The Texas Caver

The Texas Caver

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The Texas Caver
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The Texas Caver
Texas Speleological Association
Texas Speleological Association
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Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
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Contents: Conservation Reports: The Government Canyon Survey / George Veni -- TSS Reports- Guidebook Available -- Hi-Tech Conference -- TCMA Reports - TCMA at Convention / Jay Jorden -- Underground Review - Book Reviews / Bill Mixon -- General News- Grotto Newsletter Wms Again / Jay Jorden -- The Dreaded H Word / JayJorden -- Following The Money Underground / Bob Crisman -- What About Cave Rescue and the N.C.R.C. in Texas? / Joe lvy -- Finding Your Way Thru the Maze / John Ganter -- A Fond Farewell to Convention '94 Making History Can Be Fun / Noble Stidham -- Ecstacy ...and the Agony / Jay Jorden -- Impressions of My First Convention / David L. Williams -- "Thanks" 1994 NSS Convention / Pat Copeland -- Photos at the 1994 Convention -- Trip Reports -- From Here to the Guads or Cottonwood Delight / John Thompson -- Post-Convention: Northern Mexico / Jay Jorden -- Montgomery Gypsum Cave / Gralin Coffin -- Fire on Three Mile Hill / Allen Laman -- Silky Stone Rivers and White Clouds / R. Stidham -- Phototoons / N. Stidham
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Vol. 39, no. 03 (1994)
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THE TEXAS CAVER Volume 39, No. 3 September 1994 Alternating Editors: bsue: Next Issue: Noble Stidham Keith Heliss . . P O Box 1094 2700 DuPoint Cove Lubbock, Texas 79408 (806) 763-8606 Day/PAX (806) 763-1464 Night Au stin, Texas 78748 (512) 280-2812 Typing . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rosemary Stldhltrn Proof Reading . . . Carol Holsey, Dan Dennison, Betty Jotu1sor l Printed by . . . . . . . . . . . . . Noble Stidham ,,. .,'/'./ The Texa s Cover is a qu arterly publication of the National Sj:>eleological Society (NSS). Issues are published in March, June, September and December .. Subscription rates are SIS/year for four issues of The TexaS Caver. This includes m e mber sh ip in the TSA. Out of state subscribers, Jjbraries, and other institutions can receive The Texas Caver for tile same rate ($15/year). S e nd all correspondence (other tha n matCnitlirif' T11e Texas Caver), subscriptions, and exchanges to: The Texas Caver ; P.O. Box 80 26, Austin, Texas 78713. Back issues are available at. $3. 00 per issue . and other Material for The Texas Caver should be sent to one of the alternating editors listed above The Texas Caver openly invites all cavers to submit articles, trip reports, photographs (35mm slides or any size black & white or colo r print on gloss y paper), cave maps news events, ca rt oo n and/or a ny other caving r e lated material for publication Exchanges should be mailed to The Texas Caver at the subscription address above. The Texas Caver will exc hange newsletters with other groUos c Copyright 1994 by the Texas Speleological Association Int erna l organiutions of the NSS may reprint any item first appearing in The Texas Caver as l ong as proper credit is give n and a copy of the newsletter containing the reprinted material is mailed to the co-editors. Other organi7.atio n s s h ould c.ontact the co editors about reprinted materials Front C over: Line drawing by Kitty Parker. Surv ey teams set out to evalu a te Government Canyon. Back Cover: Photo by N ob le Stidh a m o f stage coach stop found in Government Canyon Printed with overlay o f ]joe drawing by Kitty Parker of Spanish Moss prevalent in Government Canyon Insid e Back Cover: Spid e r s, line art by Kitty P arker. Table of Contents 67 Conservation Reports The Government Canyon Survey by George Vmi 71 TSS Reports-Guidebook Available 72 Hi-Tech Conference 73 TCMA Reports TCMA at Convention byJayJordm 74 Underground Review Book Reviews by Bill Mixon 76 General News-Grotto Newsletter Wms Again, by Jay Jorden 76 The Dreaded H Word byJayJordm 77 Following The Money Underground by Bob Crisman 78 What About Cave Rescue and the N C.R.C. in Texas? byJoelvy 80 Finding Your Way Thru the Maze John Gankr 81 A Fond Farewell to Convention '94 Making History Can Be Fun by Noble Stidham The Ecstacy ... and the Agony b y Jay Jorden 86 Impressions of My First Convention by David L. Williams 87 "Thanks" 1994 NSS Convention by Pat Copeland 88 Photos at the 1994 Convention 90 Trip Reports From Here to the Guads or Cottonwood Delight b y John Thompson 92 Post-Convention: Northern Mexico by Jay Jordm 92 Montgomery Gypsum Cave by Gralin Coffin 92 Fire on Three Mile Hill byAI/m Laman 95 Silky Stone River s and White Clouds by R Stidham 96 Phototoons b y N. Stidham


CONSERVATION REPORTS The GOVERNMENT CANYON Survey INTRODUCTION In northwestern Bexar County, the Government Canyon property is 4, 700 acres of pristine karst that has not been explored for caves, and has recently been acquired by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) for possible development as either a state park or natural area. In order to determine the best management plan for the property, re source inventories are needed to determine the property's needs, sensitivities, and potential hazards and uses. The Government Canyon Karst Project is a TSA volunteer project established to provide TPWD with an inventory of the property's caves and karst features. As the project began, only three caves were known: two small crawlways and Government Canyon Bat Cave -the largest chamber in Bexar County (100m long/20 m wide/ up to 15 m high). The main focus of the Labor Day Project was to search for caves and karst features. On future projects, cavers will return to explore, excavate, and survey the caves in detail. Cavers who discover particular features and want to be the first to explore them will be given