i n shape. From the top o th funnel to the lowest point in he sinkhole is about 175 feet, D ever1 someo n e in years past a' very thoughtfully placed a num er of steel stakes in the roc k a a po int where the sloping sides are not as steep as in other places. From this point it is to descend 7 5 to a mour.d of small breakdown and loose fill, and walk down an add itional 25 feet tc the floor o f the sinkhole. The bottom in s ome places,resembles a thick f o rest. There are small tree37 bushes., and many varieties o f ferns 0 I n i s almost impossible t o in the dense The soi l is quite rich si!J c e all the decayed organic matter is trapped 0 The plant life would und oubtedly be much more abundant were mor e rainfall since almost every area of the floor receives s u n light at some t ime during the myo What w ater d oes reach the b ottom apparently seeps out aro"..tn d the wall in a uniform manner as there is no one point which looks as i f it drai n s more than a normal am mount of 'Hater. Perhaps w hen the next cloudburst floods S i n khole, say about the year it will w ash the dirt and f ill Gut a n d uncover a tre mendous extension. Then perhaps the sleepy lit t l e town of Terlingua will Otlf" e again become a magne t fo::the adveutu r ous spirit. CARL KUNAT H SUL ROSS COLLEGE
--N M .Ai SCALE: 1 = 2.5 IS, .so 7 1 LEGEND AI. B -I c 10 8 SURVEY STAT ION --------, '",-@ CEILING HEIGHT LARGE, LOoSE ROCK --BOUNDARY NOT EXACT \-'-APPROXIMATE SHAPE LOOSE SAND ...... "-, OF ENTRANCE "\ BOUNDARY -ROPE COMES OO .... N HfRE ----..... .... --.................... fJ ----------/' 1?r-11 k DOWN f\?/ ;" TERLI NGUA SINKHOLE ,);' BREWSTER COUNTY I TEX. SURVEYED BY: 5.R_S_S 11-17-63 DRAWN BY: CARL KUNATH @,,\7 /'
THE TEXAS CAVER January, 1964 -6 O. T. L. [HVE I t h a s b een done at last! O .T.L. has bee n beaten! (Almost, that is.) Al t h ou gh there is only a handful of people in the state who ha. ve e v e r heard of O.T.L., much less give a hoot about it, we at Sul Ross Colle ge have finally decided i t was somewhat of a black eye for o u r club not to have map ped t h e only cave anywhere close to the city of Alpine. T h e cave bares the scars of man y v i s its by loca l people for many years. If the dates on the walls a r e reliable, the cave has been visit ed for a t least 20 years. T h e cave is dry and almost completely devoid of forma tions, but the vandals have done a pretty g oo d job w ith what they h n ve had t o work with. However, there is still much cave coral to crawl over which k eeps Johnson & Johnson very happy, I suppose. So, after much d eliberation, soul searching, and procrastinai on, three "volunte e rs" were :lian hied, and w e set out to do 0 r duty as w e saw it." After fiv e ho u r s we emerged o nce mor e into the world of sane h umans with a ream o f note s and r O l l deter:nination to see t h e job tlrough. Afte r anothe r t e n hours aL the draft i n g table, I came up wi th I,hat I b e liev e to b e a reasonable facsim ile o f the cave. One look at t he map and you s a "Why all the Please note the s cale the c i s primarily a mass o f break-down with a series of small rooms which are connected by tiny crawlways. Many of the rooms are j ust spaces between the breakdown; and if you have ever tried to map a pile of rocks, you can appreciate our problem. To help explain the map, the entrance is an oval s lit which drops eight feet to cave level. At station #3, a small hole lets a person down twenty feet some smaller holes) to station which is in a small. crawb.,ay directly below it. A t station #6 a wire (origin unkn o wn) goes down 12 feet to station #7. At station #9 yo u hav e three choices, all of which end up in the same room. The easiest route i s right up through an eight-foot chinmey. From this r oo m it is just more crawling and squeezin g t o the end (s) of the c a ve The shape o f t he rooms and the passages s h o u l d n o t b e relied upon too heavi l y because they may v ary considerably depending u p on "'hich rocks y ou c h oose t o measure from. T h e othe r information ,hm., ever, may be cons: ; "tered to be as accurate a s i s h umanly possible under the circumst anc es. Actual mapped passage is about 38 0 fett. Tota l le:1gth depth of a l l is 110 f eet. T otal len gth notable passages in the cav e is about 5 00 feet. We a t Sul Ross d o h erebyrubmit O.T.L. as o u r candida t e for the State's most u s eless cave. O.T.L. ? I t means Out To Lunch
