The Texas Caver

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The Texas Caver

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Title:
The Texas Caver
Series Title:
The Texas Caver
Creator:
Texas Speleological Association
Publisher:
Texas Speleological Association
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Language:
English

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Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
Genre:
Newsletter
serial ( sobekcm )
Location:
United States

Notes

General Note:
Contents: Burial Cave / Bob Fingers -- The darkness beyond / Dale Pate -- Broken Straw Cave / Ronnie Fieseler -- TSA photo salon -- Febrary BOG -- The Editor Speaks -- Lurking death -- Trip reports.
Restriction:
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 20, no. 05 (1975)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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K26-04593 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4593 ( USFLDC Handle )
11327 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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the Texascavea Volume 20, No.5 CONTENTS BURIAL CAVEBob Finger .............. 68 THE DARKNESS BEYONDDale Pate ....... 70 BROKEN STRAW CAVE -Ronnie Fieseler ... 71 TSA PHOTO SALON ....................... 7 4 FEBRUARY BOG .......................... 7 6 THE EDITOR SPEAKS ..................... 77 LURKING DEATH ......................... 7 8 TRIP REPORTS .......................... 7 9 PHOTO CREDITS: FRONT COVER: Terry Raines measuring the ceiling heights in La Gruta del Palmito with a Helium filled plastic bag. Photo b y James Jasek INSIDE FRONT COVER: Bill Trippet in one of t he many caves near Gorman Falls. Pho to by J ames Jasek CONTENTS PAGE PHOTO: Cottonwood Cave by Dic k Montgomery. Dick took first place in th e Photo Salon this year with a slide of Natural Bridge Caverns. INSIDE BACK COVER: HELP! Says Tom Pack. Photo by James Jasek in La Gruta del P almito. All editorial com muni cations including subscriptions should be addr e s sed to the Editor James Jasek 5315 Laur el Lake Waco, Texas 767 10 phone (817) 7761727. The Texas Caver openly inv ites contributors to submit articles reports news gossip, c artoons diagram s illustrations and photographs All material must be lab elled with the name and address of the sender. If material is to be returned after publication please Include a self-add ressed envelope with sufficient postage Subscriptions are $4.50 per year (U. S ) and $9.60 e l sewhere (air mail t o ins ure delivery) Persons subscribing after the fir st o f the year will receive all back issues for that year Single cop1es a r e avai l able at 45' ea c h postpaid ( U S ) or 80' eac h elsewher e (postpaid-air mail) The Texa s Caver is a monthly publication of the Texas Speleol og i c a l Association ( TSA ) an internal organization of lhe Nat1onal Spe l eo l ogical Society (NSS) Th e TSA officers for 1975 a r e Chairman-Fred P ascal Vice Chairman-Wayne Russell, and Secre tary /Treas urer-Barbra Vinson

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BURIAL CAVE Have you ever considered how and caving relate? Caves, of course, have been there long before man, but the Indian was probably one of the first cavers in this area. By archaeology,! am speaking of early man or Indian and what his influence has been on caves, especially in this area. Recently while out in the West Texas area a small group of us (John Graves, Mike Walsh, and myself) discovered a new cave. Although small, it will probably prove to have much archaeological value. While we were in the cave, I found several flint chippings, (the spent pieces of flint from the making of stone artifacts, and are usually a good indication of a site inhabited by early man). At the time I was more interested in the cave and new passages and did not pay much attention to them. We were trying to get into the only passage in the cave and while we were removing some of the dirt that blocked the passage, I realized that there were quite a few flint chippings in the dirt in this particular area of the cave. It was about this time that I pulled out a Lingtry Point which dates roughly between 4000 BC and 1000 AD. We then shut down the operation of trying to get into the passage. We did send John Graves into the passage, and as it turned out the passage looks as though it stops 68 BOB FINGER about fifteen feet in. We did no further digging in order that we would not disturb anything of value.As we crawled out of the cave we picked up a couple more parts of some different points. Outside of the cave I noticed a kitchen midden (in short a mound of varying size that was used for cooking and disposal of trash). Since the midden is next to the cave, the cave was probably used as a shelter during bad weather. Judging from the size of the midden and the types of points we found, the cave was used for quite some time, in the range of 1000 to 2000 years. 'fOURE A CAVER OR A / {IRE yov A ;(' CAVE O'IJfJfR(

