The Texas Caver

The Texas Caver

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The Texas Caver
Series Title:
The Texas Caver
Texas Speleological Association
Texas Speleological Association
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Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


General Note:
TSA Project 1987 Contents: Feature articles: On the shores of River Styx / the staff -- Speleonews: Jon Everage, 1944-1987 / Bob Lloyd -- TSA news: TSA Project Preliminary Report / Jay Jorden -- Regional news -- Equipment reports: Equipment Report Koehler Model 5800 Wheat Lamp / Chuck Cluck -- Correspondence: Speleo-film Funding / -- Trip reports.
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Original Version:
Vol. 32, no. 05 (1987)
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See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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K26-04671 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4671 ( USFLDC Handle )
11405 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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the Texas Caver Vol. 32, No .5; October, 1987 CONTENTS reaLure Articles ...................................... ........ ............ ....................... 9\l Spe l eone w s .... ............. ..... ... ........ ... ............................... .......... .......... . lOG T SA News ..................... ...... .... ........ ...................... .................... ... ..... 113 Hegio n a l News ... . . ......................... .......... .... ...... ....... ..... ..... ............ 119 Equipm ent R e p or t s .................... .. .......... .................... ...... ........ ........ .. 1:20 Correspo nd e n ce ........... ...... .... ....... ... ......... ... . ................ ... ................ 1 2 1 T r i p R epo rts ..... ..... ... ... .................. .......... ...... ...... ...... ....................... 122 FRONT COVER PHOTOGRAPH J a m es J ase k 's photo o f t h e TSA proje c t working a t Gre e n Cave Kinn ey Cou nty, Octob er 16, 1987. Three c lear Press 25's lig h t the sce n e in con jun c tion with an e lectr onic flash o n the ca m e r a Shot with a n Oly mpu s OM -41' 28mm l e n s o n T-Max 400 film. Jeff J oh n so n appears o n the far right; two iden t ified D allas Cavers a r e on the l eft. I NS IDE FRONT COVER PHOTOGRAPH The River entra nce to River Styx Cave. Photo suppl i e d by Mik e W a l s h BACK COVER PHOTOGRAPH J a m es J ase k took thi s fantas tic picture inside Kickapoo Cave during the r ece n t TSA pr ojec t Octob e r 16, 1987 Co-Edito r s Dall as Staff CAVE RESCUE J ay J o r den 1 5 1 8 D evo n Circle Dall as, TX 7 5217 214-398-9272 214-220-2022 D a l e Pate P 0. Bo x 1251 Austin, TX 78767 012-4&2-&184 M a naging Editor Rob Kolstad Call Collect 512-686-0234 The Texas Caver is a bi-monthly publication of the Texas Speleologi cal A ssoc i a ti o n (TSA), a n interna l organization o f the National Speleo l og ical Society (NSS). It i s published in F e bruary, April June, Augu s t, October, a nd D ecem ber. The Texas Caver openly invite s all cavers to submit articles, n ews e v ents, cartoons, cave maps, photographs (35 mm s lide o r any s ize blac k & white or color print), caving te c hniqu es a nd any other material for publicat i on. TSA du es a r e $10 /year whi c h includes the Texas Caver. Subscrip tio n rate is $6 per year for out of state s ubs c rib e r s. Purc h ase s ingle and bac k i ss u es for $2.00 eac h by mail, post p a id; $ 1.00 eac h a t con ventions. Send subscripti o n a nd bac k i ssue requests to the T exas Gaver, U. T Station, Box 8026, Austin, T exas 78713-8026 Please in c lud e old address in ad dr ess change corres p onde n ce. POSTMASTER: Send a ddre ss chang es to the Texas Gaver, U T Sta tion Box 8026, Austin Texas 78713-8026. DEADLINES: Article s an n ouncements, and m a t e ri a l f o r publication mu s t be submitte d to t h e edito r by th e 12th of t h e month prec e ding public ation EXCHANGES: The Texas Caver will exchange n e ws letters with other grottos at the Editors' discr e tion Contact o n e o f the co editors COPYRIGHT 1987 Texas Spe l eo l ogica l A ssoc iati o n Interna l organiza tions o f t h e National Spe l eo l ogical Soci e ty m a y reprint any item first appea ring in the Texas Caver as l ong as pr o per c r edit i s g iven and a c opy of th e n e w s letter containing the mate rial i s mail e d t o the co editors Other organization s s hould co nt ac t the co edito r s Printed in the Republi c o f T exas (..lp) by Kestrel Printing (R o nni e fiese l e r and Debor a h J T o l a r). Typeset at CONVEX Compute r Cor po rati o n Ri c h ardson, T exas Twenty Y ears Ago from stall' rvpon ; Another mil e o f passage was adde d Lo t h e Powell's Cav e survey in Project "Pus h on t h e SepLe m b e r Oct.ob e r w ee k end in HJ67. D a lla s cav e r P e t e Lindsl er' r e p ort.ed in t h e Octob e r 1967 Te:ra.s C o ve t t hnt. c-:we1 : ; !'rom Nor t h Texas, Austin A l p in e, Lubbock a nd )ther c it i es meL in t h e M enard County pastur e to pu s the limits o f T exas' longest mappe d cavern. A Richard S mi t h of t h e T e xas Spel eo logi ca l S t : rcr. in t h e same i ss u e, ex pl a in e d tri a n g u lati o n f o r mapp 1s ;, a v el')' useful simple method f o r locatin g point. s Tri a n gulation i s es peci ally h andy for cal c ulatin g ( iling h e i ght. s in large caves. S mi t h said h elium balloot a r e a lso u se ful bu t impractical in caving situations The TSA Board of Gove rn o r s met on Sunday )cpt 3, 1967 at t h e project campg r ounds on t h e W.M. / lison R a n c h in J(imble County. C h airman Jack C. -lll'c h calle d t h e m eeting to orde r Among bus in ess: !!he r Bunclra.nt. was e lect e d unanimous l y to ser ve :J.-.; TS.-\ r epresentative to the Nation a l Cav e R esc u e Com11 ttee. The r e was no r eport from t h e Associati o n f o r M : tcan Cave St,uclies becau se all m embe r s were in M e xi co I ; the w ee k end. Elected n ew offi ce r s : J a m es H edde ll c h a i 1m: Tom Meador, vice c h airma n ; and Olle n e Bun l 'aJll. sec r e t ary-treasure r


Texas CaHr Oclol lr. 1\181 ()() FEATURE ARTICLES On the Shores of R iver Styx fr o m s taff r eports Despite cave exp lor e rs' attempts t o grab g r eat.e r l e ngth s in T exas caves, one r eco rd r e m a in s un c h alle nged since t h e Hl60s. In t he m esquite d ot.t e d prairie, scrub and sal t Rats o f Northwest T exas, Rive r Styx Cav e co n t inu es to b e t h e Lone Star S t .at.e's long est gypsum cave. A. Richard Smit. h in 1968 made the assess m ent of the K ing County cave The latest. list o f l o n g T e xa s caves, from t h e D ecembe r 19 86 Te : ta.s C a ve r s how s Riv e r Styx a.t No. 1:3 with 2,556 m e t e r s of surveye d pas-sage. not.ieed that flood in g had change d the entrance to the lvf a in B at. Room. In a noth e r area, a passa ge once blocked by boulde r s o f soft gyp sum had been opened by t h e flood w a t e r s. Every t ri p t .lwse days seems to uncov e r new pas sage !vliscella n eo u s unsurveyed passage was explor e d in t h e Gypsum Blister and Junction Room areas, a long with routes near t h e '63 e n trance. In Greek mythology, the River Styx was one of t .luee to b e crossed on t h e journey to Hades. Al s o, Styx was t h e underg r ound rive r by which the Greek gods swore t h e ir oat. h s. The cave' s l owe r entrance is on t h e South Wi chita Riv e r extremely salt y and oil-pollut.ed from nearby fields entering on e of the upper or rear entrances runs through the cave and out the main entrance into t he South Wichita River. Ca.vers have found water temperatures as low as 0 o C (32 oF) in pools inside t .he cave during the winter months. Ambient air temperature is also cold because of flow from entrance to entrance through the cave. In summer months, temperatures outside the cave may reach uoF. King County is one of the two principle gypsum cave areas in Texas, with the other being Culberson County in West Texas. A Yet, a ft e r a ll these years l ea ds still r e m a m 111 the ca ve. One lies just b e fore t .he Bat Cave Junction. In a trip last year, m embers of the Dallas-Fort. W orth Grotto pushed a lead in t h e passage that. crosses from t h e m a in route t o the H atchet Room. The lead begins as a hands-and-knees c r awlway to a dome room, then continues clown anothe r to a small hol e in t h e floor with a large rock balancing precariously over it. l t i s follow e d by a tight, rugged crawl which present l y opens up into slight l y larger passage for a b out seven f eet. A squeeze next l ea d s to a. large room with a massive pile of Riv e r SLyx EnLr:u1ce by J<.vl 1000. gypsum cave is consider ed breakdow n A passage alternates betw ee n c rawling then leading to another dome water c raw I. stooping a nd to e on e c e v e ope Ill gypsum rat. h e r than a limest one room and a cav e with seco nd a ry gypsum development. This low h ands-and-knees size passage i s r educe d to b elly c r aw l that ends in a sump a f te r about. 4 00 feet . However cavers then estimated that the n e w find would propel River St. yx to No. 11 po sition in the long cave lis t . Rive r Styx takes on a helli s h air only becau se of clreaclec! biting sand Hies which tend t o propagat e at. the nr e r e ntrance and wate r s whi c h p e riodically inundat.e it.s recesses. Visiting caver s after heavy r a in s view t h e mut. e testimo n y of s t i cks and grasses wer The caH is


Page 100 O.:tober, 1987 the Texa s Cat clutt. e red with graffit i string, m a rk e r s or sco res of p ainted arrows. In historical findings, the earliest date discovered in Riv e r Styx was 1901. It, along with the initials of E L. Ma.rr and L.B. MeR. w e r e found carved on the wall at the River Entrance. A 1934 date a nd a faded message appear on a ro c k within t h e cave. One local cowhand said he attempted to enter the cave in 1923 but was prevented by a l a rg e storm. H e said a 3-to 4-foot wall of water was seen periodically exiting the cave. Organized cave exploration followed in 1963 It was visited by A Alex a nd e r, B Du c k L. Griffin J. Reddell, and W. Russell, who h ad see n a n a rticle in the M ay 5, 196 3 Wichita Falls Time.s on the cave. At the time of the visit, cavers sought the h e lp of students in nearby Benja min in Knox Co un ty. Reports were that the entire senior class of Benjamin High School went with the cavers! Stu d ents said ice so m etimes form ed in the cave and they w ere abl e to walk or crawl on the ice 35 meters or more b e for e they would break through. Cave rs on that trip made a seco nd opening, the 1963 entrance. Abilene and San Angelo grottos then visited River Styx to train new members. A third entrance in a large sink w as discovered in July 1964 by James Estes, Mike Bovine, Dewayne Dickey, Don Ballinger and Jim Nede lin. Dede Armentrout, Tony Mollhagen and Bob and Suzanne Wiley of T exas Tech University captured bats in River Styx in April 1970 to be transported to Ezell's Cave in San Marcos which had lost its bat colony when apparently failed for the first group died of an disease before they could be brought to Ezell's. A secon try was made, but the 200 pregnant little brown ( myoli vehfer) bats, upon arrival at Ezell's, left for unknown. John S. Graves and John M. Walsh made the fir; of four trips to the cave in January 1975 to compl e t e r map and gather information for the Texas Cave Repo; Series: The River Styx-Salt Spring C'ave System. Graves and Buster Matocha started surface surveyin. and mapping in the cave. Jackie Broussard, Glen Darilek John Gale, Graves, Walsh, Brian McCall Sta: Shaw and Alicia Wisener returned in February 1975 r: complete the River St.yx map and collect meteorol ogic: data on the cave. A snow storm and temperatures o 38 o F prevented the completing of surface surveying. Frank and Maryanne Herzig, Ernst H Kastning a n : Walsh returned in June 1975 for surface surveying m mapping and collecting of hydrological and geologic: data.. Photographs were also taken. The fourth tri p W < made by Ed Gelsone, Steve Gutt.ig and Walsh i n Ser tember 1975 Passage Description The River Entrance to River Styx is the measuring 2 to 3 meters high and 4 meters wide Po& normally extend some 360 meters into the cav e an: range in depth from .6 to 1.5 meters. But the wate r l m r--------------------------------------. may rise an addi tiom 1 ts e n tra nce meter in average floo d coe ditions. Water temperatur is expected to range frot 0 C to 13 C. The passage exten & 107 meters from tl: entrance, then t u m southeastward, with a passage continuing eas! ward. A climb of sever' feet out of the water into r 6-meter diameter, 1 meter high breakdown room leare to the dry passage. Frat the room, a short dud under goes to the Main B Room, which is 5 to I meters wide and 3 to 10 t high. Bats roost in an: around the high dam located near the center ; the room. Numerous gyp sum blisters and gypsun formations protrude frat the ceiling. The water pa.' sage continues for 245 n from the junction. T it' joint-controlled scalloped walls and und e rcui


the Texas C;Lver Or.tobtr, 1 987 Pagt 101 B e f ore t h e end of the water passage, a 1-to 2-meter diameter route lead s to the Bat Cave passage. The ceiling drops to one meter about 50 m from t h e en d of the water passage, and can sump during normal flooding. But a 3 0-m crawlway to the right may be used to bypass the s ump. The main passage continues from Bat Cave Junction a noth e r 230 mete r s to the Dome Room. There, an 80m l ong side passage connects with the 430-m Bat Cave Passage. The breakdown-floored passage extends 1 5 0 mete r s through two bat rooms and ends in a breakdown p lu g near the Main Bat Room. The passage contin ues 240 m to the east from the connection e nding in breakdo wn east of the Dome Room. Numerous s hort crawl s branch off of the passage. Cavers a l so found small upper-level passages above both the eastern and n orthwestern sect ion s of the Bat Cave Passage. One of the largest passages in the Rive r Styx syste m i s the 230-m long route connecting the Bat Cave Junc tion w i th the Dome Room. It i s 2 to 3 m hi gh and 7 m Hatchet Room. The Blister Passage extend s back to the Junction Room. Profuse gypsum flakes cover the ceiling From the Hatchet Room, a 1.2 m high stoopway bypasses the eastern end of the Gyps um Blist e r Passage and extends eventu ally to the The '64 entrance sink with walls of an ave r age 5 m in h e i g h t, is the prin c iple so urce of water draining throu g h the cave. A dry creek bed runs into the s ink and turns it in to a 4-m waterfall in storms. A break-down shelter on the east side of the s ink was originally blocked, but a dig s ucc eeded in opening the ent r ance Much s maller t h an t h e '64 i s the '63 entrance, m eas uring 15 m long 6 m wide and 3 m deep. Another c r eek bed enters the sink, but dra in s an area of only about 50 acres. Numerous s in ks and caves including Salt Spring Cave, lie near River Styx. Salt Spring, located on the South Wichita's west bank about 700 m north of the River Entrance, puts an estimated 150 tons of salt per wide throughout its ,.---------------------------------------, extent. A short climb near the e nd, up a breakdown slide, l eads to the Dome Room. The passage continues GO m from the bottom of the s lid e as a gradual loop which returns to a small pit. The Dome Room i s 9 to 12 m in diamete r with 9 m ceilings, a nd an oval shape. A breakdo wn mound rises from the floor and some orange gypsum is visible in outcrops on the walls. A low passage extends to an area of massive breakdown 30 m beyond the Dome Room, along the main passage which continues an additional 60 m to the Junction Room. The end of the Bat Cave Passage lies to the nort h of the breakdown area. Southeast of the area, a walking passage extends to the Keyho l e passage In River Styx aw:lo!ts caver's e.\'Jll or-.tion. Photo fUrnished by Mike Walsh. J unction Room, where six passages intersect. One pasday into Lake Kemp, according to a U S. Army Corps of sage l ea ds up a small breakdown slope to a dome A Engineers estimate. small c rawl eventually returns toward the Dome Room. In 1961 L.G. Patterson conducted a meteorological Two othe r passages lead to the two rear entrances of the study of River Styx in connection with his bat studies. system. One contains a 0.6 to 1.5 meter wide 0.3 to 1.2 He set up temperature recorders to add informati on on mete r high crawl to the '63 entrance. This c r aw l could bat hibernation. He found that on days wh e n the outside flood rapid ly in rains. From that crawlway intersectio n temperature exceeded that inside the cave, the air moved passage from the Junction Room turns southward out of the mouth of the cavern. If t h e r eve rs e wa s true, Into a low, muddy stoopway to intersect the Gyps um a ir mov e d int o R i ver St yx. Cave vo lum e can also be Blister Passage. The four-w ay intersect i on i s n amed t h e m eas ur ed in t.his way