first priority. PREPARATION Dale Barnard, Sara Dierk, Benjamin and Greg Griffith, Geoff Hoese, Dan Hogenauer, Terry Holsinger, Joe Ivy, Mike Jones, Ted Lee, Kurt and Kyle Menking, Marvin Miller, Greg Mosier, Linda Palit, Carl Ponebshek, Bill Sawyer, and Roy Wessel. This group was trained in the search method to be used in thoroughly exploring the Government Canyon property. They developed their skills by searching Area 3, where no caves were expected, but a few minor karst features were found. Since Government Canyon is on the fringes of San Antonio, most people arrived for the Labor Day Project on Saturday morning, 3 September 1994 Those who arrived Friday evening helped cleanup and prepare the old ranch house. When I opened registration, everyone joined the search team of their choice. By the end of the weekend, 81 people had enrolled in the project. On 27 August 1994, I met with several cavers to orient them to the property and train them as team leaders for the Labor Day Project. They were: KEITH HEUSS CHECKS OUT AN OLD HAND-DUG WELL NEAR THE STAGE STOP September, 1994 The TEXAS CAVER 67


SEARCHES,RECONS,ANDSURVEYS I had divided the map of the Government Canyon pro perty into 20 search areas, and on Saturday morning search teams were sent to 12 of those areas to find caves and karst features. The teams were led by the cavers trained for the project the previous weekend. On Sunday, some cavers revisited a few of the caves they discovered and made brief searches of other areas Two search teams worked for a few hours on Monday. Following are synopses of activities in the search areas. Area 4: On Saturday, Linda Palit led Gerry Atkinson, John Brooks, Gill Ediger, and Bill Russell; they searched the northern 25% of Area 4. They found one small sinkhole that would require a lot of digging to open to a cave, an area of chert/flint flakes (possibly a knapping site), and a cave. The cave was named "Lithic Ridge Cave" because it was located on a ridge near the chert flakes. Initial exploration found it was more than 30 m long and contained bats Greg Mosie r and Donnie Roland conducted a more detailed explo ration on Sunday They estimated the cave is at least 60 m long, has about 50 bats, and they found it profusely decor ated with spe leothems. They limited their exploration to not unnecessarily damage the cave Area 5: On Saturday, Joe Ivy led Garrin Jackson, Christa McLeland, David Sharon, and David Williams ; they searched the northern 15% of Area 5 They located one old deer blind, four sinkholes that require digging, one small horizontal cavity that also requires digging for further exploration, and one cave. Two Year Cave was discovered and named by Williams, who had been caving for two years at that time It appears to be a paleospring 1.5 m above a creekbed, and extends about 7-8 m before needing excava tion for further access. Area 6: On Saturday, I led Thara Baker, Katie Edwards Doug Gentry, Chris Hall, and Karen Veni on a search that cove red th e southern 20% of Area 5 We found a group of old liv es tock pens, and two small sinkholes that need excava ting. Thi s portion of Area 6 has a low probability of yielding ca ves or significant karst features. Area 7: On Saturday, Carl Ponebshek led Carolyn Biegert, Pat Geery, Keith Heu ss, and Roy Wessel on a sea r c h of th e northern 15% of Area 7 They found one knapping site, an old line camp with an intact homemade s tov e, and six sinkholes, at least two which should be excava ted. On Monday, Carl returned leading Tom Kaler Marvin Miller, David Williams, and me We reexamined part of the area searched two days previously and found three very small sinkholes in dense brush and one horizontal cavity. Area 8: On Saturday, Ted Lee led Bryan McCalister, Gary McDaniel, Billy Rice, and Mark Sanders to Area 8 and their search covered its northern 40%. They found one partial arrowhead, four sinkholes (2 with good potential to open into caves), two horizontal cavities that may become a cave if excavated, and one cave. The cave is small, contains quite a few bones, and shows good potential to continue with some digging. Area 9: On Saturday, Mike Jones led Marc Grether, Dan Hogenauer, Mark Malone, Monique Saenz, and Peter Talus into Area 9, where they covered its southern 30%. They found two apparent flint-knapping sites, three sinkholes that may open into caves with some digging, and six impassibly small cliff-side cavities along a shaly horizon in the limestone. Area 10: On Saturday, Greg Mosier led Bill Elliott, Donnie Roland, Tim Stich, and Chris Vreeland to search the southeastern 35% of Area 10. They found five sinkholes, one of which looks like it may open to a cave, two cliffside shelters, and one horizontal cavity. Area 11: On Monday, Brooke Bechtel, David Locklear, and Carol McGee conducted a brief reconnaissance to a cliff in Area 11. They did not find any caves or karst features, but found some historic materials, including a deer blind, tiller, steel cable, and a monument numbered Area 13: On Saturday, Geoff Roese led Peter Baron, Bill Brooks, Andy Grubbs, Darrin Hulsey, and Jason Manning on a search through the eastern 25% of Area 13. They found four sinkholes and four solutionally enlarged fractures, and at least one of each show good potential at opening into a cave with some digging. They also found one cave dubbed "Lost Pothole," which they explored the next day. The cave has a 6-m-deep entrance pit followed by three 5-m deep pits. Area 14: On Saturday, Marvin Miller led Dawn Kempfer, Joe O'Reilly, Dan Sharon, and Steve Wallace through the southern 20% of Area 14. Their discoveries include an old pair of pruning shears, a fenced enclosure, a projectile point, two areas of worked chert/flint, a 1-m-deep pit that requires digging, two sinkholes that may be worth digging open, and three horizontal cavities, two of which are potential sites to excavate. In a cliffside along the western boundary of Area 14, I had noted on previous trips to the property two horizontal cavities formed by intermittent seeps. I also found two possible caves that will require an extension ladder to reach; one is in an undercut ledge and will be hard to reach by rappelling. 68 The 7EXAS CAVER September, 1994