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A second trip was made to the cave by Brian Clark, Steve Fleming Kathy Meeks, Katie Monahan, Dale Pate, Bill Thomas and myself to survey the cave and also to make a surface collection of chips, bone, and anything of archaeological value. At this time let me clarify the meaning of the title Burial Cave. This is not to say that we found any type of human remains in the cave. Although we do not leave out the possibility that there could be some found with properly supervised excavations. The title itself was given to the cave because of all the goat and javalina skeletons found in the cave. I would like to stress one point and the main purpose of this article. If a person does run across a cave of this type with some archaeological significance, PLEASE DO NOT DESTROY IT. Caves like these are rare and hold much historical information if aproperly supervised excavation is carried out on them. Artifacts that we found and collected in the cave were turned over to Balcones Research Center, Archaeological Division, Burnet Road, Austin, TX. A person should get in touch with these people if he knows of any information on this type of cave. BURIAL CAVE DIRT FILL Entrance 2 lliiMI 10 BRUNTON AND TAPE SURVEY OCTOBER 5, 1974 Bob Finger, Steve Fleming, Katie Monahan, Dale Pate, Bill Thomas DRAFTED: OCTOBER 25, 1974 by Dale Pate Southwest Texas Student Grotto NOTE : ALL CEILING HEIGHTS ARE IN FEET METERS 0 2 4 6 FEET -0 10 20 8

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The Darkness Beyond THE CRUNCH OF SAND BENEATH OUR FEET ECHOES THROUGH CHAMBERS NEVER SEEN, LANTERNS LIGHT THE VAULTED ROOMS THOUGHT ABOUT IN ONLY DREAMS, SPARKLES GLINT FROM FLOWING WALLS SCREAMING OUT THEIR SECRET CALLS, EVERYWHERE THE SOUNDS OF WATER MOVING, RUSHING IN UNSEEN HOLES. DROPS FALL, SPLASHING, CRASHING, ALTERING STONE, THE DARKNESS BEYOND OUR LIGHTS BECKONS US ON, Dale Pate January 16, 1975

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Broken Straw Cave Knock! Knock! Knock! When a caver gets a knock on his door, the number of possibilities that it may be the forerunner of is limitless. In this particular 1 incidence, I opened the door on a 1 mud encrusted Tom Byrd and some RONNIE FIESELER grimy companions. Eagerly inviting them inside despite their muddy clothes, I was anxious to hear their tale, as it was obvious from their appearance that they had one to tell. "Neat cave!" ... "Do you know about ... '' ... "Nice format ions." .. "Wow!" ... "West of Rollingwood." .. . . "Old gate" ... "Is it known?" .. "Map?" ... "Have a name?" ... "Neat cave!. After several minutes of such shouting and gesticulating (in the perfect tradition of cavers!) we dug out the Travis County files. Most of the descriptions were so old that we could not decide for sure if it was known or not. Besides, all the roads had been changed in that area by construction and it was difficult to decide what roads were being refered to. A week or two later, on the 6th of May, 1973, Tom and I went to finish the map of Bandit Cave. After spending only a couple of hours doing so, we still felt like doing some more caving. We decided to go map the cave they had been to earlier. Tom drove his VW to within 50 meters of the small square entrance. Sure enough,there beside the entrance was the remains of some old reinforcing steel and 71