Page 102 O c t o b e r 1987 the T exas Cavtr Leads and a new entrance or two are being pushed with every successive trip to River Styx, and doubtless more passage will be found. Trips by Dallas -Fort Worth area cavers and those of the Lubbock Area Grotto and North Texas Speleological Society, Abilene and Midland-Odessa cavers along with others, have a great amount of work yet to do. Northwest Texas contains an abundance of gypsum caves, many of which have not been explored fully. But River Styx will likely be the king of the Texas gypsum caves for years to come. River Styx by Butch Fralia Destination: River Styx, King County Personnel: Donna Anderson; Corky Corcoran; Butch Fralia; Barry, Brian and Kenneth Larson; Jody Robertson and Shane the Wonder Dog Dates: March 2729 1986 in the Speleo Troope r followed closely by the Larson brothers in the North Texas Search and Rescue Truck. Anxious to explore various leads in the Styx area arrangements had been made for all (except Jody) leave from Donna's at 7:30 Friday night to allow an early start at the Great American Sport. Upon arrival, Barry, Brian and Kenneth h elped Donna, Corky and Butch se t up tents, then rearranged their truck cargo for their own s leeping quarters. A short winding down p e riod followed aided by various r e lax. ants such as Miller Light (the beer store was out of Meis ter Brau), Cuervo Gold and George Dickel (Cagle 's got Donna hooked on hi s favorite antifreeze). When all were thoroughly relaxed they retired to quarters for the even ing Shane took refuge in Corky's sleeping bag making comment on the s ize of the neighborhood dogs, w hen Bateman Cattle invade d the camp. The first orde r of bus ine ss on Saturday morning was to deliver rel ease form s to the ranch house t hen ridgewalk the Eastern part of the Bateman where o n a I previous trip, Butch and Corky found an impressiv e sink opening and intended to return to investigate. All trip personnel except Jody, who arrived i n the afternoon, boarded the Trooper and headed east. After dropping the releas e forms a t the ranch house and a near mishap with one of the ranch dogs, they traveled cross country to arrive at the s ink a r ea by 10 a.m. Corky, Barry and K enneth dug a sink which was blowin air and had a room visible through rubble i n the bottom. They had to give up when debris fell into the hole faster tha n i t could be removed. While they dug, Butcn t rekked three depressions t o the northwest and found six open ings One of these had a steep des cent and whe n h e dropped rock s in, they could b e heard falling China. Elated, h e ran back to get the others, but alas, could not relocate the find. Corky found a sink containin g a large room and blowing air but was not Exp l o rers penetrate the Inner depths of River S tyx. Photo s upplied by Mike Wal s h passage located. agreed would It this s ink forev e r b e


lhe T exas Caver October, 1 987 Page 103 known as "Corky's Crying Shame." The area has 23 depressions locate d inside the Batema n Property and 20 others on adjacent ranches. M a n y depressions have sinks and breakdown located around their edges. Sixteen openings were explored, includ ing one from the previous trip, but all were choked off by brea kdown. All personnel felt that one la rge cave was present somewhere. A future trip was planned for m ore exploration. RJver SLyx reve:Us ILs lrnmeasur:Wie beauLy. Phot.o f\Jrnisbe d by Mike Walsh. Donna, Butch and Corky fel t the Larson brothers, ridge walking demons that they are, should have at least one chance to b e underground so all returned to camp for lunch and a rest before entering River Styx. Jody was waiting when they a rrived. During the rest period, various estimates were made of the distance walked. It was finally decided that no one would believe a thousand miles in six hours so seven miles would be p u t on the trip report. Donna expressed the opinion that to short legs, the trip seemed more like seventy miles, while Shane said that when your legs are onl y five inches long, the trip seemed like 700. Prior to entering the 63 entrance, all toured the dolines, explored potential openings, (possibly to be enlarged later by certain techniques) and found one opening near Vertical Sink which appeared to have going passage but was occupied by hundreds of Black Widow spiders. Kenneth, who first entered the opening and spotted the spiders, offered paramedic assistance to anyone who wanted to push the passage Everyone refused the offer. At 6 p.m., they entered the 1963 entrance where Donna, Corky and Butch proceeded to push a lead Butch had located on the previous trip while Barry, Brian, Jody a nd Kenneth went on to Gypsum Blister and other p a rt s unknown. The lead, located approximately 200 feet from the '63 e ntrance, provided about 400 feet of passage not shown o n the map. After approximately 100 feet a large sitting room about 9by 4-feet in size was found. From the s itting room, the passage ended for Butch because of a "tight" 12 foot duckunder. Donna and Corky pushed on through a 50-foot crawlway followed by 12 feet of walking passage which turned into about 226 of combination crawl, belly crawl and duckwalk endmg In breakdown. From this lead the valiant explorers took the crawl to the Hatchet Room and generally enjoyed sightseeing. A s mall passage under the crawl was explored a rock choked opening into a sublevel cave was discovered. Corky cleared enough rock from the Donna to push into the edge of a room. The openmg mto the room was blocked by a pile of gravel composed of approximately 2-inch stones When Donna to look over the gravel, she r eceive d the scare of her hfe" when the gravel started falling into the entry passage on top of her. She departed the area post She later remembered seeing a room about 8 feet high and 8 feet wide but couldn't tell if there was further passage due to the gravel. The gravel could be removed with careful Miscellaneous unsurvey e d passage was explored m the Gypsum Blister and Junction Room areas. After five hours of caving, it was decided that Sun day was another day and they headed for camp. the way out, several passages w e r e noted for exploratiOn the following day. . Barry, Brian, Jody a nd Kenneth w e re waitmg at the camp with tales of pa ssage locat e d around down to connect the Main a nd Se c ond Bat Rooms. Th1s p assage allows the m a in Bat Room to b e r eac h e d by way of the Bat Cave Passage, meaning that. a cold wade


Page 104 October, 1987 the Texas Cav1: through River Passage could be eliminated. After a rest and bull shooting session, Jody and the Larson Brothers headed home for Sunday commitments while Donna, Corky and Butch remained for another day of caving. On Sunday morning, a trip to nearby Guthrie was made for refueling, restocking the soft drink supply and determining the nearest hospital. Since rattlesnakes are frequently seen in the area, and the paramedics had gone, Donna felt that we should know where the nearest hospital was located in case of accident .. While refueling, Butch inquired about the nearest hospital and caves in the area. The station attendant identified the nearest hospital as being 40 miles to the north and the nearest cave as being on the Bateman Ranch. He'd heard of other caves but didn't know of any locations. He told of the local teen-age sport of traveling to the Bateman Cave, which has a river entrance, to knock bats out of the air with baseball bats as they come out for their evening forage. When Butch tried to explain the error of the sport, the attendant indicated that it was the only exciting thing to do in the whole county. On the way back to the ranch, several sinkholes visible from the highway were explored but openings weren't locate d. Back at the ranch, the '63 entrance was reentered and passage noted the previous evening was explored. Shane the Wonder Dog (Corky called him Wonder Dog hecause he couldn't figure out why they called him a dog) chose to follow the exploration team into the cave and demonstrated that he could walk in passage where even Donna couldn't go. Several arguments developed on who was going to be first to push passage but Shane usu ally won. Another 200 feet of passage not on the map was located before leaving the '63 entrance. Corky wanted to see the Main Bat Room, and enter by way of the River Entrance. The Cliff was scaled and the wade through the cold water begun. Shane the Wonder Dog, now an experienced caver, followed; swim ming the sections where water depth exceeded 9 inches. When the main Bat Room was reached, a small crawl at the top of the breakdown was found Butch attempted to enter but found himself stuck; with Donna's help he extricated himself and remained in the Main Bat Room. Donna, Corky and Shane pushed the passage for an estimated 30 to 40 feet. They reported seeing the beginnings of/or very small gypsum flowers. While Donna, Corky and Shane were pushing crawl pass age, Butch explored upper and lower passage leading from the Bat Room to the breakdown area. The upper passage leads into a breakdown room with possible crawl passage leading through the breakdown. A strong "cold" breeze was felt coming from the breakdown. The lower passage leads to the breakdown area then extends around the breakdown toward the Bat Cave area. This may have been where Jody a nd th e w ent from the Bat Cave into the Main B a t Room Butch didn't follow the passage alone Donna, Corky and Shane returned from the crawl. then all looked at the additional passage, none of whici appears to be on the map. The group would have likea to explore further but it was time to head home. On the way out, Shane decided to not cross the river. He hid in the Bat Room, going on strike for a dn exit, and all attempts to coax him out were Butch went back to the truck, got a leash and returnea to rescue Shane. Several alternatives were discu s sea including abandonment, 22 long rifle bullets between the eyes but, due to strong family ties, the rescue wa; deemed necessary. Upon exit, a vote was taken and it was decided thai Shane would be excluded from future entry e x cept perhaps in the '63. On the way home (much later than planned) three cave ballads were composed. Donna took notes for l a ter transcription and addition to the grotto song collection I All things considered, it was a successful trir enjoyed by all. Barry, Brian and Kenneth Larson adde a much to the pleasure of the trip and we hope to see t h e m on future trips. By conservative estimate, 600 fee t ol passage was explored, which added to the existing m a r would give Styx 8,987 feet of passage, moving it h ead o l Sorcerer's Cave (8,865 feet, Texas Caver, January making it Texas' tenth longest cave. There is more pas sage to be pushed and certainly more exploration need e a on the Ranch's east end. See you next trip! River Styx by Michael Twef) Destination: River Styx, County, Texas Personnel: Donna Anderson, Chri ; Williams, Ed Poynter, and Michael Twery Dates: August 10-11, 1985 Our first surprise upon arrival at the Bateman Ranch was the havoc which had been wreaked upon the land since our last trip. As far as the eye could see shrubs and trees alike had been bulldozed into the earth Pressing on through this now desolate wilderness1 the many sinks and the '63 and '64 entrance sites w e r < clearly visible from the road. We camped on the blul overlooking the nearly dry Wichita River. The ricn green pols of the river were separated by salt encrusteO mud flats. The water in the river entrance, however. was not very low. In fact, more water was pooled the r e than on some previous trips. This was our first trip all the way into th e ca'' through the river passage and it was the first trip l v River Styx Cave for Ed and Chris. The electric larn!


the Texas Caver O c tob e r, 198 7 Page 105 Chris was using started flickering on and off even b e fore the e ntrance was out of sight. With little discussion, Donna volunteered her spare carbide lamp and carbide whic h Chris generously accepted. AB we walked into the first 100 feet into the cave, Chri s noted he had been misled into thinking this was a roma ntic float trip. At the first deep pool, we all sank deep into the silt. Chris, being the tall est, ended up tes ting the depths for another 200 feet Ed and Mike took o ver as the bottom became rocky with o c cas ionally 4 f oot deep pools. In these deepest pool s, gasp s echoed thr o u g h the labyrinth as points below the waist were imm erse d into the cool waters of Riv e r Styx. A six inch catfish was seen in one shallow pool. L eaving the water passage, w e travelle d up a muddy crawl which passed a stinking d e caying bat. Phew, it stunk! The crawl ended in a pool which at first appear e d to be a sump. Donna, how e v e r pu s hed a tight duckunder to find a continuation of the p ass age on the other s ide. While this was a stroll for 4 10 Donna, the rest o f us sucked water getting through. We soon reached a main passage a nd a fter con s ult ing m aps, decided the rest of the cav e was to the right. But o nly 100 feet to the right we came to the d e ad e nd bat rooms several crawls were pushe d in this area and w e list ened to bats screeching about. No bats wer e s een roost ing. that water passage, we retraced our footsteps and went left. This proved the correct choice -but after orienting the map with the passages we remained confused over how going right had taken us to the left on the map. Chris vowed to bring a compass on his next trip. We quickly toured the rest of the cave -the dome room, Hatchet Room, and the Junction Room (with wate r in the pool) Donna and Ed pushed up to the '63 entrance reporting it was passable but very tightly chok e d with mud (they didn't try it). Se v e ral novel discoveries were made in the Gypsum Bli s t e r Passage First, Mike spotted a medium size snake hanging from the ceiling. As we watched the snake s lithered in and out of the gypsum blister over head. Further in the passage the floor of the crawl was carpe t e d with a thick mat of white mold extending far down the passage. The mold was fluffy, two to three inc hes deep in places. It resembled gypsum cave cotton. Our return trip through the river passage was cold but un e v e ntful. That night we watched an exciting di s pl a y in the sky during the spectacular Perseid Meteor S h ow er. The next day we hiked to the '63 and '64 entrances. The '64 entrance has been dramatically altered by bulldozing. An entrance is still there but it is in a slightly different place and surrounded by loose rubble. Future cavers are advised to check the '64 entrance Mlke Mooty (1), Jon VInson, Md D:lvid Y\bod (r) expl o ring Riv e r EntrMce. 1000 Photo by C>rl Kunath. D e ciding the rest of the cave must be to the left of carefully before entering or planning to exit.


P age 105 October, 1987 t h e T exa s Can; SPELEO NEWS Jon Everage, 1944-1987 by Bob Lloyd Oldtimer Jon Everage, one of the characters of Texas caving, died suddenly this month in New Braunfels He was 43 Jon began caving in the e arly 1970s in Texas, when he lived in Houston. He was a member then of the Rice Speleological Society The grotto later broke away to form the Greater Houston Grotto. Jon was a printer by trade and produced The Texas Caver for many years. He visited a number of Mexican caves including those in the El Abra area. He also caved in the Carta Vall e y area of South Texas for many years, with one of his significant achievements the construction of a gate on Midnight Cave. Everage and the author were co-discoverers of a significant section of Fitton Cave in Arkansas, Lloyd s Low Lead. His trave l s took him to the Guadalupe Mountains in New M e xico for many years Jon was a longtime volunteer for the Texas Old Timers Reunion and other Texas caving functions, supplying the manpower for barbequing and other cook s chores He competed in many events at Old Timers, and was known as a formidable opponent. Jon was a charter member of the Carta Valley Society for Underground Caving, Karstology and Speleology. He joined in early 1970 Jon is greatly missed by many Texas cavers. Many of those present at the funeral services were Carta Valley members. Many said it was the only funeral they had ever b e en to and that Everage was deserving of the highest tribute. The dozens of cavers present at the funeral worked hard to make it, under the circumstances, an upbeat affair as they believed Jon would have wanted it. He loved merriment, frivolity and life. Many a tale of Everage's e xploits was told and retold He is survived by his wife, Janice of New Braunfels, and a daughter, Colleen, of Houston. Those present at the funeral from the Dallas-Fort Worth area were the author, Karen Lindsley, Bob Obele and others. Also attending were many cavers from the San Antonio-Austin area, including Terry Sayther, Ronnie Fie se l e r and others. Jon Everage In Memoriam by Janice Everag< Jon E v e r a g e's f a mil y wis hes to express the ir sincere apprecia tion for all t h e ca r e a nd support which has been d e mon strate d b y the ca v e r s during thi s diffi cult time ana to s h a r e with you a portio n o f t h e m e m o ri a l which too! plac e a s Jon w as l aid t o r est JON IS HOME I am now a t h o m e goo d fri e nd s, I am happy a nd I'm free; The T e x as fla g i s fly ing All is jus t as i t s h o uld b e All my pain and gri ef a r e ov e r Jon Ev e rag e at Tam last y e ar Photo by J3J' Jord en.