Area 15: On Sunday, Keith Reuss, Mark Sanders, and David Williams made a short trip along a cliff in Area 15 and found Log Cave and Scat Cave. Log Cave, named for a log deposited on its floor, is a wide crawlway about 13-15 m long, and Scat Cave, named for a different floor deposit, is of similar length. The next day Brooke Bechtel, David Locklear, and Carol McGee reinvestigated the cliff and found four holes. One goes 1.5 m to breakdown, but has digging potential, a second ends after 1.3 m, a third is 13 m above the canyon floor and could not be reached, and the forth is a crawlway cave similar to Log Cave. Because Sunday's impromptu team did not flag its caves, some question remains about their exact location and whether or not Log Cave was rediscovered or if a new, nearby, cave was found by Monday's group. Area 16: On Saturday, Bill Sawyer led Mark Deslattes, Scott Skoruppa, Noble Stidham, and Rawdon Vass on a search that covered about 30% of Area 16. Some of the landmarks delimiting their search area were overgrown, missing, or confused with similar and previously unknown features (such as fencelines), so there was initial confusion in locating their position. The team found only one large midden. However, the next day Sawyer, Deslattes, and Stidham returned with Dan Dennison, Carol Holsey, Jay Jorden, and Kitty Parker, and found LAG Cave, a 2to 3m-diameter by 1.5 m deep pit to a dirt floor that needs digging. The cave was named for its discoverers, most of whom were members of the Lubbock Area Grotto (LAG). Area 17: On Saturday, Kurt Menking led Rick Corbell, Tom Kaler, Kyle Menking, Audrey and Bill Steele, and Colin and Peter Strickland into areas 17 and 19. Their intent was to search Area 19, but due to the landmark problems that also plagued the team in Area 16, they searched the northern portion of Area 17. In that search they found six features, five along a cliff and a sinkhole on a ridge. The cliffside features include horizontal solution cavities and fractures, and three caves: Bone Pile Cave, Cricket Cave, and Straw Cave. Bone Pile, named for a large bone deposit in its entrance, was the most extensive cave and was surveyed the following day by the Steeles and Stricklands to a length of 52 m. The cave continues down a very small crawlway for an estimated 15 m before pinch ing off. Graffiti from 1986 demonstrates the presence of previous explorers. Cricket Cave is about 5 m long with many cave crickets. Straw Cave is a straw-like 3.5 m high chimney to two small rooms about 1. 5 m in diameter 0 On Saturday afternoon when Ted Lee, Bryan McCalister, Gary McDaniel, Billy Rice, and Mark Sanders wrapped up their work in Area 8, they drove up to Area 17 and noticed a sinkhole just off the road. Surprise Sink turned out to be a short but tight drop into two well-decorated rooms. The first is estimated at 30-40 m long, 10-15 m wide, and 2 m high. The second room is similar in length and width, but about 6 m high. The cave's entrance sinkhole had been previously noted by TPWD employees and other personnel, but had not been investigated. Several people visited the cave on Sunday. Area 18: Greg Mosier provided information on a cave he found in Area 18 on a previous trip to Government Canyon. The currently unnamed cave is in a cliff and consists of a single room with a skylight. The room is about 3 m high by 8 m in diameter. Area 19: In addition to the work in Area 17, Rick Corbell, Tom Kaler, Kurt and Kyle Menking, Audrey and Bill Steele, and Colin and Peter Strickland also searched about 40% of Area 19 on Saturday, but did not find any features of note. Area 20: On Saturday, Greg Griffith led Scott Caffee, Dan Dennison, Carol Holsey, and Kitty Parker into Area 20, and they searched about 15% of its east end. They found three cliffside holes just outside their area in Area 19, plus one cave and one possible cave in Area 20. Goat Skull Cave, named for a goat skull lodged in the ceiling, is a single, irregularly-sl:taped room about 8 m in diameter by 23 m high; it may have an unexplored crawlway in one comer. Isosceles Cave has a triangular entrance about 15m up the cliff wall, and looks like it may open to a cave. BAT FLIGHTS On Saturday and Sunday nights of the project, cavers watched the bat flight from Government Canyon Bat Cave. During the Saturday night flight, Bill Elliott conducted a statistical count of the bats. His preliminary figure is 13,000 .%, which does not include the bats left inside the cave. Like the previous weekend, he found that many bats had not exited the cave at the end of the flight. Elliott's population figure is also significantly higher than the 4,000 bats estimated the previous year by Bob Burnett based on staining of the cave ceiling. ODDS AND ENDS Sunday was a free day for cavers to return to caves they had discovered or to pursue other interests on the Govern ment Canyon property 0 Eleven cavers took a tour along the canyon. Bob Burnett, Hank and Kyle Cunningham, Keith Heuss, Ron Ralph, Mark Sanders, and Susan Souby cleared trees and brush from around the 1 00-year-old stagecoach house so it can be evaluated for stabilization and restoration. Most cavers continued work in one of the areas or caves as September, 1994 The TEXAS CAVER 69