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some broken concrete, obviously the remnants of a gate, long since destroyed. We went down the climbable 2 meter entrance drop and found ourselves in a roughly triangular shaped room averaging about'l meter high. Scattered breakdown covered the floor and the west wall was decorated with many formations, all badly vandalized. A small decorated room was found leading off from this area. On the north end of the room a duck-under leads to a crawlway with a puddle of water cunningly placed where your knee will be sure of hitting it dead center just when you think you have gotten through scot-free. Passing this, we were in a small low room floored with flowstone cemented breakdown and slopingfrom left to right. A step down to the right marks the deepest point in the cave at -3.5 meters. From here we surveyed through what must have been a magnificent room, and maybe one of the finest in Travis County. Almost 10 meters long and up to 5 meters wide, this walking-stooping pas72 sage shows evidence of past beauty everywhere. Several massive columns remain as do some of the more sturdy stalagmites. The walls are almost solid flowstone. Sadly, we looked at a floor carpeted in broken sodastraws and stalagmites. Amidst such scenes of slaughter we continued with our mapping. Tom' led me through a torturous crawl over rimstone pools and through low squeezes. Here, many of the formations were still intact. Suddenly we emerged into the sam e large room we had just left. An interesting, but difficult, route. We had finished the survey at last, and were very satisified with our afternoon of caving. Now to track down any information on the cave. Later on that night I visited William Russell, resident cave expert, and described the cave to him. A few instants passed, then, with much clanking, rumbling, and rolling of his eyeballs, William's memory banks digested the data. Suddenly ... "Bloop!" Out popped . "Broken Straw Cave!". And so it was. We had chosenit as a possibility, but were not certain. The TSS showed a description closely fitting the cave w e had been to. The main difference was that it was obviously explored and described before it was too trashed out. At the time of the original report, the crawl at the end of the cave was impassable and choked with formations. Thousands of sodastraws were reported stil l intact on the ceiling. It was explored by Tom Warden, an ex-Balcones Grotto member, and some friends on 6 April, 1963. Dismayed at the vandalization, they were determined to put a gate on the cave. Soon they had one installed, but not for long. William Russell recalls that h e had gone out to see their handcraft only to find it demolished The gate had only stopped the vandals and local adventure seek ers for a few short weeks. It is unfortunate that this cave has gone the way of so many.

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Ceiling Heights in Meters Meters 1 1 Feet o 5 10 5 I I 20 lo m BROKEN STRAW CAVE Travis County, Texas Brunton & Tape Survey 6 May 1973 Ronnie Fieseler Tom Byrd Drafted 7 May 1973 Ronnie Fieseler 10 I 73

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TSA PHOTO SALON PRINTS First Place -Jim Goodbar Second Place Wayne Walker TRANSPARENCIES SCIENTIFIC First Place -Ernst Kastning Second Place Steve Fleming Third Place -Keith Reuss Honorable Mention -ACTION Elbert Bassham Keith Reuss Ernst Kastning First Place -Ernst Kastning Second Place Steve Gutting Third Place Steve Fleming Honorable Mention Steve Fleming Steve Fleming Elbert Bassham Ernst Kastning HUMOR First Place -Keith Heuss Second Place -Ernst Kastning Third Place -David Cullen Honorable Mention -BEGINNERS Steve Gutting David Cullen Ernst Kastning First Place Phil Jank Second Place -Robert Stuckey Third Place Phil Jank Honorable Mention OPEN Mike Bales Francis McCauley Francis McCauley First Place -Dick Montgomery Second Place -Elbert Bassham Third Place Steve Fleming Honorable Mention -BEST OF SHOH Ron Miller Dick Montgomery Steve Fleming DICK MONTGOMERY