M t2 "IT @> LEGEND iOO --D EPTH BELOW E NT R ANCE --TOTAL H E IGHT OF PA5SAGE 6 --STATION POINT --PARTITION 1T -----------... "-:;0 '""" /l / .. SCALE (05
':"'HE TEXAS C AVER, Jam .. ary, 1964 -8 JEDRO R K O n e o f t h e most fascinating legends of T exas cavin g lore sur r01 nds a cave in San Antonio. This story, i n part, reads as follows: T h e r e 1 s a cavern deep and dark a n d near San Pedro Park. T h e r e t h i s treasure is said to be b u t all kn owledge of this caverns t Yace 1 S gone. Into its mouth a h u g e s t one was rolled that stop ped a n d h i d its orifice from view. M r e t h a n a geneyation a g o a last effort was m a de to find this spot. T hey a r e said to ha v e found and rolled away the stone and g on e down i nto the cave ttking with thp. m l i ghts a n d food. Within t hey found a s wollen stream. When hey to c r oss its current was all too s w ift. There they o uod a bottle and som e wine As hey drank from i t their lights l le and low a n d dimJ8l1d out o f the cra nie s of the cave cam the s p ectres a n d then the woman and h e r m a l e escorts fled fas a n d back t o the cav ern's m outh And others went to this self s a m e cav e and down within and f o und the ltd ne and flask. There snake s and wIves and bats he r e O n e f i r e d to kill a A s h e f ired part of the avern's roof fell down. Those t hen h r e e s a p ed unscathe d but ir. n o r wen t again, alhough n o spect r e s cave I was with them once, but cared no more to search. Unta-ted was the wine; uncorked its flask was left. Another band of bolder ones again went there. Again their lights burned blue and to them the spectres all four came Even to the cavern's mouth they pursued. There they held the searchers in thrall until they had rolled back the stone into the cavern' s mouth. Since then no others there have gone. And now this cave i s lost. This treasure stil l evades all que st." This tale is taken d irectly from Charles Merritt Barnes' Combats and Conquests of Immortal 89-90 and pages 100 -104. Pu b l i shed in San Antonio in 1910 it conta ins numero u s lege nds and tales L oth o f San Antonio and of t h e caves in and near the city. COMING T 0 T E X A S 1964 N.S.S. New Braunfel s June 1 4-20 1964
THE TEXAS CAVER, January, 1964 9 NEW C A V E R It is our sincere desire that each subscriber get the best and most readable of newsletters. You have no doubt noticed that this month's CAVER has easier to read narrower columns, and a simpler, less congested layout. We hope it is more attractive. There is, however, no way i n the world that any of the staff can make the articles that appear in this magazine more interesting. That is up to you, the spelunkers we depend on to send in material. \ ) CONVENTION BRIEFS The upcoming 1 9 6 4 National Speleological Society convention in New Braunfels is shaping up quite well. All session Chairmen have been secured as well as the b anquet speaker, MC, and most of the physical facilities. Needed now . many who will part icipate in the sessions by presenting papers, slide shows, and lectures. Plan now to participate, and send in your titles and ideas to a session chairman listed i n the October NSS NEWS. --'----" I BeNtJA