1 the Texas Caver October, 1987 Page 107 Every restless tossing passed; ] am now at peace forever I'm content and home at last. Did you wonder why it happened Look for reasons or a rhyme? Some times there's no simple answers, Let's just say it was my time. Whe n you all came out to greet me On my way to where I'll be Showing all the care you carried, I was happy to be me So y o u must not grieve unduly, You s till have your lives to fill; You must look on to tomorrow To t h e new and distant hill. There is life still waiting for you, And you must not be so sad; Give c omfort to each other -Knowing in this I'll be glad. Whe n that life is all completed, And t here's no more space to roam; Just r e member I'll be waiting T o m e et you when you're home. I thank you all for your caring I was blessed with many friends, And I hope you stay together So w e can meet here in the end. Well Rescue by Jay Jorden Bill Bentley, a member of the Permian Basin Spele ological Association, said he was the first person at the scene of the rescue of an 18-month-old West Texas girl with any caving or ropework experience. Bentley, with Times-Mirror Cable Television, was called to the scene of the rescue of Jessica McClure from an abandoned well about one hour after the girl fell down the shaft. Just outside of town was a rathole drilling rig capable of cutting a 36-inch hole, and it was called into service. Bentley approached Fire Chief Roberts and told him he had vertical caving experience That bought him first position going down. He went down the manmade shaft and started to chisel across to the well, at a depth of about 22 feet. Bentley also helped locate the position of underground cables near the drilling activity. Bentley hooked a loop of Bluewater with a carabiner and Jumar into a winch line at the rathole rig and Went down with his Wheat lamp. "If it had not been for cavers with their harnesses, and climbers with rope and vertical hardware, and Wheat lamps and chargers, the operation would have been paralyzed or took at least 10 hours more," he said. "I was awake a total of 62 hours," said Bentley. "In fact, you come down off the excitement of a rescue like this and I haven't really yet. It will probably take weeks Bentley, 28, said Jerry Atkinson, another Midland caver, appeared at the scene about eight hours after the workers began drilling the shaft. He supervised the rig ging of ropes and seat harnesses Another caver, Mike Perrin, in the Midland area aided in ropework He showed up with carabiners seat harnesses, Gibbs and other climbing devices. Pat, Terry and Tom Hill, all brothers and members of PBSS, and the club president, Pat Kambesis, were present at the rescue at the aban doned w e ll. Jerry and Pat were there more than 20 hours," said B e ntley. "The cavers at the very start, were pitch ing in to help Then, later, there were hundreds and hun dreds of volunteers working there and they were bring ing in miners and others." B e ntley said he got his first taste of claustrophobia in the rathole I was a little shaky when I first went in, he said. "I was afraid of a at first. I had no idea of how solid the rocks were until I saw we were in caliche that turned into a stuff called aggregate Bentley used a pneumatic chisel. Jackhammers from 30 to 90 pounds were first used, then rescue workers switched to rotary star drills in cutting the parallel shaft and then digging a horizontal tunnel to Jessica. He said the difficult angle in which to work, in cramped quarters, made the rock hard to chisel. Later he said the workers began using a high-pressure hydraulic drill. "For the most part, the cavers were really instru mental in starting the rescue operation, for the lack of others being available who knew anything," said Bent ley. About 58 hours after the rescue effort began, the toddler was pulled from the shaft. She remained in a Midland hospital but doctors said her condition was improving NSS Convention by Jay Jorden While the Metroplex sweltered in temperatures hovering around the century mark, about 500 cavers converged on the green shores of Lakes Superior and Michigan for the annual NSS Convention. The gathering featured a one-day train tour through Canada, a visit to the longest cave in Michigan and a boat trip to Mack inac Island, along with the usual round of conferences, speeches, vertical contests and speleolympics. The hot tub from Texas traveled the 1,000-plus miles to the convention, along with a dozen or so cavers from the Lone Star State. They included Sheila Knight and Jay Jorden from DFW Grotto; Mike and Jeff Walsh of New Braunfels; Peter Strickland, Bill Mixon, Terry Raines, Terri Tracey and others of Austin; and Bill


Page 108 October, 198 7 the T exas Cav e r Rupley of Houston. The conv e ntion was Aug. 3-9 at Lake Superior State College in Sault Ste. M a rie, Mich. In c onvention events, Rossano Boscarino of Puerto Ri co broke his own world 's r eco rd in the m e n 's 30-meter mechanical climb at the v e rtical contest. His new time was 25. 7 seconds. In the m en's 100 m ete r c limb, Rossano shaved almost 30 seconds off hi s record se t las t year The new record : an astounding 4:10.5. Speleo-cinema s howing s featured "Oklahoma Gypsum Caves" by the Central Oklaholl\.a Grotto, along with a Chinese presentation a nd other film s. A mid-week spe l eoa uction brought in $2,242 for the NSS News Photo Endowment Fund. In so me of the bids a hardbo und copy of NSS Bulletin 10 "The Caves of Texas," brought $40. A painting by Russ Gurnee, who explor e d the Rio Camuy in Puerto Ri c o, brought more than $200. John Gante r won a m erit award in the 1987 Carto graphic Sal o n for a m ap of Seneca Caverns. The overall salon winn e r w as Geo rge D as her with a map of Buckeye Creek Cav e System. At t h e Photo Salon Ron Simmons of Simmons Roller f ame w on an h o nor a ble m e ntion for his slide show and multimedi a presentatio n on "The Exploration of Bobcat Cave Among the hundre ds of good s lides and prints shown at the salon w as a multime di a show on "The Mt. Kaijende Expedition, Papua New Guinea, 1982," pro duc ed by D ave Bunn e l a nd Carol Vesely Forme r DFW Grotto c h a irm a n Noel S loan was on that tri Convention goe rs filled two boats that made a dinner cruise thro ugh the Soo Lock s betw ee n L a k e Supe rior and Huron. It was great fun especi a lly when t h e cavers began yelling in uni so n b ac k and forth between the boats in the locks! Jay Jorden won two seco nd pl aces in the Cav e Bal lad Competition with "Hote l San F e rn a ndo" and Infi e rnillo," the first an a daptation from a traditional song and the second a n original composition. The temperature got down in the 40s a coupl e of nights and the r a in which w as f a lling whe n w e arrived from Detroit in our r enta l car m a de so m e nice mud at the campground. Groad Holl o w was pretty g ro atyl Jus t when it was about to dry out, it would r a in again. Even the NSS Board o f Governors w as joking that t h e Soc i ety is missing out by not hiring its conventions out to drought-stric k e n a r eas like Ethiopia. Forme r San M a r cos, T exas cav e r Albert O gden again c r anked up hi s Marshall amps mid-week for a con cer t by the T ermina l Siphons. The assortment of oldies but goldies lik e Wild Thing" a nd Loui e Loui e was s lightly expanded this ye a r. Anothe r earlier loca l band gave them a lot of competition. The fun a nd t h e relaxation w ent on too long to relate blow-by-blow. Next year's convention will be in wild and wool y D akota T erritory at John Sch c ltcns' ranch. The year after, the NSS goes to TAG Coun try, The University of the South, for the Big Pits. The progra m for this month's meeting will be a multimedia s how on the South Dakota conve ntion Y 'all Qalg BIUlnger (I), other Texas cavers, and RDnnle Flesel e r (r) ex amin e pic tographs In a M e:dc an s h e lter cave n ear Bustamante, 11173. Photo by Jay Jord e n.


t .hc Texas Cave r Octobe r 1 987 Page 109 1987 Huautla Cave Expedition by Bill Steel e E ditor's Note: what follow s i s a preliminary r eport on the first h a lf of the 1987 Huautla Cave Expedition. Dear Hua u t l a Project p artic ip a n t, suppo r te r o r fri e nd: O n Thursday, Marc h 26 19 8 7 t h e cave N ita Nanta, exp l o r e d annually s ince 19 8 0 wa s c onnect. e d to the Sota n o de San Agustin section o f S istem a Hu a u t l a via a 10 m ete r long 2 m e t e r d ee p sump dive by Jim Smith. Thi s w as don e from San Agustin at a depth o f 6 1 5 m ete r s, and not far from Camp TV wh i c h was establis h e d thi s year and u sed fo r e igh t d ays. The result in g system i s field calculate d to b e 1 ,3 70 m e t e r s deep which will va r y with fina l compute r clo sure cal culati ons) and 47 km in l e ngth I t i s lik e ly now the seco nd d eepest cave The s ystem h as 1 5 entrances, and includ es ind epe nd e n t r o u tes w i t h depths o f ove r 600 m ete r s, 700 m ete r s, 8 00 meters, two over 900 m ete r s, a nd two ove r 1 000 meter s. A trip could be made in through t h e hig hest e n t r a nce o f N i ta Na nta a nd back up through a nearb y entrance (Li N i ta) that would go -1240 meter s down a nd 1 ,115 m ete rs back up without retracing a ny p assage, but would requir e two sump div es. Those entra n ces a r e o nl y o n e km a p art a nd 126 m v ertica lly. The e n tire system co n ta ins nearly 400 rope-rigged pits. Th e above listed 600 meter d eep r o u te into t h e sys tem was a n April Fool's D ay surprise di scove ry. A climb up a n ea r v ertical breakdown pil e at t h e b ase of San Agustin's second drop, within sight of daylight, w as don e to see what was at the top. Through som e boulde r s we f ound a stairstepping borehole passage with short, spa c i o us, a nd fiowston e adorned drops to a d eep shaft se ri es we dubbed the Bowlholes The s i x Bowlholes in total drop 300 mete rs and the last one cam e out in the top of Tommy' s Borehole at -650 mete rs Th e drop into Tommy's Borehole, Cha Seis Bowlhole, i s very dramatic in its 77 meter s. Twenty meter s down, it b ells way out, affording the rapp e ller a dw arfe d perspective as they glide down, tens of meter s from any wall. Thi s access to lower San Agustin i s much more accommodating for hauling loads tha n the original, 20-year-old main route. It is giving ris e to plans for a 19 88 expedition The three objectives would be: 1) To m a k e a Jay Arnold-directed movie of the project -past, present, and future, with the new Fool's Para di se entry to and then including low e r San Agustin as the main unde r ground f eatures, 2) A Bill Stone and team d eep dive of t h e l o w est sump in the syst e m -861 San Agustin, to more clos e the gap with the resurgence, 3) conduct exte n SIVe dye tracing to establish proof of the hydrology of the s ystem, i .e. where does the cave water go? If you would lik e to rec e iv e a copy of a form l etter from J a y Arnold presenting his film compa ny or would hke furth er information about our 19 8 7 e xp edition or t h e Hua utl a Project in ge n e r a l pleas e write or call: B ill Stee l e, 5 07 Liv e l y Drive, San A ntoni o, TX 7 82 13. Phone ( 5 12) 3 77-0850 h ome; or (512) 341-8 611 office. CRF China Expedition from staff reports Ron K erbo, cave s peci alist at Carlsbad Cavern s National Park h as b ee n in v i ted to j o in a team of 11 to 1 2 other American s o n a s p e l eo l og ical exp ed i t i o n to t h e Peopl e's Republi c of C hin a next s pring. The idea for a cooperative ve n ture betwe e n s pe l eologi s t s ill the two co untri es g rew o u t of a vis i t to in 1 9 8 6 b y R o nd a Bridgeman o f the Cave Resear c h Foundati on a nd a subsequ e n t v i s i t to this co un t r y a nd Carls bad Caverns in February by Dr. Yuan D aoxia n Directo r of t h e Institute o f K a r s t Geo lo gy in C hin a. _A;; a r es u l t of t h e contacts between Bridgeman a nd Dr. D ao x i a n t h e M inistr y o f Geo l ogy an d Mineral Resource s ( Insti t ute o f Karst Geo logy) invited t h e Cave Researc h Foundati o n to put togeth e r a team for a coo p e rative cav in g exp e dition. The expe di t i on which Bridgeman h as been as k e d to head will be t h e first kn own American cav in g e xpedition eve r in the P e op le's R e publi c o f C hin a. Whil e n egotiations on details a r e still unde r way the t ri p i s te ntativ e l y planned for March 1 988 The U.S. Team will cons ist o f sc i entists, s kill ed v e r t ical cave r s and individua l s po ssess in g kn ow l e dg e of s pecific inte rest to Chinese spe l eo l og i sts. K erbo will r epresent both t h e National P ark Service and t he Cave Resear c h Foundation. H e was in v i ted to j oi n t h e team b eca u se of his cave exp lorin g abilities and hi s exp ertise in cave m anagement, preservat ion and r esto rati o n. Accord ing to P a rk Supe rin tendent Rick Smith, K erbo's s kill s in communicating wi t h others about cave values and cave m a n age m ent c on cerns will a l so make him a valuable team m e mb e r. For the past several year s, Carlsbad Caverns National Park h as r ece iv e d numerous r eq u ests for K erbo's assistance in conducting cave management sem in a rs and in offering a dvice o n cave m a nagement planning. The r eq u ests h a v e co m e from other f ederal and state age nci es, private cave owners, a nd from other nati o n a l park units containing caves. Superin tenden t Smith said t hat this invitation to join the China expedition i s furt h er evide nce that Ron K erbo i s one of the most highl y r espected cave r s in t h e U.S. "If Ron i s a bl e to m a k e t hi s trip, h e will b e able to h e lp share our U.S. knowledge of cave prese rvation tech niqu es and in turn gain a broader understanding of cave geo l ogy that will benefit Carl s b a d Caverns National Park and the National P ark Se r v ice as a whole." The U.S. team will b e s peaking to various groups in China as w ell as exploring and studying caves in China's Guangxi Guandong provinces. One of the un explore d caves the group i s sc h e dul e d to ente r and survey i s r epo r te d to h ave a 600-foot ve r t ical drop at t h e entrance. Others who h ave been invi ted to j o i n t h e exp edition


Page 110 October 1987 the Texa.s Cav11 as team m embe r s, in addi t ion to Bridgeman and Kcrbo, are Jim Goodbar of t h e Bureau of Land Management office in Carl sbad, N.M.; Bob and Debbie Buech e r o f Arizona; Dave J agnow of Oklahoma; Cal W e lb ourn o f Ohio; Ian Baren of New York ; Mike Taylor of Ne w J er sey; Jim Elle r who i s prese n t l y in South Korea; and Phil Whitfie ld o f Bri t i s h Columbia Canada. A television network cameraman may also j o in t h e group. Although all o f t h e funding for t h e trip has no t yet been worked out, the Nation a l Geographi c Soc iety h as expressed interest in helping spon so r t h e I t i s h oped t hat t h e exped i t ion w ill result in new fri ends hip s and oth er exchanges betwee n t h e two co un tries, in t h e interest o f conservation. Carlsbad Cave Swallows by Larry Johnson E ditor's Note: Larry i s a seasonal park r ange r w i t h Carlsbad Caverns Nati o n a l Park. Carlsbad Cavern, New Mex i co, long known for its giganti c chambers and l arge bat population, i s also being recognized as one of t h e s ignificant ornithological sites of the country. The cave swallow which h as r ecently taken up residence within Carlsbad Caverns National Park, is the onl y bird of the approximately 1, 8 00 spec i es in North America for which t h e winter range i s unknown. According to park e mployee Tom Bemi s, who h as b een studying cave s wallows at the Cavern for several year s, the inte rest in the swallow and the r esearch bein don e at Carl s b a d Cavern s i s "one o f the largest ornith; logical pro j ects in the state." Bemis and ornithologist Steve W est, who i s a l s o a teacher in the Carlsbad Public Sc hool system, h as undertaken a v as t project of bandin t h e swallows in order to learn a little more about them. "The cave s wallows first began nesting inside Carl s b a d Cavern in 1966, when two ne sting pairs showed up. Since t hat ti m e, t h e population has graduall y inc r eased to approximately 4, 000 birds, which i s q uite likely t h e largest and northernmost c olony in the U.S.," Bemis said West initiated t h e banding studies of the swallow; at Carlsbad Caverns in 19 8 0 and s in ce that time. roughly 5, 100 birds have been banded. A total of about 10,000 have been h andle d including retraps Researc her; h ope to r ecove r a band fr o m a cave swallow at some future time which might g i ve a n indication of exacth w h e r e the birds are migrating during the colder m ont h ; Lik e t h e famous bats o f Carlsbad Cavern, the swallow; eat flyi n g insects, and migrate south for the winter as t h e weather coo l s and the insect population d ecl ines. "Th e cave swallow i s t h e last remaining species on t h e North American continent for which the winter range i s unknown," Bemis states. "We just don't know where t h ey migrate'' By bandin g the birds, the researchers are ab l e to study what the swallo w s eat, what they f ee d their youn: and how they a r e extending their range. One of the mon unusual find s during t h e r esearc h so far w as the discovery of an albino cave swal low which was banded las t sum mer. The N atio nal Park Service allows the swal lows to be stud ied m their natural habitat, but as in all National Parks, they are protected. Rldgewalklng In sou thern Okl aborrn (1-r) Gerrald Saulsberry De nnis 'IllOrnp son, Jody Robert son, wd Joe Ben P ruiLt. P h oto by Jay J o rd en. The swallows can be seen al Carlsbad Caverns every summer, beginning in earlr spnng. interested in ing the birds should visit the caverns sometimt before the end ol October, when th1 swallows u sual!) relocate, accordin[ to B e mis.