described above On Saturday, Christine, Katherine, and Roger Moore, and Ron Ralph documented some archaeologic sites. On Saturday night Roy Wessel and I showed slides mostly of Bexar County caves, and Bill Steele showed some of cavers rappelling off the 200-m-tall Tower of the Americas. The next night Ron Ralph gave an interesting presentation on a cave paleontology project he worked on in northern Mexico. SUMMARY Labor Day weekend was a successful kick-off for the Government Canyon Karst Project. Eighty-one people participated in examining a substantial portion of the Government Canyon property for cave and karst resources, and documenting those and other resources for future and more detailed study. The project work included: cleaning, repairing, and preparing the ranch bouse for use by all future volunteer projects; collecting data on the bat flight from Government Canyon Bat Cave; assisting with preservation efforts of the old stagecoach house; conducting detailed searches through about 1000 acres of the Government Canyon property; finding 9 sites with historical material; finding 9 sites with archaeological material; finding 67 non-cave karst features, at least 22 of which appear likely to open into caves with some digging; finding 3 possible caves high in cliffs; finding 13 definite caves; and s urveying one cave. In total, 760 person-hours were contributed to the project during the Labor Day weekend. FUTURE TRIPS TO GOVERNMENT CANYON The Government Canyon Karst Project is open to cavers of all skill levels. There is no limit on the number of people who may participate on any trip, but you must first call and get the combination to the lock on the gate. The combin ation will change with each trip and will only be good from 6 p.m. of the Friday leading into a project weekend until 9 a m Saturday morning. At that time the combination will change, and only those inside the gate will have the new number. Thi s measure is necessary to meet TPWD's resour ce protection concerns. Your understanding will be appreciated. Projects through 1994 will be conducted the fir s t full weekend of each month. The 1995 schedule will be announ ced in the TSA Activities Newsletter. Future projects will primarily involve searching for, digging open, and surveying caves. For more information and to get the combination, call or write George Veni, 11304 Candle Park, San Antonio, T e xas 78249-4421, 210-558-4403. LABOR DAY WEEKEND PARTICIPANTS Gerald Atkinson, Thara Baker, Peter Baron, Brooke Bechtel, Carolyn Biegert, Bill Brooks, John Brooks, Bob Burnett, Scott Caffee, Andrew Cicherski, Mike Cicherski, Rick Corbell, Hank Cunningham, Kyle Cunningham, Dan Dennison, Mark Deslattes, Gill Ediger, Katie Edwards, Bill Elliott, Pat Geery, Doug Gentry, Marc Grether, Greg Griffith, Andy Grubbs, Chris Hall, Keith Reuss, Geoff Roese, Dan Hogenauer, Carol Holsey, Darrin Hulsey, Joe Ivy, Garrin Jackson, Mike Jones, Jay Jorden, Tom Kaler, Dawn Kempfer, Ted Lee, David Locklear, Mark Malone, Jason Manning, Bryan McCalister, Gary McDaniel, Carol McGee, Christa McLeland, Kurt Menking, Kyle Menking, Marvin Miller, Christine Moore, Katherine Moore, Roger Moore, Greg Mosier, Joe O'Reilly, Linda Palit, Kitty Parker, Carl Ponebshek, Ron Ralph, Billy Rice, Donnie Roland, Bill Russell, Monique Saenz, Mark Sanders, Bill Sawyer, Dan Sharon, David Sharon, Scott Skoruppa, Susan Sou by, Audrey Steele, Bill Steele, Tim Stich, Noble Stidham, Colin Strickland, Pete Strickland, Peter Talus, Rawdon Vass, George Veni, Karen Veni, Chris Vreeland, Steve Wallace, Roy Wessel, David Williams, Jim Wolff. A LITTLE TIGHT BUT WELL WORTH IT 70 The TEXAS CAVER September, 1994


TSS REPORTS IMPORTANT GUIDEBOOK AVAILABLE The Caves and Karsts of Texas Published primarily for the 1994 NSS Convention, but of far reaching importance to Texas and Texas' cavers, this newest book will remain the "bible" on the caves and karsts of Texas for many years to come. Additional copies of this voluminous work were printed in order that books would be available for those unable to attend the NSS Convention in Brackettville, TX. This incredible library addition, The Caves and Karsts of Texas, will also be offered for sale to libraries, teachers, geographers, geologists, hydrologists, paleontologists, biologists, archeologists, conservationists, land and groundwater managers, urban planners, and decision makers. The book is a fascinating resource on karst terrains, which cover about 25% of Texas. The volume will not be available in bookstores and, otherwise, will be sold only to National Speleologial Society Members by the NSS. The Caves and Karsts of Texas has the distinction of being the largest and most comprehensive book ever published on Texas Caves and the largest guidebook ever published by the NSS. The volume was written by Texas cavers Dr. William Elliott and Dr. George Veni who gave over a year of their time to prepare the book for the '94 Convention. A few highlights of The Caves and Karsts of Texas are as follows: e 342 pp. + vm + 12 pp of maps in pocket. e 114 photographs, including two full-color cover photos ofKickapoo Cavern and 0-9 Well. Some of the finest photographs of Texas caves are included. 30 illustrations and graphs. e 107 cave maps. e 7 geologic and area maps. 179 cave descriptions with mentions of numerous other caves and rock shelters. e Descriptions and maps of 35 significant bat caves, the most complete coverage in any publication. e Printed on acid-free, recycled paper. Contents of The Caves and Karsts of Texas Governor's Proclamation Caving in Texas. Karsts Regions of Texas. Hydrogeology & Evolution of Caves and Karsts in the Southern Edwards Plateau. The Cave Fauna of Texas. Vertebrate Paleontology of Texas Caves. Lower Pecos Prehistory: The View from the Caves. Conservation of Texas Caves and Karsts. The Waltz Across Texas. Texas Show Caves The Caves of Kickapoo Caverns State Natural Area. Texas Wild Caves. Unusual Texas Caves and Karsts. Caving in Northern Mexico. Index. Appendix: Long and Deep Caves. 13 large maps in pocket. EDITORS, ELLIOTT AND VENI September, 1994 The TEXAS CAVER 71