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JUDGES ORION KNOX, NSS 4603 Orion lives at 305 Texas, and has been caving in Texas, M e xico, and Puerto Rico since 1958. His interest in cave photography began in 1960 and since that time he has won two NSS gold medals. Orion has been active a t various times with the Alamo Grotto, St. Mary's University Speleological Society, and the U.T. Grotto. Orion is o ne of the discovers of Natural Bridge Caverns, and was on the 1964, NSS E xpedition to Rio Camuy Cave in Puerto Rico. Hills Tandy Mills in now at the Dept. of Zoology, University of Texas, Austin, Te xas, and has been caving for 17 years in many caving areas including Texas, New Mexico, Mexcio, and Nigeria. His work at U.T. includes both biology and photography, and most of his caving activity has been with the Ozona Grotto and U.T. Grotto. Bob L. Hawley Bob lives at 1306 Piedmont, Austin, Te xas, and has no caving e xperience, but makes up for it with his photographic background; Active in photo management for twelve years, Bob now owns and manages his own photo store Bob Hawley's Camera Crafts, Inc .. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Many special thanks go to our judges who gave so willingly of their time and efforts. It was nearly midnight when the selection of the last winner was finally made, and their patience and dedication to being fair is deeply appreciated. Thanks also is due to the many donors of prizes to reward the entrants for their efforts. On behalf of all the winner's, thank you. A special thanks goes to John Allison and Alamo National Camera for their continued support of the Photo Salon and prizes, and to John Bridges of Cascade Caverns, and to Studers Photos, Inc. for their support and prizes. 75

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February BOG The first TSA Board of Governors meeting of the year was held on Saturday, February 1, 1975, in the B.A.M. building, at Southwest Texas State College, San Marcos, Texas. The meeting was brought abruptly to order at 9:45 am. The list of delegates was read and approved. Present were 12 grottos represented by 21 delegates. The minutes of the Fall B.O.G. meeting were read. REPORTS: Treasurer (Barbara Vinson)-Balance as of February 1, 1975: $183.77. Safety & Rescue (Gary Parsons)-A cave diving seminar will be held in March A special session will also soon be held on how to rig a pit for rescue. Several Texas cavers joined the Southwestern Region January 11 and 12 in their program and rescue session at Carlsbad, NM. Conservation Since Sandi Luker had suggested Alicia Wisener for the position Fred officially appointed her Conservation chairperson. Publications (Fred Paschal) -Fred had asked Jim Goodbar to head the committee. Jim showed up late and agreed to take the position. TSS (William Russell) -Progress is being made on Brewster Co. Working possibly next on the Llano or Mason Co. If anyone has any information on caves in these counties, please send them to Ronnie Fieseler. Ronnie arrived and added that Brewster Co. should be out by the convention. Reprints of the Stockton Plateau are now available. AMCS (Terry Raines) -All publica tions are here and available. May issue newsletter qriarterly because of size. TEXAS CAVER (James Jasek) -Subscriptions are needed badly. March is ready except for having phots. Dated material and notices should be sent a month in advance. Cave Register Committee (Noel Sloan) No report as Noel was absent. TSA Library -It now lives with Bob Oakley at 5625 Stahl Rd, San Antonio, 76 Texas 78247. Bob as librarian was made official. The library is organized and alphabetized. Cave Gate Committee (William Russ ell) A gate will be installed on Dead Dog Cave. It will be owned by the state and controlled by TSA. Key to cave will be held by Balcones Grotto. OLD BUSINESS: TSS Files -All files should be returned to Ronnie. A list of available and missing files will be given in a future issue of the Texas Caver. Non-Profit Status -To qualify a clause needs to be added to our charter limiting us to non-profit activities. After initial filing, the TSA must file a return each year. TSA Membership List The '7 5 Grotto membership list should be given or mailed by the April Convention to the TSA Secretary. The '74 membership list will be out soon. NEW BUSINESS: TSA Convention will be in Utopia, Texas about the 2nd or 3rd weekend in April. The exact date will be announce d in the Texas Caver. TSA Reporter -Neal Morris is the new TSA reporter for the NSS News. NSS Nominations are now open for Board of Directors. Send nominations to Dwight Deal, PO Box 63, Alpine, TX 7983U Nominations close March 1. Awards Committee -Fred asked i f Neal Morris, Bob Lloyd and Craig Bittinger would make up the committee. Bob and Craig accepted with Neal declin ing. Brian Peterson was nominated as he had expressed interest previously in the position. TSA Project Due to lack of enthusiasm at the past TSA Projects, the possibility of holding several mini projects is being considered. Projects would concentrate on 1 cave or caving area, or on one aspect of caving. Suggestions were: Powell's, Wilson, Neal's Cave. Any ideas or suggestions