the T exas Caver O cLobe r 1987 Page Ill NSS HAPPENINGS 0 ld Timers' Reunion by Jay J o r de n The l a rge s t caver gathering a nd p a rty in t h e w orld g ot even bigger this year. More than 1 630 p eop l e reui ster e d for the 38th Old Time rs' R eumo n In D ailey, I t was the seco nd year that OTR met on i t s own landa 24.05 acre p a rc e l of prime f a rml a n d ad j ace n t to the Tygart Riv e r. I t w as an awesome s igh t to top a hill o n a back road heading away from Dail e y (p op. 3 00 o r so ) a nd see acre a f te r acre of tents The r e w e r e more t h a n three times as many folk s at OTR as a t the NSS Con ve n tion It was totally amazing to see t h e diff e r e n ce betw ee n the m ; S h e ila and I had see n both. T h e OTR had all the features of a conv e n t i o n t h e seminars a nd sessions The lOt h annua l OTR Speleo Auction was a good pl ace to buy carbide l amps, caving books artwork and collect ibles. More than $1,000 was r a ised, with Kelly D eaco n Deem o f West Virginia the spe l eoa uctioneer This year, for t h e firs t tim e, both a hot and dry s a una were avai labl e by the co ld ri ve r a long with a 10foot dia meter hot tub for soaking B eca u se of m o r e tha n a month of dry w eathe r the Tygart w as v e r y l o w. But, true to a ny l arge cav e r gathering, i t began to r a in o n Sat urday just a couple of days into the event, a nd n eve r really s topped altogether. The riv e r r ose a nd a d a m was built o f rocks to hold back the flow The r e w as e ven a long s lid e into the water, really invigoratin g all wh o chose to try it after t h e saunas The fis h bit our toe s, though. Th e vertical contests and s p e l eo lympi cs w e r e c o mpre h e n s ive. One caver di s located his s h o uld e r o n t h e speleol y mpic s co urs e and had to b e r e m ove d fr o m the event v ia a Stokes litter, courtesy o f C hu c k H empe l a nd the cave res c u e c rew. Voluntee rs with t r a ining in emerge ncy first a id manned a m e dical station lo ca ted just n o r t h o f t h e l arge pavilion. A ll cavers l eaving the campground w e r e require d to sign out if they wer e go in g o n cav e trip s so that necessary information would b e availa bl e if the r e was a res cue. Gate duty is one of those jobs that h a d to b e constantly atte nd e d to. The author w orke d his t w o h our s hift early on e morning and kept out a f e w gatecrash e r s Th i s event i s so big a nd so w e ll-kn o wn on the East Coast t hat und es ir a bles s u c h as outlaw gang s h ave got t e n wind that there's a gre a t party every ye a r For t hi s reason, the OTR folk s years ago form e d The Robertso n A>sociation, TRA, to whi c h all mu s t to b e lon g in o rd e r to r eg ister f o r t h e eve n ts. To quote fr o m t h e 47page g uid eboo k "The R obe r tson A5soc iati o n r ep l aces the o l d a nd di sass oc iated crews t hat r a n the r e union pri or to 197 8 OTR h as grown to s uch propor t ion s t hat so m e formal structure was deemed n ecessa r y so now t h e o ld a nd d i sassoc iated may party whi l e a cor po rate structur e h an d les t h e finan c ial probl e m s, l e gal matter s, o r ganizatio n a nd vario u s oth er in v i s ibl e b u t n ecessa r y j obs t hat m a k e your stay h e r e a pleasan t o n e'' I n eve r really understood what C h a rli e Lo v in g was t rying to d e pict in his cartoo n t hat s how s t h e diff e r e n ces between so u t hwestern a nd eastern cave r s until I cam e to a n OTR. Why, nearl y eve r y g rotto h as its own 20to 3 0-foot l o n g banne r wi t h i ts logo neatl y se wn t h e r eon, a nd if t h e r e's no l ogo at least there' s a l a r ge tent or awning b i g e nough to fit t h e ir members in s id e with room to s p a r e The r e a r e grotto so n gs t h e r e a r e grotto so ng books g rotto m ascots, pretty offic i a l looking g rotto ve hi cles etc. Whe n w e got t h e r e W e dn es d ay or Thurs d ay, most of t h e campsi tes w ere already r oped off rese rved f o r s pecific grottos The r e was VPI (Virgini a Polytec hnic, real h e ll-r a i se rs, but that's for l a t e r) PSC (Potomac Spel eo l og ical C lub) DCG (District o f Co lumbi a Greenbri a r Grotto, WVACS (West V ir g ini a Spe leological Soc iety) Eastern T e nn essee G rotto, Pitt Grotto, Sligo Grotto a nd eve n Buzz C ity Grotto. Buzz C ity"? Y e s t h e re's a "Totto t hat really h as no home b u t OTR. That's t h e t im e t hey m eet. Meet to d o wh at? Drink. Yes f o lk s this clu b can p u t away more liqu o r t h a n a State Liquor Store. And t h e y l eave the ev id ence b e hind a car o r t w o burie d in liquor bott les. The r e's a n unwritten rul e at OTR: no one goes cav ing. The r e s a noth e r littl e rul e too: the other is a l ways broke n at on e t im e o r anoth e r The r e w e r e p l e nty of t rip s to surrounding caves, includin g t h e SS (EdiloT s No te: p l ease see r eports e l se wh e r e 111 this I ss ue.) The co mmittee t hat ove r sees t h e Tro u t Roc k pro p e rty h a d pl anne d a w o rk w ee k e nd during OTR for the purpose o f installin g n e w s i gns a nd a as part of a compromise r eac h e d at t h e NSS Co n ventiO n managemen t o f t h e cav es. But the rain that aros e Fnday pre v ented the pouring o f a foundation Saturday an? steady r a inf all S unday a l so put a. dampe r on t hat clays ac tivi t i es. Anot h e r w o rk week e nd w as pl a nn e d s oon after t hat. So m e bad n e w s w as in c lud e d f o r OTR attend ees. A g rowin g list o f limi ted access caves in t h e a r ea is con t inu o u s l y updated by Bob H o ke. Commen ts s u c h as "own e r not in teresL ecl in cave rs", "sew age r eported 111 entra n ce a r ea.," a l o n g w i t h "ab so lu te l y clo se d by verr, unha pp y l a nd o wn e r," a nd "cave 111 qu arry v e ry clo se d


Page 112 October 1 987 th e T exas Caver tell t h e story. T o b e sure, t h e r e a r e s t ill caves o p e n In W est Vi rgini a but t h e number i s shrinking. For those who didn't want to get near a cave t h e g uid e book listed plenty o f things to do in the W est Vir g ini a mountains. Nearby Bev e rly i s t h e old est commun ity w est of the Allegh e n y Mountains. I t wa s first built on the old eastwest Staunton-Pa rk ersburg s t age turnpike. I t can be f ollowed w est to the crest o f Ri c h Mountain. At th e top of the ridg e o n a c l ea r e d a r ea, one of the first Civil War battles was fought. Union force s s u ccess full y routed the d e f ending Co nf ede rates and drov e t h e m b ack into B e v e rly The turnpik e ca n b e f ollowe d east o f Bev e rl y up File s Creek, past a comp r esso r s tation o n to S h ave r s Mountain. The File s Creek road l eaves t h e o ld turnpike route and follow s the top o f t h e mounta in south to U.S. Route 250. Two miles or so p as t the Files Cree k n with U.S. 25 0 is C heat Bridge, wh e re the Federal hi g hway c r osses t h e S h ave r s Fork o f the C heat a nd t h e high est r a ilroad in t h e Eas t e rn Unite d States. Nearby i s the Nati o n a l Radio Astronomy Observatory at G reenbank A l so in t h e region i s t h e hig h bridge ove r t h e New Riv e r -appro ac hin g 1 000 f eet down wh e r e cave r s come eve r y year with t h e ir PMI rope for "Bridge Day"; Spruc e Knob, the hi g hest point in West Virgini a, and Se n eca R oc k s, a mounta in climb in g paradise. Past nearb y E lkin s i s A lpin e Shores Campgr o und past s i te o f seve r a l OTRs a nd the 1983 NSS Co nv e n t ion W est Virginia r ea ll y i s f o r ca v e r s Bac k at the camp site, m o r e t h a n 4 0 k egs o f beer were tapped Saturday a nd Sunday night. In fact, many p e ople lost count. On Saturd ay, the H olly Garb e r band played many a cave r tune kn ow n w ell t o people in this a r ea, s u c h as "New W a v e r Caver," "Chu c k-e-poo to t h e R esc u e," "Peppermint Schn apps," a nd other g r eats. Holly h as be e n playing at OTR for so mewh ere a r ound se ven years, a nd d ese r ves the title o f h o norar y cave r by now Hi s form e r drummer, who in t ro duc e d him to caving, died r ecent l y a nd h e play e d a m emorable tribute to the man a nd his talents. Holly pl aye d against a backdr op of a myri a d o f g rotto e mbl ems r eproduced f a i t hfully in oil col ors by a l oca l a r t ist a nd a p erma n ent part of the p a vili on. ( Ed. note: miss in g a r e the TSA l ogo a nd DFW p a tch Steps a r e b e in g tak e n to r ect if y this oversig h t The Escabrosa G rotto fr om Arizon a i s part o f t h e dis pl ay, a nd w e' r e clo se r to W est Virgini a t h a n it i s!) On Sunday night, recorded mu s i c w as play e d DJ s tyle by a W as hin gton D. C. a r ea r ad io pe r so nality. More than 1 000 p e op l e j a mm e d un der t h e p av ili on to dance 0'1 t h e con crete floo r vis i t a nd talk eac h nig h t. A s t h e r eco rd s indi cate, t h e firs t r eco rd e d offic i a l OTR w as h eld o n Labor D ay, Hl50, at t h e Word e n Hote l in D av i s, W .Va. The 45 cave r s who attende d e xpl o red e i g h t caves. The September 195 0 NSS News r e p orted t hat, ... the week e nd proved suc h a hug e s ucc ess that t h e group una nim ous l y voted to repeat it eve ry Labor D a y as a n NSS Pilg rim age to D av i s ... From that s m all aco rn as a b eginning, a tree with g reat roots gr e w. Atte nd a n ce w as up to 65 b y 1952, and a n a nnu a l trek to the Sinks o f Gandy w as instituted. All t h ose who went the whol e way were inducte d into t h e IBI NTHRUTHESINKS C LUB," whi c h late r b ecame t h e Ohio Grotto o f t h e NSS The OTR mov e d from place to place over t h e years, b u t be ca m e a t radi t i o n This year, there w e r e many tradi t i ons, s u c h as dancing the "limbo" at the pavilion, floating in inn er tubes down the river, playing "Rocky Top," h earing so m e stirring blu egrass courtesy o f the Buzz C ity Grotto, sear c hing for carbide l a mp b argains a mong t h e m a n y vendors and watching the firelight Ricke r out on a l ong w e lls p ent e v ening. Vendors r ow w as re a ll y something this year. Bob & Bob L&S Sportin g Goods, J.E. Weinel Resc u e Equip m e n t Inn er Mountain Outfitte r s, the NSS Book store Karns Hobby Shop, Speleobook s and, last but not least, t h e Spe l eoS hoppe, along with assorted individua l s selling gear and lamps, lined both s id es of the m a in road in front of the pavilion a l o n g with two food stand s. Toward the front gate, a bank of pay ph ones was moved in to handle t h e volume of calls The n there was VPI a n d t h e Drunkabouts The Virgini a Polytechnic Institute must b e o n e of the biggest party s chools i n t h e country. Their party t ent rivaled a ny on the property and they even came with the ir own per so nal bartender, Buddy Bundy! He came complete with a s tock of rare and endangered beers l age r s and a l es, including a five-ga llon beer ball. You had to be t h e re. The first night of OTR, u sually a quiet one, was s hatter e d by a n overly s up er b stereo system a nd a serious g roup o f late-nighters. Buddy warne d u s it would be l oud Little did w e kno w that h e was being conserv ative The ground lite r a lly s hook in our s m all tent eac h time the rig hit a good bass note at about 1 or 2 a.m. The n ext night, we mov ed the tent about 200 fee t away from t h e Buzz C ity G .R.O. S.S. Grotto area to a n e w s m all Groad H ollow. W e didn't do all that mu c h sleeping. B u t t h e g r ou nd s h ook l ess Sometim e in a caver's car eer, he or s h e should c heck out OTR. Who kn ows: it could become a h abit. T o be a r ea l o ld-tim e r though, take h eed. It takes 20 year s to be a C.O.O.T. (C e rtifi ed Old Time r ) Editor's Note: S h eila Knight i s only 33 years o l d a nd will achieve C.O.O.T. statu s with luck in l ess than tw o year s


the Texas Caver October, l 98 7 Page 113 TSA NEWS TSA Project Preliminary Report by J ay Jorde n Anyo n e who has se e n the old blacka nd-whi te film s of early Texas Speleological Association cave project. s knows what they're about. In a s ingl e weekend l e gion s o f cavers concentrate on a sing l e area with much poten t i al. They ridgewalk, dig at l eads, s urvey and m a p known caves and work at re storing gates, l a dd e r s a nd oth e r improv e m ents. They study the geology the paleon tology and the cave -dw e lling insect s an d anima l s in side caves. If they' re lucky, they find more p ass age an d h ave time to share a laugh with friend s, sit around th e cam pfire or go swimming. All this and more greeted t h e more than 100 cavers who atte nded the 1987 TSA Project at K ickapoo Caverns State Park Site in Kinney and Edwards counties on Oct. 16-18. Cavers who lined the dusty roads around the project headquarte rs and bunkhouse with their tents and vehicles were treated to some premier ridgewalking and a bat flight and u s h e red into a cave that had been closed for nearly 30 years. Kicka poo, though not on the latest list of longest and deepest in t h e state, is quite impressive, containing a series of immense breakdown-floored chambers which desc end through a formation-guarded portal to a lower room. Two passages at the back of the lower room pass through h eavily decorated areas and end in dome rooms with profu se grafitti, some dating from the 1870 s. John Brooks and I left Dallas shortly after 5 p.m. Friday and drove through Fort Worth, where we stopped at Pulido's Mexican Restaurant, a f avorite haunt of John's. After calling a Cowtown caving colleague, we were headed into the sunset, passing through Granbury before a storm brewed up outside Brownwood a nd Brady. The weather forecast had indicated rain in the D e l Rio area, so we were braced for poncho caving. But, outside Brady, the clouds lifted somewhat and, by the time we were through Junction and Menard, the rainfall had e nd ed. We w e re yelled down s om e wh e re near Rocksprings by a group of hunters a nd hangers-on from Lubbock, who had retr aced their s t e p s of c hildh ood to a r e union of so rts in the Hill Country. Whe n w e roll ed up to the barn and pavilion area at the o ld Se rg eant R a n c h that served as project h ea dquar te r s we w e re greeted by the affab l e Carl Ponebs hek of San A n ton io who h ad already brewe d up fresh coffee and w as r egi:;t e ring parti c ipants. Maps of the park site were poste d o n p l ywood arou nd t h e barn, with certain a reas col ored in f o r ridg e walking by appropriate teams. Sign in s h eets w e r e po s ted for participants. Yellow survey b oo k s were de s ignated for some of the seve n known c ave s whi c h n eede d work J o hn a nd I w e re on t he ye llow team, but a long with the f ormation of t hat group the need arose f or cavers to go s urvey Bee Cave, its one room atop a n earby mounta in. A group compris e d of Scott Rote, Linda Palit, George Veni and Alan C obb of San Antonio; and John and myself climbed the ridge northwest of camp, c ro sse d a fence and arrived at B ee. The wid e-mouthed pit, with a medium-siz e tree growing thr ough it, was re ac hed via a rickety, weather-be a ten ladder, one of its rungs c racking at the merest pressure A cable ladder was rigged and the descent made after Brooks sketched the entrance. While Alan c ollect e d bugs George noted the dips and strikes and rock strata and Linda took photos, Scott, John and I took spray shots around the room. Many photos were taken of the seven l a rg e be e hives whi c h draped from the spacious cei ling One m ass iv e hi ve was severa l f eet across and, to another, a ced a r post snake d fr om t h e floor. Rune Burnett of T exas Parks and Wildlife said that, at times, the hives had been known to be robbed for their honey, which was the n so ld But, judging from the swarms of bees around eac h we a ll agreed that who eve r attempted this was a brave and/or de s p erate individual indeed. Alan found a harvestman c overed with mites George noted some interesting ro c k formations in one co rn e r of the cave and Scott borrowed my flash to pho tograph so me of the ceiling detail. A small col ony of bats resid e d within a de e p hole in the ceiling. As we surveved the s ky alte rnatel y cleared and gre w cloudy but it .;as apparent a cold front was soon t.o mov e through. Soon, the s un broke through,