THE TEXAS CA'TER January, 1964 10 n E w s ABILENE, N S .S. ( T CS) The Abile n e Grotto took a trip out to the southern part of Taylor County on Saturday afternoon, January 4, to look over a cave lead on the Hal Sayles Ranch. Although the exercise was invigorating,no caves of a ny consequence was found. Those makin J the trip were George Gray, Bart Crisman, Jim Estes T h e Grotto plans a regular trip the week e n d of Janue.ry 11-12 to do a little digging. This mayor me. y not prove fruitful,but opinions seem to indicate that it will b e loads of fun anyway. I t is r equested by the Secre tary of the Grotto that all memb e r s pay up their dues. This is very important. Try to make it a habit on the first of the month. Grotto address is: 2 818 South 39th Street, Abilene, Texas 79605 00000 ALAMO, N.S.S. ( TeS) New officers started their terms at our December th'rd meeting. They are Lielson Wilson, Chairman ; Tommy Bordelon, Vice-Chairman; Ollene Bundrant, S e c r etary: LutherBundrant, Treasurer; D avid G r ay, Equipment Chai rman; and Bill Gray, Reporter. Dic k Wh;te was appointed Safety and Refcue Chairman. Dick went into action righ t away and explain ed a well-rounded prog ram which h e will initiate to train a squad in the proper t echniques for cave r escue work under all ircumstan ccs. Dr. Rhoades volun ered to train the rescu e s q uad the Cavemasters and others in suitable first aid practices. C a vemasters were appointed who will be responsible for organization, and trip reporting for all f ield Bas i c mapping techniques were discussed so that all members would have an idea of what is required in proper observation and description o f caves explored, Trips to check out several "goo d leads "Were s e t for the weekend, and the membership happily took off for a new caving season. Grotto address is: 107 Toma hawk Trail, San Antonio, Texas. 00000 DALLAS-FORT WORTHJ NoSoSo (TCS) Several of the grotto went to F itton Cave, Arkansas,but most members had C hristmas to get ready for, so stay ed ho me. The regular Grotto Christ.mas party was held at the home of Brooks Snyder i n Hursto Pac k 40-50 cavers i n a nice h ome and you never can tell what wjll happen, There was plenty of' c offee and c ookies and a slide show of the South Passage o f L a u be.ch Cave was shown W e think we have a location on the surface where t he cave i s n e t under t h e right-of way. A grotto trip t o G o rman Falls is pla.nned for a llo VIs w111 have tours around t:!1e clock and many new interested peo p l e are c o ming Preston M c M:l.c hae,l is sicker than everyone The Grotto wishes for u recovery to this wonderful perEon and caver. Get well soon, Preston! The Grotto address Norman R ob Lnson, 1 36 7 7 LitV e crest Road, Dallas, Texa s 7 5 34. BALCONES, NeS,S, (TCS, Our January meeting cornea on January seventh, so we will have nothing to report until Tom
THE TEXAS CAVER, January, 1964 -11 Warden assisted Mike Lorfing of Southwestern University Speleological Society to take some V .I.P. through Laubach Cave We'll let Mike make that report. Eg Smith of BG is still hunting for Indian Head Cave (the fantasti c cave reported near Bull Creek west of Austin). He has some mighty good leads. \-le will have our electi on of officers and start our ne w club year on February 4. We will report the results in the next TEXAS CAVER. Inquiry: Is anyone interested in counting bats in the large Mexican freetail caves of the Ed wards Plateau? Warden Has completed a report on work done along this line. If enough cavers ere interested, contact Warden and he will send to the CAVER a condensed version of this r e = port. The methos used i s simple, and may be completed by one person. These bats fly from their caves at a constant rate on a set course. By use of a stop watch the flight of bats ove r a measured course i s ob tained. A camera is use d to record the number of bats in t his distance at one instant. By t im ing the total bat flight, then computing the speed of the bats J vo lume per d istance and tctal t i m e the number of b a t s in t he cave may be found. T his met h o d s howed 3,240,000 bats in Frio Cave on October 10, 1 96 c Contac t Tom B Warden, Jr., 9 0 2 West Bee C a v e Road, Austin, Texas 7874 6 Address o f Grotto same as the one above. 