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should be sent to Wayne Russell. TSA Photo Salon entries should be sent to Karen Kastning, PO Box 13165, Austin, TX 78711. NSS Convention The idea of holding the NSS Convention in Texas was put forth for general thought. The cave gate committee was officially made a subcommittee of the Conservation Committee. Chuck Stuehm presented and read a resolution to put forth to the NSS concerning the NSS dues increases. After much discussion it was accepted and passed as a motion. Positive 19, Negative 1, abstention 5. No Announcements were made. Chuck Stuehm made a motion to adjorn Amador Cantu seconded -Passed. Adjourned 11:45 am. Respectfully submitted, Barbra Vinson Secretary TSA D ELEGATES: ALAMO -Glenn Darilek, Chuck Stuehm AMCS -Terry Raines A.S.S. -Brian McCall, John Gale BALCONES -Tom Byrd, William Russell CCCC -Jim Clements, Glenda Dawson DFWG Bob Lloyd, Jim Goodbar HUACO -James Jasek SWTG -Dale Pate, Steve Fleming TEMPLE -Frances McCauley, Frank Sadek TA&IAmador Cantu Jr., Mark Shumate TSSRonnie'Rieseler UTG Craig Bittinger, Andy Grubbs Conservation Ch. -Alicia Wisener Safety & Rescue -Gary Parsons Publication Ch. -Jim Goodbar Chairman -Fred Pascal Vice-Chairman Wayne Russell Sec/Treas -Barbra Vinson ALAMO GROTTO IS REORGANIZING THE BEXAR CAVER AND NEEDS SUPPORT FROM THE MEMBERS OF THE TSA TO MAKE IT A SUCCESS. A SUBSCRIPTION TO THEIR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER IS: $3,50 PER YEAR WRITE TO: DICK MONTGOMERY 274 Wellesley San Antonio, TX 78209 The Editor Speaks At the bottom of this page you will notice that the Bexar Caver is trying to get support for the Alamo Grotto Newsletter by asking for subscriptions. While I think that having a grotto newsletter is a worthwhile project, the work that goes into producing it and other caving publications that are now being published in Texas by the different grottos takes away from the Texas Caver. The Texas Caver is the official voice of the TSA, and every member in the TSA should support it. Support for the Texas Caver comes in two forms; by subscriptions and with written material. At the present time about 200 members of the TSA support the Texas Caver. This is a very small part of the over 760 known members of the TSA. As more and more individual grottos begin publishing their own material, the Texas Caver will loose a great deal of the support it now has. The past editors and persons that have helped publish the Texas Caver over the last years know that there is not enough support of the Caver, and that the editor has to keep nagging everyone to subscribe and support the TC. I know that Grotto Newsletters will continue to be published, and I wish them success but at the same time I do not want the Texas Caver to be left out in the cold. So again I ask, please support the Texas Caver all you can, and encourage your caving buddies to subscribe to the TC. Each month that the Texas Caver is mailed out, one or more subscribers fail to recieve their Caver in the mail. There are several reasons for this; the main one is that when cavers move they fail to notify the post office and the mailman is unable to deliver the TC. It then comes back to us, and we pull your name from the mailing list. The only way for you to get the issues you paid for is to write to us and give us your new address. Anytime that you fail to get an issue from us, please drop us a line, and we will promptly send you the missing issue. 77