Contributors to the above major chapters include Dr. William R. Elliott, Dr. George Veni, A. Richard Smith, James R. Reddell, Rickard S Toomey, III, Solveig A. Turpin, Ron Ralph, Robert Burnett & Susan Souby. Pricing Libraries (educational or institutional) Individual s or agencies M e mber s of TSA or NSS (membership no. req'd.) Shipping and Handling $30.00 $25.00 $20.00 $4.00 Som e addressees may pick up or arrange for band delivery to save costs. Au s tin addre ssees call William R. Elliott at 512-835-2213. San Antonio addressees call George Veni at 210-558-4403 or mail your orders to the Texas Speleological Survey, 12102 Grimsley Drive, Austin, Texas 78759-3120. The Texas Speleological Survey is a non-profit organization and part of the Texas Speleological Association, which is affiliated with the National Speleological Society November 12, 1994 Date Set for TSS Hi-Tech Conference All cave rs and intere s ted per so ns are invited to attend TSS's fir s t Technical Workshop ever! The emphasis of this informal workshop is on medium to high technology for cave ca rtography scie n ce, exploration, and management, not on cav ing equipment and t ec hniqu es. Th e goal of this event is to s h ow-case th e lat es t computer hardwar e, software and sci e ntifi c gadgetry that i s of int e re s t to cave cartographers, spe l eo l og i s t s and co n serva tioni s t s. There is no fee to attend thi s o n e-day workshop. H ere are a few of the things we h ope t o s how you at th e workshop: a' D e mos and comparisons of cave surveying software, s u c h as SMAPS, Caveview, CAPS, Compass, and the n ew Window s programs: David McKenzie's Walls and John Fogarty's Core. a' Accessing th e Internet and the Caver Digest with your co mput e r a' TSS's co mput e r databa ses: caves, map s, bibliographies. 9' Displays of different types of maps available from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas; how to obtain and use these maps. 9' Demos of Keith Reuss' cave radios with pointers on bow to build and use them. 9' Discussions of Geographic Information Systems (GISs), mapping software that can contain database information about geographic points and areas. 9' Discussions of Geographic Positioning Systems (GPS), portable electronic devices used to navigate or to precisely locate geographic features using military satellite signals. S" Various instruments used in cave studies: psychrometers, thermometers, Drager multigas detectors, oxygen meters, etc. a:i" Data loggers used to record temperatures and humidities, or other data, in caves. The data can be transferred to a computer, calibrated, analyzed, and graphed. The TSS Technical Workshop is being organized by the following cavers (call if you have questions or something to add to the workshop): Mark Johnston, computer consultant and technophile, Lubbock. (806) 798-2502. William R. Elliott, Ph.D., consulting cave biologist, Austin. (512) 835-2213. Martha Meacham, Instructional Computing Coordinator, St. Edward's University, Austin. (512) 4165863. The workshop runs from 10:00 AM to 5:00PM and will be loosely organized, but punctuated by lectures or discussions by one or more selected individuals. This is a great opportunity to meet knowledgeable cavers and advance your technical skills. To get to St. Edward's, take South Congress to the 3000 block, and take University Circle through campus or take Woodward Street along the south side of campus to Theater Pass Drive. Or, from IH 35 South, take the Woodward exit (third exit pass the Colorado River), go west on Woodward about 1h mile and look for the tall, castle-like building. Tum north on Theater Pass Drive and then left at the first drive and parking lot next to Moody Hall. The workshop is in Moody Hall 209, southeast comer of the second floor. Maps are available from the people listed above Hope to see you there. 72 The TEXAS CAVER September, 1994


TCMA REPORTS TCMA at Convention The Texas Cave Management Association was highly visible at the 1994 National Speleological Society Convention in Fort Clark Springs. The TCMA's 8-foot-tall folding display panel was trucked from its storage site in the Austin area to Fort Clark Springs, where it was erected on the second floor of the Old Commissary Building. The display's placement in the foyer area between large sessions rooms ensured that it would be viewed. Among the items on display were the 1990 Ground Water Conservation Award to the TCMA from the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifier Conservation District and a map of Whirlpool Cave, owned by the TCMA. Updated membership brochures for TCMA, prepared for convention, were also available at the display. James Jasek of Waco, who printed signs and other displays for the convention, graciously consented to print and laminate an enlarged logo and other material for the exhibit. Thanks, Jim! The TCMA membership was represented at the NSS Convention and Management Section business meeting. It is the largest conservation-related gathering at the annual conventions. In addition to activities at the convention site, cavers from around the country got the opportunity to see TCMA managed Amazing Maze Cave in Pecos County on a pre convention excursion. A post-convention trip was offered to 0-9 Well Caverns in Crockett County, about 150 miles northwest of Brackettville. Other trips were also offered to Whirlpool Cave in Travis County. In retrospect, the NSS Convention afforded the TCMA a good opportunity for visibility. And .... we accepted the challenge. Join and S-upport the Photocopy this application TCMA, P.O. Box 202853, Austin, TX 78720-2853 September, 1994 The TEXAS CAVER + 73 Cl) 0 X .5Q