00000 ALPINE, TEXAS (TCS) Dece mber has proven t o be a g oo d month for Su I Ross Colleg e cavers. To start off the month, a group of five people made a trip to t he La ngtr y area The y visited Langtry Lea d Cave Fisher's Fissure, and Emer ald Sink. On this trip, the gro u p discovered another hole near Fisher'S Fissure, but did not enter it at this time. Also, the group stopped for a qu ick loo k at Road Cut Cave on the way bac k to Alpine. The next week-end a group of f ou r left Alpine to check out the sinkhole found on the last trip. All that was found was a crack at the bottom of about a 75-foot d r op. The crack looks promising if it can be widened. Having no e q i pment to do this, the group went on to Langtry Lead where they went back to the Hall Of The Unicorns. Dur i ng the Christmas Holidays a g r o up of seven SuI Ross cavers converged on Georgetown to take a look at Laubach Cave At the entrance, the group met threeDallas cavers who knew the cave, and so served as very good gujdes. One group went back through zes a nd crawlways of the Southwest Passage while the others w a nde red around the larger rooms. In all, it was a very good trip, thanks to the Dallas cavers. A mapping crew goes out soon, so v7e 1 1 see you next month vi th a repcrt on that and our other acto> vities Th e club address is in care of C arl Kunath, P. O. Box 308, SuI Ross C ollege Station, Alpine, Texa s 00000 NOTIC E : To Secretaries or Grotto About three groups do get :Jhe i r news in each month and on t i me. How about you? Remember that the deadline for news of your group is the 6th of each and e v ery month, otherwise we will j u s have to leave you out. The news make s some of the best read ingJ so s end in & on time!!!
THE TEXAS CAVER 2818 South 39th Street Abilene, Texas 79605 Official publication of the Texas Spe l eological Association NATIONAL SPELEOLOGICAL SOCIETY THE TEXAS CAVER is a monthly publication of the Texas Speleological Associat ion, and is publishe d in Abilene, Texas. All material sent f o r print m ust double-spaced typed, and mailed to the Editor no late r than the 6th of each month of issue. Subscripti on rate is $3.00 per year for twelv e issues, made payable to THE TEXAS CAVER, address appear s at the top left corner of this page. EDITOR-----------------------James Estes STAFF -----------------------George Gray J ohn Lanier Bart Crisman Bryant Lilly Dewayne Di ckey J i m Medlin REPORTERS --------------------Bill Gray James Reddell Carl Ku,ath James Scht.unanrl Norman Robinson T o m Harden W E REALIZE that postage rates are incredibly especially if one wishes t o mail sev eral items first class. H ewever, at the same time, \.,e ofte n wonder i f anyone reads the CAVER. and has any co mment Very appre ciative would the staff b e if you would send us some ideas, news, g ood articles about (is there anything else?) caves1 a n d just comment. You probably notice d th9.t the Caver-Of-TheMonth article _,as not in this issue No one nominated anyone ... and '.re d o not have t he info. I n next month's CAVER will be an article on La Crute de Atoyac, translated from Sapnish by Harry Miles,and another article by Preston McMichael about somthin g unusual. In addition, other interesting items. W e hop e you look forward to your CAVER, a nd 'Vlill to do somet h i n g for us in thi s year of 196 4 .. sell sub s c ription! GET BUSY, TEXAS CAVERS, FIND 'EM, EXPLORE 'EM$ AND LET US KNOW IT!
Contents: Tragedy at
Roundtree Cave / Tom Meador --
Terlingua Sinkhole / Carl Kunath --
O.T.L. Cave / Carl Kunath --
Mystery at San Pedro Park / Charles Merritt Barnes --
Cartoon by Brummett --