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LURKING DEATH He had been outside before when there was no moon, stars, or city lights. And yes he had turned out his lights in a cave to see what it was like to be in total darkness. It never bothered him though because he had companions with him. But this time he had no friends with him. His second source was going dim quite rapidly. The darkness was closing in on him. Naturally he was scared, what man wouldn't be? He bagan to think, why did I go ahead and come by myself? Why wouldn't his friends come with him? Why didn't he bring enough carbide with him? He knew he would run out of carbide, but he it would be to much extra weight. Besides it would just slow him down. Now how he wished he had brought it with him. He was exhausted, he wanted to rest, he fought it. He knew his second source was about gone. He had to get as far as he could with what light he had. He came tQ the low crawl. He bent to start crawling and there went his last bit of light he had. Here was as far as he could go. A million things raced through his head. What a place to die. Slowly qrowsiness began to infest him. He decided not to fight it. The longer be fought it, the more water he could consume. He had to conserve his water. He would need water to survive a little longer. He quickly went to sleep. Suddenly he awoke at the feel of water dribbling down his throat and neck. He opened his 78 by RANDY GILLIT eyes to find four men leaning over him. Thank God he was alive. He would go on more caving trips. But next time he was going to take more lights and some companions. Always with some companions. ... YOU ).1\'E.A.N WE.. R.EALL'{ ARE GO\NG A. CA\JE it-\\S CAVING TR\P ? "' ----

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VALDINA FARMS SINKHOLE J anuary 17-19, 1975 Harry Walker, William Dean, Torn Illiffe, H arry Richardson, R eported by: William Dean This first Greater Houston Grotto trip of 1975 included half non-Grotto members: Torn Illiffe of Galveston and H arry Richardson, a one year visitor from England and the Furness Underground Group (FUG, for short). Due to a mix-up in communications, we start out in H arry Walker's camper pick-up until 4:30 Friday, just in time for the Houston rush hour. An hour later, at the city limits, w e were finally able to speed up to a decent rate, and arrived at Valdina Farms a r o und 10:00. Owner Robert Woodward wouldn't take us to the cave in the dark since the several other cars we expected Houldn' t be able to find us, so we bedded d own at the entrance, by the airstrip. There we could hear Old West sounds like cattle, coyotes, and owls, and watch stars you just don't see in Houstonver y cowboy and pseudo-nostalgic.Around 1:00, Jim McLane pulled in and, wisely, slept in his car, because by 5:00 it was Wet and cold! At 7: 00, El Honcho drove up to take us to the sink, but with breakfast, rope unkinking, dodging cow patties, and cactus, and rappeling gear prep, it was closer to noon before we were ready. McLane, it turned out, was bound elsewhere, and just carne to see where we were going, watch us go, and provide topside contact until we were all down the first 90 foot drop. Richardson went next to last because he needed a lot of ropework instruction. This was his first time, because they use mostly cable ladders in England. Inside, we found out a few things. The cave is more visited now than it was before the 1967 write-up in the TSS "Caves of Medina Co.". The mud crawls have parallel grooves over 6 inches deep, so it's difficult to loose your way. The water level seems to have risen since 1967, too, possibly permanently, since trip reports from June 1972, and September 1973, reported the same thing we observed -the low-roofed water passage out of the blind salamander lake at the Eastern end of the e xplored cave of 1967 is now a full siphon, at least a foot underwater. Returning from the siphon, we caught sight of a salamander's tail wriggle into the soupy, guano-polluted water until it disappeared into the inky blackness 2 or 3 inches below the surface. They still e xist, then, in spite of the specimencollecting trips. The water passage leading to the Western part of the cave, which in 1967 could be negotiated dryly by clinging to the formations on the has to be waded -up to the armpits, now. Okay, though, because it's refreshing after the heat generated in the previous passages, and a relief to be able to stop worrying about stayi?g dry the rest of the cave. It is a disadvantage, though, while standing at the entrance waiting to ascend, where the temperature is more representative of the 45 degrees outside, and stand we did, because the combination of free drops, undercut ledges, uneven vertical rock walls, and an intermediate stop 60 feet up for recuperation and to get o f f rope and send the gear bac k down required almost four hours to get completely out -from 8:00 PM until almost midnight. When I got out around 9:30, I was greeted by the delightful sounds of a coyote pack barking and yapping and two cowbo y s in a pick-up shooting a rifle back at our 79