UNDERGROUND REVIEW The Vertebrate Fauna of West Virginia Caves. E. Ray Garton, Frederick Grady, and Steven D. Carey. West Virginia Speleolo gica l Survey, 1993. 107 pp softbound. $12 postpaid from the survey at Box 200, Barrackville, West Virginia 26559 Bulletin 11. D es pite the large number of caves in West Virginia, there are only some five hundred records of vertebrates in caves in the files of the We s t Virginia Speleological Survey. P er haps that is because normal people don't consider seeing a frog or sa lamander in a cave entrance or a few bats or raccoo n dropping s further in to be very noteworthy. It is even hard to imagine a cave biologist getting very excited about these records, since only one reliably identified vertebrate s p ec i es in We s t Virginia is troglobitic, and there i s so m e question whethe r it really is a separate species at all. Th e r e are so m e nic e co lor plates and tables that will help you t o ide ntify the salamander, frog, or bat you do see, but otherw i se the bull e tin is mos tly a listing of the known s ightin gs of verte brates in the caves of West Virginja, sorted in various ways, and with lots of white space to bulk up the i ss ue. The las t s p ec ies reported is the domestic cow (Bos sp., for those of you who can't recognize one without the sci e nti fie nam e), footprints and droppings of which are often see n in cave e ntran ces, but "only one record of actually seeing cows in a cave is reported in the literature." Another reported record is a sighting of the southern cavefish reported in an April issue of the D. C. Speleograph. The authors believe it was a hoax. I would like to believe that this whole bulletin is a hoax. On Station. A Complete Handbook for Surveying and Mapping Caves. George Dasher. National Speleological Society; 1994. 240 pp hardbound NSS members $16, non members $17, plus $3.50for shipping from NSS Bookstore, 2813 Cave Avenue, Huntsville, Alabama 35810. This was a painful book to read. I had reviewed the manuscript back in 1988 and decided it was unpublishable. Since it did get published, I hoped that much tender loving care had been lavished on it during the interverung six years. But I guess it's true what they say about making a silk purse out of a sow's ear. I don't know what happened to the manuscript during that time, but it obviously didn't include getting read by anyone who knows that it's and NSS' are not proper possessive forms. The book is disorgallized and often ungrammatical. The instructions are frequently confusing and sometimes conspicuously incomplete. The NSS has disgraced itself by publishing this book. That said, I must admit that there is not much in the book that, once deciphered, will lead the would-be surveyor or mapper astray. (The aficionados call the process of gathering the data surveying and the process of drawing the map mapping ) Cave mappers are at least as bad as vertical cavers at thinking their pet techniques are the only correct ones, so I'm sure the experts will come up with their lists of quibbles as I could. But technically it really isn't bad The first section covers collecting the data, with chapters on various types of surveying equipment and the duties of the various team members. This section also includes a chapter on how to determine the surface location of the cave. A second section covers processing the data, which can range from just converting slope distances to horizontal distances for plotting a small cave with protractor and ruler to elaborate loop-closing algorithms performed on a computer. The third section covers drawing the map, both 74 The TEXAS CAVER September 1994


making the draft or working map and inking and lettering the final version. (The illustrations in the chapter on the working map were obviously not made using the techniques described there; they look like final versions to me.) Appendixes include several sets of cave-map symbols, a glossary of terms (I hadn't been aware that cf. was a technical term), and a set of twenty-eight example maps. A number of the maps demonstrate more than anything else the hazards of reducing a map too much. There is a potentially useful set of comments about each example map, but not one reader in ten will pay attention, since they aren't printed together with the maps. Not everyone will be as put off as I am by the deficiencies of On Station as a book, and I can't honestly say that reading it will ruin anyone's cave-mapping career. But it is not, except in unimportant but expensive ways like the numerous photos, the hard cover, and the color dust jacket, superior to some existing cave-mapping books in English, such as Bryan Ellis's Introduction to Cave Surveying (British Cave Research Association, 1988) and Thomson and Taylor's The Art of Cave Mapping (Missouri Speleological Survey, 1991), both of which are available from the NSS and other cave-book stores for less. On Station did not need to be published. Caves in Kansas. James Young and Jonathan Beard. Kansas Geological Survey, 1993. 48 pp. softbound. $7.50. Educational Series 9 (Order, adding $2for shipping, from the publisher at 1930 Constant Avenue, Lawrence, Kansas 66047.) Kansas is not a state for which many people will have been waiting impatiently for a "caves of" book. There is a tiny bit of the Ozarks in Kansas, and a tiny bit of the gypsum karst area that is mostly in Oklahoma and northern Texas. The book claims there are more than eight hundred caves known in Kansas, but I think I read something about a crawl way cave 7 feet long, and hundreds of the caves are shelter, so the definition of a cave in Kansas is not exactly the same as that in, say, Missouri or Tennessee. Nevertheless, or maybe even because of that, the book is not without interest. It is not really an inventory of the caves of Kansas, although many of the longer or more interesting caves are described, and there are a number of cave maps. As befits its being part of the survey's Educational Series, Caves in Kansas is really an introduction to caves in general, with specific reference to Kansas, and the diversity of things that are admitted to the list of Kansas caves makes the discussion unusually wide-ranging. There are numerous photographs, including four pages of small color plates, one of which claims to show what must be the only tiger salamander in the world that is orange with black spots. Who Was Aveline Anyway? Mendip's Cave Names Explained. Richard Witcombe. Mendip Publishing; 1992. 