Page 11<1 Oct.ob e r 1 987 t.h e T exas Cavtr temperature became moderate and it was a nic e day for cavmg. Our survey ing over, we climbed up the ladder only to see a group of cavers climbing the hill with a brand new one. We pull e d up the old ladder, then carried it down the hill and broke it up to use as kindling for a fire. P ete r Strickl a nd, who was instrumental in the new l a dder's co n struction, descended it with his son on hi s shoulde r s We bade t he explorers farewell and returned to camp, where so m e folks were rustling up.grub and pl a n ning t h e afternoon' s activities. James, Mimi and Amy J ase k s how e d up from W aco and Terry Raines, who h a d l ase r survey equipment, arriv e d from Austin. We noticed that one area on the park map had been neglected for ridge w alking, so w e e lected to try it. Jeff Johnson of Austin Rote, Brooks a nd I set out for the ridge that stretc h ed east to Got Cave. Actually, a lot of the area had not been listed as checked so w e were in a quandary whether to walk past Got and begin work or ridgewalk up to it and the n past. We e l ected that, f o r t h e sak e of complete ness w e would begin i idgewalkin g immediately. Equipped with so m e voic e-activated transceivers provided by TPWD's Ron R a lph we straddled the north side of the ridge walking s lowly Not too m a ny cracks and surface recharge features escaped our scrutiny. After about thirty minutes, John found a pos;;ible dig but we quickly determine d that it would require massive amounts of work with little potential. W e con tinued working down the ridge, determining t.hat the land further down the ridge was more heavily vegctnted Sometime later, a cry cam e over the headset. Scott h a d found something ... it really looked promising. Wherr w e arrived, he w as staring down a black hole at the of a rock she lf betwee n two l a rge boulde r s. A r ock rat tied about 20 feet down into it and cold air i ss u e d W e w e r e at about the right a lti tude for caves in the a rea: 1 900 feet. But, soon, it b ecame clear that w e needed some mechanical muscle, or so w e thought. Scott was dispatched back to camp for a sledgehammer a n d /or comealong and crowbar. 'vVe promise d not to ente r until he returned, a nd it didn't look like there was a chawc o f that! How eve r upon closer inspection afte r h e l eft, it seemed a boulde r to the l eft of the hol e co uld b e moYCd if enough smaller rocks were cleared away. We se t to t.his task and w e r e r e w arded when we touched t h e boulde r that it move d. Soon we roll e d it away. Now, all w e had to do was clear more roc k in order to pull the k eyst o n e shaped boulder from the pit. Soon, it too wa s r ockin g in its moorings. J:uncs Jasek 's incredibl e photograph o f th e Bat Flight at Green Cwe, HID.


the Texas Caver Oct.obe r 1987 P age. 115 About tha t time, Scott s how e d up with r e inforce m ents, including a c rowb a r, s l edge, assorted r ope and Craig Bittinge r of Austin. Craig, with a c hild com p ani o n threw himse lf into the effo r t a nd presently all were heaving at ropes whi c h wrappe d a round t h e bould e r a nd i t slid out of t h e h o le. Scott. h a d the h onor o f b e ing t h e first o n e down He w as b e l aye d in a nd s oon was o u t o f sight He r eported formations, bat guano and lots of cave crickets. John then entered and w as suitabl y im p r essed Soo n t h er e were f our o f u s at the bottom a nd a noth er group o f ridgewalke r s who had s pi e d ou;progress h ad radioed the n ew s bac k to camp. Anoth e r handli n e w as rigged a nd J ohn d escended. H e went down a noth e r 1 5 feet o r so and reporte d a wrigg lin g w all o f cave c ri c kets H e s too d on a dirt floor but a l as -the p assage pin c h e d off i n both directions. C r aig l oo k e d a r ou nd fo r oth er leads but nothing was forth co min g A s k etc h map wa s planned and w e exited. C raig and compa nion w e n t o n to Got Cave, w hi l e r e r eturned to camp afte r returning t h e gear to C rai g 's truck. The p l a n w as to tak e a we ll-d ese rv e d dive in to t h e stocktank but Mike W a l s h a nn o un ce d t hat Kickapoo was now open to caver:s Vl/e w e n t ove r about 4 p.m. driving p as t the parking area fo r Gree n a nd stopped at the staging area. The re, we w e r e dri ve n by par k d epartm ent vehicle to the trailhead f o r t h e cave K i c k a poo lies at t h e top o f a hill under a m ass i v e tree, t h e roots of whic h re ac h into t h e cave mouth. An old iro n gate g uarded t h e entra n ce. Some flagg in g tape had been placed to m ark a t r ai l but i t ende d soo n a f te r ins ide. The cei lin g n eve r w as within r eac h a nd soo n f a d e d a w ay from our lights as we began cross in g large breakdown. This cave didn.'t eve n h ave an e l epha n t trail! The rock was mostl y spotless white P rese n t l y the floor droppe d away on both s id es in to l a r ge voids a nd the widt h of the room a lternatel y wid e n e d and n arrowe d At the end of t h e first l a rg e c hambe r a l a r g e column loomed and photos w e r e tak en A s m all path between boulders l e d clown a breakd ow n pile to anothe r chamber whic h contain e d eve n more formati ons. There, more photograph e r s w e r e s n apping a way. W e pau sed to take some multiflash s hots. There wer e m ore areas to explore, including t h e t wo passages at the back containing fairsize h elictites and so d a str aws. Some s i gna tures in the bac k domes w e r e from the turn o f the century to the 1920 s. Emerging from Kick apoo, we hik e d back to the tru c k a nd drove past G reen in time to see t h e t ail end of t h e bat flight. The cave h as (hundre ds of) t housand s o f b ats and a nother ridge w a lkin g g roup earli e r in t h e day had found a f ai rs i ze cave n earby. All in all, abou t h a lf a dooen new caves were found in the w ee k e nd 's work Some will r equire furthe r e xplor a tion and survey ing. Region s of T exas r epresente d at t h e p r o j ect in clud e d Aus tin, San Ant onio, Houston Galv esto n t h e \1\fichita F alls a r ea and North T e xa s A doz e n o r so North T exans, inclu d in g Dallas a nd Fort Worth cav e r s, s w elled the r a nk s o f project p artici They in cluded T erry H o l s in ge r Mike Brown and Butch Fralia of Fort Worth; Quinta Wilkin so n of H olliday; Troy S h e lton and family D o n M etzner J o hn Broo k s, Corky Corcoran and the author of D allas. Plans are to compile informati on o n t h e n ew caves discover e d maps and descriptions o f othe r caves on t h e property and the geo l ogy, bi o l ogy and p a l e o ntol ogy o f the park site into a s pecial i ss u e o f t h e Texas C aver. Please start sendin g i n your cave m a p s a nd oth e r infor matio n from the project. Suppo r t TSA' TSA Meeting & Project 30-31 January 1988 by Geo r ge V e ni Winter Board of Governors, Cascade Caverns TSA Project: Come to wh e r e t h e long caves in T exas a re. Come to Kendall a nd Coma! counties This winte r 's pro ject will be to survey m a n y o f t h e caves in t h ese two counties, whi c h conta in five of t h e state.'s l o ng e s t caves. The potenti a l for more l o n g caves i s hi gh. Co me prepared to survey (bring su r vey gear) and if you don t know how come a long and learn. Caver s will a l so be needed to photograph a nd collect cave cr itter s for stud y whil e other survey. Al l varieties o f caving will be available; wet, dry, horizontal and vertical. Cave loca tio n s will be provided and l a ndowner co ntacts will a lready be arranged for you. To maximize your chances o f gettin g the best l eads and t h e type of cave you want to do, be s u r e to call and re se r ve your s befo r e someon e e l se gets it. Also k eep t h e weekend o f 2728 February open. M a ny o f t h e caves will take about t wo w ee k e nd s to s urv ey, so we 'll r econvene t h e n to fini s h them. Details on 3 7


Page 116 October. 1987 the Texa.s C a v e r that meeting place will be di scussed at the J a nu ary meeting. For more information, and to find out what's availabl e, call project coordinator Geo r ge Veni at 4019 Ramsgate, San Antonio, Texas 8723 0 (512) 699-1388. TSA Meeting: To begin Sunday morning, 3 1 J a n. 198 8, at 10 a m. Besides t h e usu a l bu siness to discu ss, this will be the first meeting chaired by the new TSA officers. Let t h em kn ow what you want for TSA in '88. Accommodations: Camping w ill b e at Cascade Caverns. Hot showers, and a large heated pavilion fo r s lid es, meeting and eatin g will a l so be available. Camp ing f ees a r e $4.50 per person per night. costs c an be su b s tantially cut by car-pooling; the third a n d s ubsequent people in a vehicl e o nl y pay $2 each per ni g h t (i.e., four people would average a cost o f only $3.25 each). A hot, filling, yummy feed will be p ro v id e d Satur day ni ght fo r all you h a rdsurveying cave r s for o nly a $3 registration f ee. More: Publications and other caver paraphernalia will be availabl e for sal e S lid e presentations will b e run after the Saturday feed a nd g roup tou r s of Cascade Cavern may also be availabl e that ni ght ( t h e cost of which might be includ e d in the campin g fee negotia t ion s a r e in progress.) Results: Beside s the usu a l camaraderie a nd "good time by a ll this weekend will go a long way toward helping complete the up co min g TSS publications on Kendall and Coma) Counties. Be a par t of it. Be there! The Tenth Texas Old Timers Reunion by J ay Jorden The Guadalup e River was running fast past its banks -but not too quick l y as m o r e t h a n 3 00 cavers from ac r oss the Lone Star State celebrated the lOth annua l Texas Old Time r s Reunion in Central T exas. The sun s hon e through a cloudl ess s ky on the riverbank and surrounding ceda r-lin e d hill s An early fall moon bathed t h e still, crisp air with lig h t eac h night. The campground, filled with tents and trucks, r everberated with cav e r s commemorating a w a nin g caving year. "I don't think we'v e had a better co nvention, weatherwise," commented G ill Ediger of Austin master of ce r emo nies for th e Saturd ay eve ning pre sentations. The p e rennial purveyor o f party practi L i o n ers in Texas, TOTR, was again a stunning s u ccess About 265 people queued up to heap plates with cev i c h e, cook i es, potato salad, co l e s law, c hi cken, barbeque, be e f fajitas and other exot i c meats in c ludin g f arm-to-market roadkill a nd buffalo. "The planning was really excellent," said Edi ge r "As the last few people went through t h e ( se rving) l ine, the last bit o f meat disappear ed It wa s really in cred i ble!" Rounds of appl ause a nd c h e e r s we r e offered to "th e m that did t h e work i ncluding t h e coo k s, Peter Stri ckland and J oc i e Hoope r fo r the hot tub and othe r amenities, those who ran t h e contests and r a n in them, f olks who served up the seve n o r so k egs o f b ee r Terry Holsinger of the Dallas-Fort Worth Grotto for the sound system and a host of others. Bill Mixon of Austin, a director of the National Spe l eo logical Society, announce d at TOTR that the Texas Caver won several awards t hi s year at the N S S Conven t ion in c uding best-of-show in t h e photographic category. A m edal was given for the Augus t 1986 issue, edited by John Spe n ce. The cove r photo by Paul F amb r o was o f a n Austin cave. A blue ribbon for a Merit Award was g iv e n to the October 19 86 i ss ue, edited by Jay Jor d e n. The cover photo, b y James J asek was of Bus tamante Cavern in Mexico. Green ribbons for two othe r i ss u es, edited by Jorden, were r ece iv ed. The June 1986 issue's cover photo, by Terry Raines, was o f Honey C r ee k Cave. The February 19 86 i ss ue's cove r pho to by Jord en, was of Merl in Tuttle of Austin, founder of Bat Conservation Internation a l and a fri end Many folk s took t h e opportunity late F riday and Saturday to try out the killer saun a, push water into t h e hot tub and cannonball into the co ld rive r water. A s i s t r aditionally done, many viewed t h e multitude of c aving s lid es from the hot tub, while others watc h e d them from in front of t h e scree n s A somber note at t h e OTR this year came with a s mall ceremony in memory o f Jon Everage of New Braunfels, who died suddenly earlier t hi s year. More than 20 p eop le, including many old fri ends of Jon and Janice Everage, gath e r e d near Gill Ediger 's truck f or the short presentation. At the BOG on Sunday, n ew TSA officers wer e electe d Linda Palit of San Antonio put forward a propo sal for a co nstitutiona l amendment to split up the sec retary-treasurer's post becau se o f the in creased work load. It was approv e d. New officers a re: J ac k Ralph of San Marcos, c h airman; Joe Ivy of San Antonio, vice chairman; Carolyn Bi ege r t, secretary; and Johanna Reece, treasurer. Congratulations to all t h e new officers1 Ivy said h e would soon name a committee to begin helping to select a site and plan for the 19 88 TSA Con v ention. Mike Walsh, Jay Jorden and others volunteered for the panel. OTR Contest Winners Vertical: The primary spon so r of this year's vertical contest was Pigeon Mounta in Industri es In c., which donate d the rope for first-place awards. Bob & Bob donated secon dp l ace prizes and various other awards cam e from t h e Old Timers Committee. The winners, listed by Peter Sprouse o f Austin were as follow s: Jum'or Division: 15-meter climb, (1) (2) Kathy Con n a lly 59.8 seconds, won book and carabin e r Wome11' s (1) Cindy L ambscomb, 46.5 seconds; (2) Terri Tracy, 58.1 seconds, l ock in g biner, brake bars; (3) Sarah Gayl e, 1. 8 seconds, book, PMI buckle. Men's Divisio11:


the Texas Caver October, 1987 Page 117 (1) A lex Villagomez 34.4 seconds; (2) Terry Sprouse, 39.6 seconds; (3) Terry "Goombah" Bolger, 49 seconds. Speleolympics H e r e are the awards as presente d by Erika Hein e n and Andy Grubbs: }'o uth Under 1 2 Category: (1) Michael Bittinger, (2) Collee n Ferry and (3) John Muir. Ages 1 3 -19: Amara T andy, 1.18, carabiner and T-shirt. Young Men's Divis1on. (1) Bryan Evans, Bob & Bob bin er (2) Raymond Day, OTR cap; (3) Thorn Paschal, OTR cap. Wo111en, 2 0s and 30s: (1) Sarah Gayle, 1.06, minimag light; (2) Mary Kay Manning, Rockmaster kn e epads; (3) Mary S tandifer, Aus tin, book Amen'can Caves and Cav ing; ( 1 tie) Mary Beth McClure, Erika Hein e n, 1.31, Support C ave Rescue: Get Lost T-shirt. Men's: (1) Bob & Bob e lectric lamp; (I) Gary Sansung, 0.4 3 seconds, AuLolite; (2) Terry "Goombah" Bolger, ( 3 ) Gerald Saulsberry American Caves and Caving; (4) John Spe nce, T-shirt; (5) Don Broussard, 1.07 T-shirt .. )0 and Over Division: (I) Fanette Begl ey, 2.I6, fastest over 40 f e male, Precipicio T-shirt, Cave Exploring book (I) John Kible r 1.12 seconds, OTR T-shirt, Bob & Bob locking carabiner; (2) Charles Frome n l.I7 se c onds. Stokes Z-Haul N e w contest this year, for which a 2-pound can of carbide was awarded to the San Antonio Grotto. Ladder Climb Young Category: (I) Tina Connolly, I3.7I; (2) I Cathy Connolly, I5.53; (3) Christina Eck, I9.32. (I) Carl Fromen; (2) Mark Martin. Women: (I) Mary Kay Man ning, 19.07, Aggie Speleological Society donated tops and bottoms of thermal underwear; (2) Mary Standifer, 20.08, Cave Exploring; (3) Terri Tracey, 20.72, American C aves and Caving. Men's: (1) Bill Stephens, fourth year in a row to win 12.57 Hon ey Creek T-Shirt, figure eight; (2) Don Ogborn, American Caves and Caving; (3) Gerald Saulsberry, Cave Exploring. Sleeping Bag Contest (1) Erika Heinen, l.IO, Honey Creek T-shirt; (2) Mary Standifer, l.I3, book; and (3) Bob Lloyd 1.40. Doubles: Deb and Robbie, 2.IO Cave Exploring. Door Prizes Donations were from Bob & Bob, Mike W a lsh OTR North Texas Speleological Society, DFW l:rotto other grottos. The following won door prizes: S u s i e Raines, T-shirt; John Spence, American Caves and Caving; George Veni, cave calendar; Charlie Yates; Bill Russell; Mary Ann Connally; Jarvis Tousek; Donna Anderson, Canvas Grip; D J Tolar; Bryan Evans; M a rk Pitchford; Duke Strickland, $25 gift certificate donated b y N TSS; Terry Sayther; Thomas Al exa nd e r belt buckle ; Terry Holsing e r TSA b elt buckl e ; Cathy Connally; Fred Paschal; T R. Evans; Bill Elliott; Sarah Gayle; Erika Heinen; Genevieve Gywnn, Lost Creek Pack; Ernie Sell; Duncan Muir; Dale Murphy, bat mask; Jay Rags dale; Mark Fromen; Doug Allen; Joe Gallowsky; Fra.ukalona Lang; Larry Bible. Cooks' Awards In the ever-popular cooks' corner, Tom Byrd was accompanied by live New Wave music as he handed out the following awards, complete with gimme caps and suitable-for-hanging plaques: Best Meat by Committee: Ed Gwynn, Larry Monk, T.R. Evans; Most Unique Buffalo: Buffalo Bob s by Ron Ralph; Most Ordinary Tender Brisket, Tom White; Best Feeding of Cooks, Janie White; Best New Cooks, Bean and Jack Gwynn (Best Mustard Fish); Best Server, Bar bara Goodwin; Best Ribs, Andy Martinez for Charlie Jennings; Best Dog or Cloven-Hoofed Animal, Tom Byrd; Fast Food Chicken Best Ed Alexander ; Best Chopper, Janie Evans; Best Organizer Jim Strickland; Best Nymphette Servers Stephanie Strickland; Most Creative Entering the River, Various; and Boobie Prize (30 pounds), Linda Henry Huautla Cavers Walsh presented special-issue caps to the members of the team that pushed Sistema Huautla in southern Mexico to the second deepest in the world. They included Bill Steele, Andy Grubbs, Don Broussard and others. In miscellaneous awards, Erika Heinen won best silhouette. The audience thanked Grubbs for his work at registration and in the door prizes. Veni mentioned that the winter Board of Governor's meeting in I988 will be near San Antonio at a cave area in which he is doing research.


Page 118 October, 1987 the Texa.s Ca11 Treasurer's Report by Johanna Reece The following is the report of the TSA Treasurer, Johanna Reece, as of Sept. 18, 1987, for the meeting of the Texas Speleological Society BOG, Lazy L&L Camp near New Braunfels 4/12/87 9/18/87 Credits Memberships 5-19 6-15 7-13 8-25 9-17 Interest in Acct 4-25 5-28 6-27 7-25 8 -25 Publications MMWAC Patches Debits Texas Caver 4-22 TC 1/2 5-28 TC 3/4 5-28 TC 3 / 4 7 -28 TC 5 / 6 9-1 TC 5/6 4-22 TC 1 / 2mail 6-16 TC 3/4mail 8-12 TC 5/6mail Balance Balance $66.00 30.00 29.00 20.00 22.00 $11.80 10 .3 1 8 .11 6 .95 7.03 0----0--32.00 367.85 69.12 288.00 122.00 268.13 39.35 34.26 45.63 (Average cost : $411.00/issue) Special mailings 4-16 Convent. notice 5-1 Century cleanup 5-5 Century mail 8-13 Renew /OTR Sec. Exp:env ,mail,etc. ATM 6/23 Oregon Rescue Splint 8.80 42.00 28.62 35.00 12.07 5.00 140 00 Account shows net decrease of $1,265.17. $2,776.48 $1,511.31 167 .00* 44.20 243.20 1,234 .34 114.42 1,505.83 *Amount does not include receipts deposited m a San Marcos account by secretary-treasurer. Respectfully submitted, J. Reece, 9 / 18/87 The report includes amounts in the TSA Logo Com mittee Fund. Also at the TOTR, Rod Goke of Austin said the mailing list he and others have computerized is working well. Carolyn Biegert, in charge of NSS book sales, said that about $400 of publications was sold at the event. The TSA now has available to it a slide screen, 8by 8-feet in size, reports Peter Sprouse. Also a tent has been donated for the use of TSA, with Gill Ediger supplying a back-up shelter. Rescue Committee Co-Chairman Bob Cowell of San Antonio reported that the Sked stretcher purchase, J recently is missing some necessary hardware. A sourc; has been found for rescue decals at 38 cents apiece There is a $30 setup charge. The Texas cave rescu e lis1 has been updated, but more response from grottos on resourc es, equipment, etc. is needed. Mike Wals h said that dialogues have been between Texas Cave Management Association and T e xa; Parks and Wildlife Department on a regular basi s H e said TPWD officials will meet with cavers between G-i I p.m. before the Hill Country Cavers meetin g s m l Pepper's Restaurants in San Marcos. Joe Sumbera haa expressed interest in attending the meetings. The has a five-year contract with the University of T exa s t o manage 0-9 W ater Well in West Texas. Linda Palit reported on the cleanup at Ce ntury Caverns near Boerne, site of the May 1987 TSA Conven tion George Veni said that hearings were schedul e d in the next few weeks on the shopping center proposed for construction over the Edwards Aquifer in San Antonio. He said he would keep members informed. The BOG passed a motion to buy a rigging system for the Sked stretcher. Also approved was the idea ol rescue decals Linda Palit moved that the TSA Constitution be amended to provide for a separate secretary a n a treasurer. The motion passed. Walsh discussed the TSA project on Oct. 16-18. Officers elected were Jack Ralph of San M a rcos, chairman; Joe Ivy of San Antonio, vice chairman; Caro lyn Biegert of San Antonio, secretary; and Joh anna Reece, treasurer. J The winter BOG is Jan. 30-31. George Veni i s mak, ing arrangements. Graphics Awards by Jay Jorden The Texas Caver is once again the medal winn e r in the NSS Graphic Arts Salon. The Caver also won three other awards in the 1987 salon, and the Dallas-Fort Worth Grotto newsletter, Habla La Abuela Del O ztot/, received an award. The August 1986 Caver was medal winner in t h e photographic category at the NSS Convention in Saul t Ste. Marie, Mich. The October 1986 issue receiv e d a merit award in the same competition. The judges awarded the February 1986 and June 1986 TCs honorable mentions. The December 1986 issu e Vol. 4, No. 12, of Oztotl also received an honorable men tion in the competition. In the nonphotographic divi s ion, Salon Chairman John Baz-Dresch gave the PBSS Spy l unk, Vol. 3, No.5 of the Permian Basin Speleological Society newsletter, an honorable mention. Congratulations to these winners'


the T exas Cav e r O ctobe r 1987 Page 119 REGIONAL NEWS Southern Plains Fall Meeting by Fanette B eg ley and Way n e Wals h A l a baster Cav erns State Park, Oklahoma, a nd Park Rang e r C hu c k Orefice, with the So u t h ern Pla in s Region officers, hosted the SPR during t h e weekend of Sept. 25 thr ough 27. This w as a combin e d cav e cleanup, sport c aving, a nd bu s ine ss meeting arra n ged and directe d b y SPR Chairman Bruce Bake r. Appr ox imatel y 3 0 cave r s, p l u s childre n and p e ts, converged on Al a baster Caverns for a ver y productiv e w ee k e nd unde r beautiful warm skies. Bruce h a d arrived earl y on Friday to we lcom e cave r s to the f a ll SPR at the group camping site in the canyon. On Saturday morning, trip lead e r s were appointe d and cave r s s ign e d up for work trip s to clean out t r as h fr o m the wild caves o n the park property and from Alabaste r Ove r 100 m a n h ours w e r e accumulated, during which a pick-up load o f trash w as r e m ove d from the caves. The clean -up project was effic i e n t l y o rg a niz ed and s uccessful. Q uite a bit of excitement w elled up wh e n w e w a lk ed up o n a huge rattler {4 1 / 2 f ee t) jus t a b out e i g h t feet from t he swings on our return from t h e uppe r room. W ayne caught it with Chu ck 's s n a k e catch e r and sad l y, Mr. Diamond Back met hi s d e mi se due to p ark rul es. Saturday eve ning was a treat for SPR m e mb e rs as Range r Orefice and hi s wi fe, Connie, provided a hot dog cookout for t h e tired and hungry caver s. A h earty t h a nk s to C hu ck for hi s ho spitality After everyo n e had sati sfie d hi s hunge r Bruce calle d t he busin ess m eet ing to o rd e r The bat count with Dr. Cai r e is still on for t his winter, probably in J anuary. C hu c k thanke d eve ryone for t h e cleanup work a nd the cave r esc u e last mon t h He in v i ted u s back any t ime. We voted him in as a n honorar y member and thank e d him for the great supper Also w e adopted Alabaster Cave rn s State Park and SPR w ill r ece i ve a plaque fr o m t h e state und er Okl ahoma's Adopt-AP ark Program. New officers for 1988 a re: G a ry Kowal sky, c hairman; T erry Hol s inger vice c h a ir man; and Fanette B eg] ey, sec r etary-treasure r A spring SPR was discussed with Kansas and North Texas S peleological Soc i ety con s id e r e d . . N TSS was c h ose n A l oss f o r SPR was announced as D ave and Becky Jagnow and f a mil y, exte n s ive con tributors to regional caving, a re mo vi ng to New Mexico A s lid e s how w as e njo ye d ; then, we all geared up for t h e off t r ail, go-anywhe r e Alabaster trip -without visi tor li g h ts. This was a weekend of good camaraderie and caving t hat b e n e fit e d all who participate d. W:J.yne Burks and Fa.nette Begley (a.t truck), Todd \Mi so n (tending nrc) and his wir e j oin o ther C: w ers a.t the TSA Conve nti o n near Inner Space in lll85. Photo by Jay Jorden.


October, 1987 the Texas Cav e r I Equipment Report Koehler Model 5800 Wheat Lamp by Chuck Cluck Koehler's miner's Wheat lamp has long been the standard by which electric lamps are judged. Unfortunately, outrageous price increases in recent times have made these lamps all but unaffordable. However, Koehler recognizing the popularity of this product among has recently begun production of a new model designed for recreational use. The new model 5800 retains the best features of the older units, yet sells for about $100 less, retailing at about $125, with charger. [Ed. Note : Koehler's lamps on sale at Speleoshoppe for $125 Contact Ian Ellis, 502-367-6292]. The only change was the simplification of the charging system. The older Wheat lamps were designed for mining use and meet stringent OSHA standards concerning the possibility of electrical discharge (sparks) in a poten tially explosive environment. They use a rather complex and apparently expensive setup which allows the battery to be charged by plugging the headpiece into a charging rack without striking a spark. The 5800 eliminates this stuff and uses instead a simple llO V AC charger, which plugs into a socket just like a speaker jack, mounted in the battery top cover. This arrangement is perfectly safe unless your home is full of explo sive vapors. The 5800s come equipped with a krypton bulb. The bulb has two filaments rated at 1.2 amps each, with a projected lifespan of 1200 hours per filament. Turning the lamp switch knob switches power from one filament to the other. That's 1,000 days of caving on a single bulb A fully charged battery will yield a nominal burn time of 12 hours. It casts a very bright, white, focusable beam. Unfortunately, none of the Wheat lamps were designed with cavers in mind. A couple of rigorous test ing trips brought to light a few flaws Happily, these are easily corrected. Like all Wheat batteries, the 5800 has two small vent holes in the side of the battery. These must be plugged to prevent leakage of electrolyte or seepage in of cave fluids. I seal these holes with appropriately sized self-tapping metal screws, with small rubber 0-rings under the heads. This works great. When y u unscrew these after a trip, you can hear the air hissing in t o fill the partial vacuum created during use. You do have to remove these during charging The headpiece is molded and perforated to accep t the electrical doodads of the older model, but th e re's nothing in these holes. The headlamp consequently takes on water like an open bucket but does not readily dr ain. It still burns with the bulb swimming in water but i t seriously degrades the quality of light put out. You can unscrew the lens bezel and dump out the water, but you risk dumping out the bulb, as it is held in place b y the lens I have sealed all orifices in my lamp with black RTV silicone This has proven very effective as I'v e had no recurrence of this annoyance on subsequent trips. The charging socket on the ba t t ery is too puny for the job and succumbs rapidly to the corrosive influence of cave fluids. Mine corroded 'til the connectors inside fell off, making it impossibl e to charge the battery. I removed the c over, eliminated the useless socket and attached the lamp wires directly t o the appropriate terminals. Then, I cut the plug off the charger output cord and DIA. attached alligator clips to each of the two wires Two one-half inch diameter holes in the plastic battery cover allow m e to attach the clips to the battery terminals Crude but corrosion proof. I cover the holes with duct tape to keep mud out. You must be sure to connect the correct clip to the correct terminal. The charger output wire with a white stripe is positive-on mine, anyway Alan Cobb, infamous South Texas caver, showed me another neat modification. The base of the bulb has two tits which locate the bulb in its socket. If you file off the lower tit and reinsert the bulb 180 degrees from its original position, you will now have a low beam as well as a high beam by merely turning the lamp switch from one position to the next. On low beam, both filam ents burn in series, thereby doubling the resistance and h alv ing the amp drain. In theory, this will double the burn time if you use only the low beam. Admittedly, th1s IS a pretty dim light, but it's adequate for getting through a cave And a turn of the knob yields that famous Wheat lamp photon flood. All in all the Koehler 5800 is an excellent cavers light. With it compares very favorably with its competition, the Speleotechnics FX-2 in perfor mance as well as price [Ed. Note: See Texas Caver, October, 1986]