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campsite 50 yards away. I hope they saw my carbide lamp and thought of it as a non-target. There were no new holes in the camper, though, and when the last of us got to the top, cursing and gasping, we ate a late supper and turned in. Sunday morning was not only cold, it was windy (like 30mph) and really miserable, even though sunny. We had to turn the truck around to keep breakfast from blowing off the tailgate. After paying our respects at de massah's mansion, we started off for home. On the way we stopped at Century Caverns, which is a lot of cave for a buck, and two small, twenty minute caves Tom knew about on the property, undoubtedly connected with the Caverns somehow, especially since smoke came out of one while they had blasted the commercial entrance. I was feeling a little bruised and battered from the sinkhole to bother crawling into either, and Harry Richardson joined me on the outside for the second one. After that, we started home for real, and got there early -even in time for supper. DEVIL'S SINKHOLE AND AN ACCIDENTAL FIND February 16, 1975 Leo Deilman, Ed Gelson, Steve Gutting, Bill King, Sherry Sims, and Greg Passmore from San Antonio and Tom Iliffe and Richard ? from Galveston, and Nancy Cooke -a noncaver (of choice) from San Antonio Reported by: Greg Passmore Trip planning began upon receiving a call from Galveston the 12th from Tom asking if a trip was planned for the weekend of the 23rd. We planned a trip to the Sinkhole for Sunday and to leave Saturday night, but a call Saturday morning from_New Braunfels by Tom canceled the original plans. All therefore met Sunday morning in San Antonio, and Tom and Richard related to the group the trials and traumas of Wayne Russell's Century mapping trip of the 15th (the night before) that didn't make it in the cave due to various problems -like forgetting some of the survey gear. Two carfulls of spelunkers now two and one half hours out of bat free San Antonio, 80 Ed and I were discussing the approximate height of an antenna tower on our CB rigs when rather unexpectedly an unknown voice boomed in, "That tower is 200 feet tall". All was momentarily silent until it was concluded it was a rancher not using call signs for simplicity. Ed conferred with him and thanked for the info -I asked if he had any caves. "How big a cave are you looking for?", he responded. Ed quickly reacted with a "We'll take anything we can get!" The rancher invited us all over to take a look at the caves he owned on his property. We -typical spelunkers -doubled back and entered the ranch via directions given over the CB's. Let it now b e said that I challenge anyone to a debate who claims CB units as worthless transceiving devices. It was at this time we found the previously anonymous rancher's name was Mr. T. D. Hall. Upon entrance of Mr. Hall's speleological phenomenon, a vivid display of recent calcite over old guano offered high contrast of blue white on brown-black and was the subject of numerous photographs. The cave was essentially one large room about 300 x 100 feet containing relatively large mounds of guano and some recent secondary deposition of the before mentioned formations. Devil's Sinkhole was the next on the calender and after much hunting due to new roads being built since the last trip (Steve being our guide) my van and Ed's car flattened rocks where we parked to tie off. The trip was made b y most and enjoyed by all. Returned to San Antonio approximately 11:00 PM and Galveston about 2:00 AM. --------------------------------\Jhel'\. eMer.sin-5 ... o,...... a. cave, 1"\e\le..-the t.ai..l ioo