95 pp. softbound. Wessa Cave Club Occasional Publica/ion Series 2 number 1. This little book will not interest many American cavers, but it is a neat idea that could be copied for some caving areas over here. The author has compiled an alphabetical list of named caves and cave features, with explanations of the derivations of the names. He hasn't bothered with obvious things like Mud Crawl and Big Room, but there are still several hundred entries. Many are rather dull, just giving the full name and affiliation of the namesakes of things like Bernard's Rift or Read's Cavern, but some are more interesting. The Dark Cars and Sunglasses area in Eastwater Cavern is named for the movie The Blues Brothers, current at the time it was discovered. Smeagol Pot in Swildon's Hole is named after a fancied resemblance of those emerging muddy from Smeagol the Gollum in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. If somebody does do something like this again, please spell out abbreviations. Things like BEC and UBSS may be just as mysterious to cavers distant in time or space as Aveline. Oh, yes, Aveline? Aveline's Hole was named in 1860 by cave archaeologist William Boyd Dawkins after his teacher and friend William Talbot Aveline. The Natural History of Biospeleology. Edited by Ana Isabel Camacho. Madrid; 1992. xxi+680 pp. softbound. Mongrafias Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales number 7. Available for $44 plus $3 postage and handling from Speleobooks, Box 10, Schoharie, New York 12127. Do not be misled by the title of this book. Except for a chapter on the history of biospeleology by Xavier Belles, it is a collection of up-to-date reviews of biospeleology by a couple of dozen biologists from seven European countries and the United States. American authors are Kane, Culver, Christiansen, Poulson, and Iliffe. Presumably the European authors are not lightweights either. The entire book is in September, 1994 The TEXAS CAVER 75


English, and quite good English, too, considering the diverse origins of the chapters, although a few typesetting proofreading problems can probably be attributed to people's working in an unfamiliar language. The multi-author nature of the book has led to a bit of repetition, as where circadian activity patterns in troglobites are discussed at some length in two different places, but generally the scope and completeness of the book are what one would expect in almo s t seven hundred pages. The book is pretty much limited to true deep-cave biology, with very little about bats, the twilight zone, and such. The chapters in the book fall mostly into three rough categories. First come descriptions of the general cave environment, including classification of habitats and so on, together with some chapters on collecting techniques. Then, there is a se t of chapters on ecology, population biology, and evolution. Finally, there are several "case study" chapters, including a summary of the cave biology of the Canary Islands, a report on recent work in the Mammoth Cave System and two chapters on unusual environments: anchialine caves, with mixed sea and fresh water, and the remarkable sulfurous Movile Cave in Romania. This is really the first major general survey of biosp e leology since V andel 's book of nearly thirty years ago. And the price is certainly reasonable. A commercial publi s her would have added a hard cover and a hundred dollar s to th e price Everyone with any professional interest in cave biology mus t have it, and any caver with a serious interest in cave biology should, too GENERAL NEWS Grotto Newsletter Wins Again by Jay Jorden The Dallas-Fort Worth Grotto's monthly (ahem) newsletter, The Oztotl Caver, just keeps on racking up the awards. This year, our venerable publication won the Merit Award from the National Speleological Society's Graphic Arts Salon. The Oztotl Caver for March 1993 featured Kenny McGee's 1992 pen-and-ink drawing of his wife Carol admiring a bat in a Texas cave. It won one of three Merit Awards in the salon's nonphoto graphic category. The other merit winners were from the Indiana Karst Conservancy's IKC Update and the Windy City Grotto's Windy City Speleonews. The Region Record from the Virginia Region was the medal winner in that category. Covers from the June 1993 Oztotl and Vol. 12, No.4 of the Cave Conservationist, which is also edited from the DFW Grotto, were accepted for display in the salon. The Texas Caver also did well in the salon. The Texas Speleological Association's magazine won a Merit Award for Vol. 38, No. 1 in the salon's photographic category. Also, Vol. 38, No 3 won an honorable mention in the nonphoto graphic section. The Lubbock Area Grotto's LAG News was accepted for display in the salon for Vol. 8, No. 2. Congratulations to the winners, their editors, writers and artists! Competition will continue next year at the Blacksburg, Va., convention. The Dreaded H Word by Jay Jorden The dreaded H word has reared its ugly head. And it's no laughing matter, since some cavers have been very sick because of it. But there's a silver lining in an otherwise dark cloud, the doctors say. In any case, the fungus is among us. The word is histoplasmosis, the place is Southwest Texas and Northern Mexico and the time is around the NSS Convention. It seems that a half-dozen cavers or more were 76 The TEXAS CAVER September, 1994