t h e T e x as Caver O ctobe r, 198 7 Page 121 :.: CORRESPONDENCE Speleo-film Funding F eb. 12, 1987 D ear Editor: I a pologize for this form letter approach; but I m sending out a number of these letters and there' s n e v e r enoug h time, as we all know. In 1984, I began a project to make a 16mm film of t h e 2 0-year exploration in Mexico 's S i s t ema Huautla b y NSS a nd AMOS cavers. On that fir s t trip, I succes s fully filmed Bill Stone, Bob Jeffrie s, et al., c a v e diving at the P e n a Co lorada, the presumed gr anddaddy m as t e r resurgence to the entire Huautla Cave Sy stem. I m now planning a return trip to Huautla in mid-April to film in the m a in segment of the system, Sotano de San Agu s tin, where efforts continue to make a conn e ction with nearby Nita Nanta to form the world s third deepest cave. But I need money to continue the filming. That is why I am writing to you and others like you people who I think have d emonstrate d an appreciation for the finer aspects of caving suc h as photography, literature, and art. I'm seeking enough small donations or investments to raise about $2,000. It cost me a total of $3,000 for the firs t trip in 1984; I was kindly assisted then by small cave r donations. I expect at least one more trip to Huautla will be necessary after this year, and I hope to attract major corporate backing to comp l ete that filming. But first I must be able to show such major back ers why the search for the world's deepest cave i s such an exciti ng and worthy project. Therefore, I am proposing to you the following: Donate $1 to $49 and you will receive screen credit in the film and my sincere thanks. Donate $49 or more and I will repay you five years from now with 50 percent simple interest; i.e., invest $100 and get back $150. You a l so get screen credit. If you've read this far, you can either throw this l e tt e r in the trash right now, or you can contact me by t e lephone (collect) or write to me if you need more details or want to send money. There will be no hard f e elings if I don't hear from you, rest assured Let me emphasize that this project will come to fruition I think I've demonstrated over the years my c ommitment to organized caving and the NSS and an a bility to get things done: e .g., editing Inside Earth and the NSS News and writing and dire c ting anoth er cave movi e The Wilderness Below (1974), which starred Frank Binney and which won the blue ribbon at the 1975 N SS Photo Salon. Since that time, the movie has been in distribution in the educational market through Indi a n a Unive rsity. L e t me also emphasize this is not a money-making v e n t ur e for me. I'm s till employed as a journali s t at The A ss o c iated Press in Washington, D.C.; I expect to remain s o. The monetary returns for such movies, because they a r e documentaries, are marginal. But I feel that, based upo n preliminary contacts with the Nati onal Geographi c Soc i ety that a s a l e of this movie on Huautla is n e arly assure d, at least on the cable TV market. Whatever sales acc ru e from this venture, then, will be used t o reimburs e investors and if there is anything l e ft over, I want to plow it back into making cave movies or perhaps setting up an endowment for the new NSS Exploration Committee to help U .S. cave r s mount major expeditions. So if you're tired of watching only British-made caving films on your local cable TV channel then sit down and write out a check to me You won't regret it. Jay Arnold The Deepest Cave Co 10129 Sassafras Woods Ct. Burke, VA 22015 (collect) 703-250-6668 before 4 p m. EST (not collect) 202-828-6400 5 p.m.-1 a m. EST Kudos Aug 5, 1987 Dear Jay et al: I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy receiving the T exas Caver. I look forward to its arrival. The cove r photos are always impressive, the articles interesting and well written, and the printing quality far superior to most grotto or regional newsletters. Yours is the on l y news, from outside my region, that I keep in my collection Thank you for providing me with such an en j oyable periodical. Emily Davis Mobley Speleobooks Schoharie, N.Y.


October, 1987 the Te xas Caver Oklahoma Exploring by Rob Kolstad & Jeff Polk Destination: Exploring in Murray County, Oklahoma Personnel: Fanette Begley, Raalen Brown Terry Holsinger, Jay Jor den, Rob Kolstad, Jeff Polk, Tony Sanders, Troy Shelton, and two other famous DFW cavers Dates: March 6-8 1987 Raalen Brown and Terry Holsinger had made amaz ing discoveries in Oklahoma just a few weeks before this grand trip. A working expedition, we were to survey several caves run surface surveys to various points in Murray and explore some incredibly fine looking leads East of Interstate-35 Meeting at Denton's Dennys at 8 pm Friday brought the adventure to an early start. After supping and consuming fanciful desserts (e. g Strawberry Sprite Special, yum yum) five early-birds motored their way north. Arriving at Bruce's house before 11 pm, the trek to the flat drill pad ended by 11: 30 when all retired to their vans to sleep to the serenade of the longhorn cattle who also sleep on the drill pad. By dawn, Raalen had already spotted several more interesting caves to explore and we were ready to begin the day The first order of business was to check out several holes south and east of our campsite. Each of them loomed large in the early morning sun and beckoned the intrepid survey crews to enter. Raalen's rule is now: SURVEY AS YOU GO, so we did. We entered Eat Knee Cave and found it to be a 60 foot drop at 45 degrees On the right was a room most easily entered from the base of the drop, though a window p e ered out half way down The room contained a magnificent pearly white drapery over four feet high (well it's magnificent for Oklahoma) At the base of the entry, a short passage exited to the left and another three foot slope Taking the low road lead to a loop which e nds up under the floor of the entrance slope (lights can be se e n through small cracks which can even be passed by skinnier cav e rs). Taking the high road l e ads to famous Eat Knee Straddle, so named f o r its obviou s abilities A on e foot wide crevice l ea d s forward for two dozen feet and ultimately up to a pl easant dome with som e a verage s peleothems Holsinger h y poth e sizes th e dom e to be jus t b e low the surface. Total survey: over 108 feet A nice cave, neverth e less Bird Nest Cave was another fine e ntrance f ound near a cave known to some as Sheep Dip Cave. A safety rope helped the cavers to negotiate the initi a l 40 feet again with an average slope of 45 degr e e s and occasionally over 60 degre e s Neither the front tap e m a n nor the sketcher wished to negotiate the final 1 2 foot drop without asc e nding and descending equipm e nt. A small room at the end of a relatively straight entrance slope led to a squeeze which, in other realms might have gone Unfortunate ly, not eve n Tony Sanders could nego tiate the small hole through which rocks dropped five feet to water. Seven b a ts were found in the cav e a l o n g with garbage in a nearby (five feet) pit. Fifty feet of tor turous surveyed passage. Surface survey, lots of surface survey, consumed t h e afternoon. Over five thousand feet of surface survey now ties together all the major holes and the wellh e ad on the drill pad. Yay. Maps are in the making. Fern Cave. Too tough to go without a rope; not tough enough to go anywhere with a Another vertical drop; another room at the bottom With n o exit. 63 feet of boring survey. Echo Cave. 57 feet straight down ; no horizon tal passages. . A final foray into one of the discovenes, Falling Rock Scorpion Cave was made just before dusk. A gaping entrance, 50 feet of vertical relief (not q mte straight down, but almost), and what appeared to be t h e potential for 50,000 feet of walking passage lured the intrepid spelunkers Unfortunately, the cave peter e d out shortly after its splendid entrance leaving the cavers with the belief that only Mighty Mouse could negot iate the 50,000 feet that still lies somewhere und e r t h e Arbuckles A crevice cave with few comfortabl e way stations nevertheless a disappointment at 93 feet of hot dogs and vegetarian chili greeted Fanette Begley and her daughter and granddaught e r The cows joined us in a quick dinner. Sunday morning we journeyed to the rest of th e on ginal discoveries that Terry and Raalen had found The groups (more cavers having arrived) split into two tea m s of four and went their separate ways. The Insane Brain Drain crevice appeared to have tremendous potential when viewed from the outside. Inching down a 45 foot 45 degree slope (which reall y no bottom mostly a chimneying kind of a ctiOn brought a small patch of fiat land and a sump. A c rev ice (also with five feet to water) takes air in tremendou s gulps About 100 feet of survey; still no ri va l to Carlsbad.


he Texas Caver October, 1987 Page 123 A Really Good Entrance. A hole some three feet in iameter set at a 45 degree angle in the side of a large ill greeted Jeff Polk as he donned his vertical gear. We new that This Was It. It wasn't it. Thirty feet down; a room with clayovered floor; nowhere. Meanwhile, Holsinger had found an even better ole just 100 feet away. We moved the rope Polk descended, slipping occasionally on the thick moss which covered the sides of the three foot diameter hole and the ocks n e ar the top of the first room. Thirty feet down, a ud choke in two directions A smafl hole higher in h e w all breathed out nice, cool air Nonnegotiable igh. More surface exploring, a couple nice holes tagged or future adventures, and a final excursion into: The egaCrevice. Giant piercing planes of limestone perendic ular to thr ground part to reveal a four foot wide ass age. No vertical gear was required to follow the crevice to its conclusion, only 75 feet from the first sta wn. All in all an entertaining and productive trip though disappointing in its lack of super-caves. The preponderance of drops which ended at roughly the same depth often with water only a few feet deeper leads one t o believe Murray County still has secrets to yield It i s unknown what lies below and beyond those areas neare r the roads. Maybe next time will allow an even greate r discovery. See you then! I WAS A HONEY CREEK VIRGIN! Greg Mooty Destination: Honey Creek Cave Personnel: Chuck Cluck (veteran Honey Creek caver) and Greg Mooty from DFW Grotto; Veteran Honey Creek cavers George Veni, Mark Minton, Brian Burton (post DFW Grotto), Jim Bowden and Sara ? from that Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio area. Dates: August 14-16, 1987 With the little Honda Accord packed up, Chuck kissed Susan goodbye and we headed out of Ft Worth towa rd the longest cave in Texas to punish our bodies (the plight of the weekend warrior). Little did I know, bemg a Honey Creek virgin, what lay in wait and water for us. We took the back roads down, stopping in LamPasas, after pushing the Honda at over a hundred miles per hour down one long hill. An educational insight was gamed from one of the Hysterical Markers while doing the rest area waltz. Did you know that Lampasos is a bastardization of the Spanish word lampazos meaning cocklebur, the stickery things that snatch onto your shoe laces and prick your fingers when you try to pull them off? I didn't. We cruised the teen scene at the Storm drive-in in Cocklebur town in search of sustenance {food). Having finished the burgers and getting no interest from the young female clientele (it must have been Chuck's Cuban drug dealer appearance), we made our way to the camp by the artificial entrance of the cave George was there and we chit chatted for an hour or so prior to retiring for the night. The whole purpose of the trip was so George, who is pursuing a PhD at Penn State, could perform some big science on the the water in the cave The morning brought no sign of additional cavers. A quick jaunt to the nearby convenience / video rental/tube rental store procured some breakfast items which were quickly consumed. The line map of the cave was studied and some semblance of a plan was drawn up After George finished collecting his last water samples at the TB TZ junction, Chuck and I would bid him ado and crawl the remaining 1 2 km of mapped TB passage where upon we would begin surveying virgin cave. We suited up and were about to be lowered into the hole by George when Mark, Jim, Brian and Sara arrived. After sweltering a while in hot wetsuits hanging on the rope in 90+ degree temperatures, Mark volunteered to lower George down also. We quickly unhooked and irrigated our wetsuits with cold cave water {that' s why the hole was originally drilled) while waiting for George to suit-up. The remaining cavers planned to catch up with us at the TB TZ junction, 2.6 km into the cave. We would take a while getting there -you can't rush George and his big science. Upon descending the 142 feet down into the hole, a noticed increase in the effort required to breath was apparent. We were just sitting at the trifurcation and our breathing was quick and labored. It was like caving at 12,000 ft, there just wasn't enough oxygen present. Honey Creek has a lot to offer in terms of variety. In some areas you can walk and wade through water, other areas require crawling or salamandering {slithering through water passage a foot or so deep floating on the water /mud mixture); while other areas require out and out swimming. The three of us worked upstream, test ing and gathering water specimens at all of the junctions of the cave we came to. The Ultimate Air Space is a thirty meter section of the cave around one to one and a half meters high where the water level is just three inches shy of the ceiling Sucking ceiling is the most common term used to describe the method of negotiating this obstacle. Other sections of Honeycreek such as Wet Lips in the QA pas sage have even less air space. Having negotiated the not-so-ultimate, ultimate air space, where the cave tried to rob me of my helmet, we finally converged on the TB TZ junction, three and a half hours after entering the