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WYATT'S CAVE, CUEVA DE OSO, SEVERAL SMALL ROAD CUT CAVES NEAR SONORA February 14-16, 1975 Marcia Cassey, Bob Finger, Steve Keith Heuss, Katie Monahan, Dale Pate, Bill Thomas, Charlie Yates Reported by: Dale Pate We spent the night on the Friess Ranch and Saturday we went into Wyatt's Cave. Our purpose was to push several leads and to completely map the cave. A thorough search added about 100 ft. of unknown cave and we also hopefully finished surveying the cave. That afternoon we visited Cueva de Oso though we did not enter. Sunday we checked out some small road cut caves. The longest turned out to be at least 70 feet long. CAVE HUNTING February 23, 1975 Steve Gutting, Robbie Hafernik, Bill King, Tom Mills and Gregg Passmore for 4 hours and Doug Maitlin and Sherry Sims for hour. Reported by: Gregg Passmore It all began 11:00 am Sunday morning when eight headed out 281 to visit some leads Doug knew with possible archeological potential. Three cars carried the spelunkers to a gas station for a quick re-fueling. Doug, in Sherry's slow truck, told us that since the truck was so pokey they would meet us at U.S. 281 and FM 41. Nobody else on the trip had any idea the cave was except for the feeling it was in Blanco. After filling up, Doug nowhere to be found. After about 45 minutes Steve and I decided to do "peep in the deep" at Cascade Caverns for a practice rappell session. Was really nice. All then proceeded to Swartz Cave to establish land owner relationships concerning gaining entry. Mr. Swartz appeared quite aggravated at cavers for some misdeeds of tr.espassers (who may or may not have been spelunkers) and was going to permanently seal the cave closed. Steve however, may have convinced him to gate it instead. We will know by the time this article is published the results of our conference. All went back to San Antonio about 3 pm. 81

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MIDNIGHT CAVE February 15, 1975 Brian, Doug, Sherri, Alicia, John, Tim, Maryanne, Linda, Bob, Blake, Phil, Gary, Mary-Lee, Dave, Jim, Steve, Dave, John, Larry and Sherril Schmidt, Eddy, Voight, Gary, Hauk, Sugar T Flanagan, and Gorman McCarty. Reported by Mack Pitchford It was 2 am, after a lovely six hour drive through deer and jackrabbit country before we passed a familiar looking pile of sleeping bags, and stopped to add to it. At seven that morning Gary aroused Mary-Lee and she Blew Phlush's (Phil) horn in the car. This got the entire camp up. We drank breakfast and headed for Carta Valley to meet Larry and Co. We pulled in for gas, goodies and guidance. We got the gas and goodies and went to find Doctor Harding. We only passed it once. A small group went to get the key to the cave, and when they found that Doctor Harding was not at home, he asked a Mexican for the key but he couldn't speak English, so he () J( 82 asked the Burro he was riding. He could not speak English either. Thirty minutes later after doubling back, tripling back, and attempting to match the terrain with a picture in the new National Geographic someone noticed a sewer pipe with a locked gate. Not being able to resist sewers he picked the lock using Hardings key. Since it fit, we assumed that he had, in actuality, found Midnight. Twenty-six people in a cave is usually bad news, but Midnight swallowed them all with no difficulty except for the traffic jam in the corkscrew. Three hours later the stragglers began to straggle out and continued to straggle for three more hours. There seemed to be a lot we didn't see, so most decided to return soon and maybe stay over night to see as much as possible. We went to Garner State Park for the night, and Sunday we went our separate ways with most ending up in Aggieland. To those of you not Aggies who went along; Thanks for coming, hope you enjoyed yourself and we hope to cav e with you again sometime. Score for the weekend: Cavers 26 -Jackrabbits 2; Brians Car 1 -Deer 1 Aggies 19 -Dillos 1; Texas Bite. L( :r. Tll1tJK wE >vie BEEt/ COI....J.. CTEj) / 11

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The Texas Caver 5315 Laurel Lake Waco, Texas 7671 0 Forwarding Postage Guaranteed Address Correction Requested 638 Westbury Square / Houston Texas 77035 / (713) 721-1530 624 Town & Country Village / Houston 77024 / 461-3550 BULK RATE US. Postage PAID Permit No.l423 Waco, Tx. 76710


Description
Contents: Burial Cave
/ Bob Fingers --
The darkness beyond / Dale Pate --
Broken Straw Cave / Ronnie Fieseler --
TSA photo salon --
Febrary BOG --
The Editor Speaks --
Lurking death --
Trip reports.


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