P age 1 24 1 98 7 cav e. The oth e r group o f c ave r s joine d u s there. They h e ad e d d own t h e TZ lead wh er e t h e end of the surveye d p assage l a y only se v e r a l hundre d m e t e r s a w ay. G eorge head e d out o f t h e c a v e t o test hi s preci o u s sam p l es. C hu c k and I b ega n t h e l o n g c r a wl toward the fur t hest m appe d point o f the cave. Salama nd ering w as po s sibl e in a. f e w stre t c h es of t h e p assage A f ew short se ction s e v e n allow e d duc k w a lkin g. The m ajority of the passag e r equire d c r awling thro u g h deep mud tha t s u c k e d t h e Sa.So kn ee p a d s c lean off. W e qui c kl y dro pp e d t h e m off a t a w ell m arke d p oint a nd continue d. With e ac h s t e p (?), you w ould sink to your e lb o w s in mud and your knees would disappear s o that your c hest w as onl y seve r a l in c hes a b o v e t h e top l aye r o f muddy water An hour and f orty -fiv e minutes fr o m our star t in g poin t w e s pi e d t h e d ouble pi ece of fla g g in g t a p e m arking the end o f t h e mapp e d secti o n and t h e b eginning o f v ir g in cav e whi c h h a d jus t turne d into walkin g p assage A f ew Gummy bear s later and w e w e r e survey ing Thirty -five survey s tati o n s, 1 88 meter s and three h ours later the w a lkin g p assage s till c on tinue d but w e w e r en't s u re if w e c ould. It w as 8 :00 ; we h a d b ee n breathing m a r g in a l air for nin e hours and w e w e r e s till four kilom ete r s and five h ours from the a r t ifi c i a l en t r a nce. W e m arke d t h e end o f the survey, p ac k e d -up and began t h e l o n g t r e k o u t Our kn e e s w e r e s m arting and r es t stops we r e fr e qu ent.. Chuc k a nd I comme n te d h o w wonderful i t f elt t o stop c r a wlin g and r est, l ying h a lf submerge d in mud a n d muddy w a t e r M os t noncav e r s and probably eve n so m e expe r e nced cave r s would have trouble e mpathi z in g wi t h t hi s se nsation. The s i ght of the TB TZ junc tion a ft e r t h e hour and for t y-fiv e minute crawl prov id e d the muc h n ee d ed p sy cholo g ical r ejuven ation, kn ow in g that t h e worst w as ov e r. Upon donning the knee p a d s, c r a wlin g almost becam e a h e doni stic pl easure, afte r h av in g c r a wl e d close t o a mil e and a h a lf sans knee pad s. The cave seemed to h a v e g r own in l ength as w e m ade our way b ac k to the trifurcati o n W e n egotiate d most o f t h e t h e obst acles in the cav e with a d equate s tyle; h o w eve r b y th e t im e w e arrive d a t the 99 hurdles, a n y com b ination of c r a wling, r o llin g clambering and/or slit h e rin g o v e r t h e traver t in e d a m s see m e d a c cepta bl e. W e a rriv e d at the t rifurcation thirteen and a half h ours a f te r we h a d b eg un The oth e r s, who h a d exite d some hours earli e r h ad l e f t u s o n e set o f ve r t ical gear to asce nd wit h H oweve r a f te r som e se ri o u s whipping of the r ope /cable, whi c h w as attac h e d t o Sa.ra.'s truc k and whi c h s u b s eq u e n t l y a wok e Sar a fr o m sombe r in h e r t ru c k we wer e h o isted o u t of t h e cave. The l as t f e w millij oules l e f t i n Chuc k 's prima r y li ght source poure d o u t o f his FX o n t h e e levat o r trip t o th e surface. Fres h a ir n eve r Las te d s o goo d. \ V hil e t h e oth e r cave r s s l e pt Chuc k and I coo k ed our dinn e r s a nd q u affed a. co upl e o f co ld o nes. Fati g u e wo n in t h e e nd a nd we l e f t h a lf-full beer s to heat u p in t h e t.oo soo n-to-be, earl y m orning s un c h oos in g s leep ove r n o uri s hm e nt . The heat of t h e m orning s un h a d eve ryone u drinking c offee earl y. Grimy cave p ac k s soo: open e d t o r e veal t h e survey d ata. w hi c h w e h a d so h ard t o get. Y e p t h e T B keep s go in g in n norll n orth-west direction Its headin g f o r t h e G uadehw Rive r but it's still se v e r a l kil o mete rs fr o m a n y cal m andatory s t o p p in g p oint. The r e s b ooty ju st rip' for scoop ing o nl y pro bl e m i s t h a t i t .' s a. nin e to ten hou1 round trip of som e fun cav in g to get t h e r e Ju st. note, t h e r e a r e pl e nty o f oth er virg in lead s s t ill beg g i n1 t o b e push e d W e bid far ew ell and m a d e a. qui c k sto p i n Ne; Bra.uns f e l s at H anna's R es t aura n t fo r Mex i c a n foo w hi c h was goo d but could n e v e r rival t hat se r ved at t h : E l R a n c hito in Carls b a d A quic k trip u p 35 W p u t usil F t W o r t h a t a r es pectabl e 4:3 0P.M. \1\T e ll I a m sure not a H o n ey C reek v i rg in and I sure d o n't f ee l lik e o n e. P robabl y m ost of yot reading t hi s ARE H o n ey C r ee k v ir g in s; a nd some of you afte r reading t hi s, pro b a bl y w a n t to STAY t hat way. But its 0 .I\.., eve n ni ce cave r s d o i t A nd b y th e w a y there a r e some p a rts o f t h e cave t ha.t aren't quit e 5Q d e m anding. So, go a head and d o i t, onl y t h e goo d dit young: Guadalupe Mountains Cavin g b y D awn Burow Destination: S pieler Cave Cave, Christm as Tree Cave, Endb Cave, Sand Cave, M cKittrick Cave, Wind Cave (Carl s b a d) ; Cottonwood Cav e (unga.te d p a r t ) Bl ac k Cave, Littl e Beauty Cave (Lincoln Nati o n a l Forest ) Personnel: A l v i s Hill S t eve Hill D awn Buro w Dates: July 2 4-Aug 1 19 87 A t 4 p.m. Friday, Steve and I p i c k e d A lvi s up a l work and w e se t off fo r Carl s b a d W e arrive d t h er e a l 1:30 p.m. and s p ent the r e m ainde r of the ni g h t at a ro a d s id e p ark. As s o o n as the s un w as up, w e got b reak fast, c heck e d in to t h e KOA, a n d prepar e d t o meet our r a n ge r/guide fo r Spiele r Cav e a t the Vis itor Ce n te r Once t h e r e, h e in t rodu ce d u s to three college-aged v oluntee r s w ho w e r e to b e our "guides" thro ugh Sp ider The entra nce i s a c r a wl but t h e rest o f t h e cave o p e n s u p ni ce l y. After p ass in g t h e M edusa (h e lect i t e ) Room w e e n te r e d a. room wi t h so m e ni ce f ormations, sal clow n t .urne d of f our lig hts and listened t o I Iodag" stori es. A H oclag i s a. mi sc hiev o u s lit tl e c reatur e t hai lives in caves and w reak s h avoc wi t h cave r s. Anytime a nythin g goes wro n g (li g hts go out, somethin g gets l o sl. et.c.) t h e H o d ag d id i t. \>Vc awo k e ver y earl y Sunday m o rnin g a nd aft e r a good breakfas t st.a rt.ed our 3 1 / 2 mil e hik e u p S l n u ghtcr


t e Texas Caver October, 1987. Page 1:!5 anyon to Lake Cave. It wa s well worth the 3 1/2 mile s t the end of this large cave is a large lake. There were vera! bats roosting on the ceiling and they s poke to us we e ntered the room. The rest of the cave is also well ecorated. Back outside, we ate lunch rested awhile and then it the trail to Christmas Tree Cave. After tying the pe, we lowered ourselves into the entrance room. This a fun cave with several live formations and two lev e ls. We had three caves set up for the next two days: Sand, McKittrick and Endless. Endless was the favorite cave of the trip. W e played the Upper Maze Room for awhile and set off to find 1e Exp ressway. Somehow we ended up in the Mud Room instead Back at square one, we tried again. fte r finally finding the Expressway we discovered that e d a lready been on it once and hadn't realized it! VVe ollowe d it down to where the Gypsum Room was suposed to be and, after a great de a l of searching found h e opening behind a pile of rocks. We squeeze d through nd found ourselves in the Breas t of Venus Room, then n the Gypsum Room where it looked like it had snowed h e Gree n Lake Room was beyond an d was awesome. h e wate r was a very clear emerald green with beautiful format ions all around. We spent seven hours in this cave. Sand Cave has two entrances. We took the l ower ne in, climbed down even lower and were off and runing. This is a nice size cave with comfortable ceilings nd a couple of hairy climbs We entered McKittrick by way of the ledge ntrance where, we later found out, two snakes make heir home. Fortunately, we didn't see the snakes: We id, however, run into two cavers from Canada., one of I was doing a masters' thesis on the caves. They ad s pent five days in this particular cave so far and vere glad to have visitors. We left t .hem in the Flat loored Room and continued on to the Formation Area and the rest of the cave. The road to Wind Cave left a lot to be desired, but ve made it and survived. The entrance to Wind was a. fun c himney We went all the way to the bottom first and worked out way up. Blood River is beautiful. It con ists of a blood red flowstone and the red co lor continues down in river fashion. Back in the upper l e vel, we found !ud City. Some of the mud sculptures are very well done 1l. nd quite impressive. We left early Thursday morning for Lincoln National Forest. By some miracle, w e made it up the "road" past the empty lookout tower having only gotten s tuck once We parked at the first camping spot sighted a nd set up camp, then a.t.e and began our hike to Guns ight Cave. Our step-log only took us to t he e nd of the "road" where there were several trails to choose from. Every one of them eventually di ed. Knowing we'd neve r find it just combing the mountain, and being too tired from the other five clays of caving to even t ry we luke d back to camp and all took naps. Alvis woke up and hiked around some. At the lookout tower, he met an 18-yea r-old who wa s hiking with his dad. Their vehicle had gott.en stuck on one of the back "roads" and he'd come up to get h e lp from the ranger while his dad dealt with the stuck vehicle. Eventually, someone with a 4-wheeler stopped to help and the last we heard was that both vehicles were stuck! That evening, Alvis and I went to talk t o the ranger and find out where we went wrong on Gunsight. He said that they'd been redoing the Gunsight step-log and that it possibly had not been in the files when they gave us our other papers. H e offered to write up a permit and let u s see the ungated part of Cottonwood Cave. \1'/e took him up on it and by 7 p.m., we were making our way into the cave. It's a. big cave and has some really nice rimstone d a m s. vVe came out a little after 8 p .m and found camping across from us the two Canadian cavers we'd met. earlier this week. Friday morning, we got up in time to see the sun ri se and, once again, set. out to crawl in a hole. \Ve found Blac k Cave easily. The most interesting t hing about Black Cave is that. it really is almost entirel y black. It has black ftowstone, black popcorn black stalagtites and stalagmites, etc. Also worthy of note are some pretty yam-colored formations. Next stop, Little Beauty Cave. There are two good caves to see on the same day, because they have almost the same step-log. The name, "Little Beauty," however is only half right. It is little. We hit the road again around 1:30 p.m. Friday, made it back down the mountain "road", and drove to Sitting Bull Falls to cool off in the water and relax There is a. cave unde r the waterfall that has been heavily vandalized, but it i s st.ill worth seeing if you're there. Feeling refreshed, we stopped in Carlsbad to eat and started home at sunset. The weather had been mild the cav ing had been good and no one had had any serious injuries We got back to Waco at 4:15 a.m. Saturday, satisfied that we d had an extraordinarily good trip. Arkansas! by Greg Mooty "Destination: Caves of Nort. h Cen tral Arkansas, including Hidden Springs, J a nus Pit Jason' s Bl o w Hole Bla ncha.rd Sprinas and Sherfield Personnel: Greg t y ,era} Saulsberry vVoodr w Th mas. (famous K entucky Ca.ver!), C hu ck Cl urk. Terry Holsinger Dates: July Ul87 We d e pa .rkd n.fkr work in G hu r k s r:n-t with optional r oof rn.r k. All six :1Ve rs : 1 .11 I tlwir gt'1 \ fl


Pagr ; l Oct.ol>er 1Q87 into thi s one vehicle. It was amaz ing. The cave r s arrived about 1 a.m. outside o f FiftySix, and s lept at a flat spot at the bottom of t h e t r ail to Hidden Sprin g s Cave. The next morning, w e got up and did Hidden Sprin gs, a fairly s h ort cave. W e n a m e d it the "Before Breakfast Cave," sinc e i t was appropriat. e to do before eating The trip w as about o n e and one-half h ours in to mainly a big trunk passage. A ft e r t hat, we t ru c k e d clown t h e hill about 5 0 yard s to a natura l spring-fe d s how e r. Everyone c lean ed up took s h owers, and then drove back into Fifty-Six and ate breakfast at the Coun t ry Kitchen. Chuck got hi s bi scu its and gravy with r ound sau sage patties. That w as the rea son we co uld eat there. On t h e way up, h e bac k ed into the restaurant' s sig n a nd broke t h e top part off, breaking their s i g n a nd crunc hing hi s bumper. For the next h our, we drove hi s truck unde r t h e s ign got a stepl adder and fixed it better t h an it was! In fact, t h e ow n er said, \V e il I hop e I don t get a bill fr o m you f o r this work." As we were l eav ing w e met a blonde girl wearin g a bathing suit and a T-shirt over it. She was riding a mountain bike from Little Rock, Ark. to New York. W e s h o uld have as k ed h er to go cav ing with u s W e drove to Mountain View next, and eve ryon e pi c k e d up pastri es at Mike the Baker's, a n old K entucky caver. Then, we drove to J anus Pit, a 140-foot drop with a room at the bottom with l eads going off in different directions. T erry, not known for his vertical excursions, was out t h er e wi t h the best of them. H e made t h e drop with no problems. At the bottom, w e t r ekked a little w a y and then went through about 75 feet of water c r aw l which w as 4 f eet wide by about 2 feet high three-quarters full of wate r in most pl aces. W e popped into a large room and just walked in a southerly direction through a se ries of about eight l a rg e rooms. Through breakdown, we would pop up through Fitton-size rooms The rooms w er e all separated by breakdown. W e saw survey stations. The cav e has been m appe d but not completely. W e turned around because it w as getting late, and s ince we h a d not s lept the first ni ght, we wanted to get so m e shute ye after t h e s ix-to seven-hour cave trip. We climb ed out and drove to a sec ret Chuck C luck campsite by a nice creek. Everyone stayed up and partied h eav ily, an d Woodrow and I cau ght c rawfi s h all night! The next morning, the Fourth of July, w e got up, ate breakfast, drank c offee and everyone went swimming at a deep spot in the c reek. Everyone w as swimming, a n d ri ght next to the cree k w as J aso n 's Blow H o le, a c r awlway co ming out of the mounta in. People would drop l e av e s in fr ont of the entra n ce and they would blow out abou t three f eet Whil e swimming, everyone was skipping rocks, a nd Wo o drow thre w o n e t hat w ent all the way across the c reek t hat l a nd e d between Greg's legs Had it b ee n six i n c hrs hi g h e r h e would not have been caving today! Ba c k a t th e camp w e met so me people in a ll t erra in vehic l e s w h o w e r e driving around. One of the guys wh o ow n ed l a nd a r o und the r e s a id h e had c a ves o n his perty. T erry and C hu c k hoppe d o n t h e b ack o f t it: A T Vs with t h em a nd drove off with t hi s guy to clwcl: l eads on hi s property. ln t h e m eantim e Woodrow andl a nd Ge r a ld all poppe d into J ason 's Blow Hol e 'vVe wem thro u g h a. v e r y t ight, g rim c r aw l with a ir blowin g out. Greg pushed i t but i t w a s all fille d with mud. Jt. wa; blowing h a rd around the corne r but no go. Aft. e r w e got back T erry and C hu c k h ad said tha t t h e caves o n t h e property wer e dead ends, blind p i t s \\', met some M e mphi s cavers who h a d jus t s h own up. unfurled topos s h owing t hat t h er e wer e about h alf-dozen cav e s wit hin walking di stan ce o f u s. F in ally w e got everyo n e back into t h e truck and drove back to Mou n tain View wh e r e w e ate a.t. M e l s R estaurant. In t h e words o f Chuc k "That chic k e n fri e d s tca\ wa s n t m ad e out of no a nim al!" ( N o t recommende d}. \\'t drove to Blanchard Sp rin g s to catch t h e last Cave to ur. On the w a y out o f town, w e stoppe d t o picl up more ice for t h e cer v e z a s uppl y. O n e o f th e con stabl es see in g Chuc k p a ck in g beer in a n i c e c hest, walked ove r and s a id "Boy, you pop one of t hem top; and you gonna hr. in a. bind! You wa.nna. pop t hem top>. you go out in t h e wood s." It' s a dry cou nty. No top; w er e popped until w e w e r e saf e l y beyond the count)' s h e riff s jurisd iction W e all got to Blanchard Springs, and went on t h t tour. S h a n e and Joyce were our gu id es. Being cav ers, w t b arraged them with all kinds o f tec hnical qu est i o n s which t hey an s w e red f a irl y w e ll. J oyce eve n had a good exp l a nati o n f o r h ow a shie ld was form ed Nte rw ards, on the way to S h e rfi e ld we s l oppea and bought fireworks at t h e bargain three-for-on e ratt. We s ho t them all off at the pulloff near Ponca. A l o n g with a few other pyromaniacs, we blew off $90 wor t h of fir ewo rk s. We had eve ry thing, including so m e m o rtar s that were pretty impre ss ive. Gerald bou ght some suic ide co lor-d ance r s, which would when lit fly off in unp r cdict abl e directions. The short distance t o Sherfield was negotiated. \Ve set up camp a nd got to bed again for the third nig h t a fter midnight. It was n o w the fifth morning, Sunday, campin g right outside Sherfield. W e ate breakfast, drank coffee and were in th e cave by a n ungentle m a nly 10:30 a.m. Gerald took u s o n a "short cut" through the China Crawl, called t hat becau se i t goe s to t h e co un t ry. At o n e point, h e got lost a nd we had to turn around and return to the T all Room In side t h e room, we h ad carri ed a dynamic r op e and c ho c k s a nd nuts to do a technical climb up a big w all t o c h eck out a l ead. A f te r a f e w uns u ccess ful attempts. G r eg made a belayed climb, settin g protection as h t w ent, up a l oose bre a kd o wn wall. It w as about a GO-fool climb. At the top, h e f ound a flat, r ou nd virgin rooJII a bou t sixty f eet in diame te r but it didn't go a nywhc r r H e made the climb back down. W e h a d been in t h e c avt about five h ou r s. Terr y s ai d h e had h a d e nough and turn e d a r ou n d and h ead e d o u t. The five rem ainin g cavc r s wen t t o pick up s urv eying at a point l eft at. an


earliLr trip. \Ve surveyed about 250 feet when Chuck found an int.erv.'

The Texas Caver Box 8026U T Station Austin, TX 78713

TSA Project 1987
Contents: Feature articles: On the shores of River Styx / the
staff --
Speleonews: Jon Everage, 1944-1987 / Bob Lloyd --
TSA news: TSA Project Preliminary Report / Jay Jorden --
Regional news --
Equipment reports: Equipment Report Koehler Model 5800
Wheat Lamp / Chuck Cluck --
Correspondence: Speleo-film Funding / --
Trip reports.


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