apparently infected with the spore that lives in the dust and guano of some caves in the region. Word of this malady came first from a letter that was written to the NSS News by a Houston caver. As we were writing and editing post-convention coverage from Brackettville, Glenda Dawson mentioned the letter from a Texan that detailed the initial misdiagnosis of a histoplasmosis case. The caver reported that he had visited Emerald Sink and another cave on state property that is not known as a histo cave. Gill Ediger in Austin confirmed that several other histo cases were reported. The affected cavers' visits had also included caves in the Langtry area, including Langtry Lead. David Locklear of the Houston area had become ill, according to the report. After the first report early this month from Albuquerque, N.M., we received a call from Dr. Warren C. Lewis, NSS 8856L, of Rockford, Ill. He said that the son of a former Windy City Grotto member now living in Houston had become quite ill and that three Ohio cavers were also sick, with at least one repeatedly hospitalized. The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta is now advised, with cavers who have visited any of these caves and/or have had respiratory problems urged to see a physician and mention histoplasmosis as a possible diagnosis, then get a skin test for histo. Apparently, the disease is not always easy to diagnose and can be mistaken for other, similar maladies. Cavers were warned about histo before the convention, and caves with an obvious history of infection were identified before caving trips began. The disease was also described in The Caves and Karst of Texas, the 1994 NSS Convention Guidebook edited by Drs. William R. Elliott and George Veni. Since the convention was close to the Texas-Mexico border, the editors included hazards of caving in tropical zones. So right after snakes, scorpions, fire ants and ammonia vapors in caves with large bat colonies, histo was described. ''Histoplasmosis is another occupational hazard for cavers,'' the guidebook said. "It is a serious fungal infection of the lungs, eyes, or other organs and it can be life-threatening without proper treatment." Bat caves often have Histoplasma spores. Cavers who have not been exposed to 'histo' should think twice about entering bat caves in Texas or Mexico Novices and cavers from the northern U.S., Canada, and Europe are especially at risk. "Symptoms usually begin about two weeks after exposure and include fever, headache, shortness of breath, painful breathing and miasma. The diagnostic blood test can give false negative results. Antifungal prescription drugs, such as ketoconazole, are effective against the infection." The risk was reiterated throughout the book, and some caves with particular hazards are identified in descriptions. But Dr. Lewis said the histo spore is not uncommon in Texas and other southern and southeastern states, and that active cavers here have almost certainly developed an immunity to the disease that continues as long as they are caving. He said about 500,000 Americans get histo every year, most in urban environments. Dr. Lewis said the CDC would like to develop a list of cavers who may have visited some of these suspect caves. These cavers would receive a questionnaire from government doctors to try to track the disease. In 1989, Dr. Lewis wrote a lengthy article on histo for the NSS Bulletin. He emphasizes that histo can live in very wet caves, very dry caves, or those in between. Therefore, it's important not to focus on just one cave. Luckily, the victims are all under medical care. And modem medicines have lessened the disease's threat. "FOLLOWING THE MONEY UNDERGROUND" Bob Crisman, Management Assistant Carlsbad Caverns National Park "Follow the money. That is the advice often given by wily veteran investigators experienced in ferreting out facts. This advice is timely in connection with the underground concession controversy at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. As a preface, it should be pointed out that professionals in cave and park management, who have nothing to gain financially from either the presence or absence of the underground concession, are mostly in favor of its removal. These include people affiliated with the National Park Service, the National Speleological Society, the Cave Research Foundation, National Parks and Conservation Association, and other individuals who care deeply about preserving Carlsbad Caverns for future generations. On the other hand, opposition to removal of the underground concession was initiated and cultivated by those who believe they stand to gain financially if the underground concession continues. The issue is about more than just profit from sales. The profits would not disappear if the underground concession is closed in the Big Room. The concession September, 1994 The TEXAS CAVER 77


would simply move from the underground location to a spot 750 feet directly above it on the surface. There is another key part of the issue. In all of the discussion about visitor preferences and early day memories of the underground concession, what many do not know about is the compensation which the present concessioner would receive should the next contract be awarded to another bidder, either through the present concessioner's failure to submit a responsible bid, or through failure to match the competition. Since private concessions cannot own fee title to real or fixed property on federal land within the national parks, they have what is called "possessory interest. If they lose their concession in the national park, they are reimbursed for their possessory intere s t, so that investments in buildings or other improvements are not totally lost. Under the current temporarily extended contract, which ex pired in 1989, if the facilitie s in Carl s bad Cavern are closed and removed, the present concessioner would receive only the depreciated book value as compensation for possessory interest. On the other hand, if the underground concession is continued, compensation for the possessory interest would be at "sound" value which would be th e current appraised value, not exceeding "fair market" value. The difference between the two on thi s 20 year old fac ility could be considerable, and will likely amount to many thousands of dollars. When this is understood, perhaps the talk about nostalgia and visitor preference s will take on a new light. How do vi s itors really f ee l about the issue? Petitions stuck in front of peopl e without good background information, such as wa s done by opponents of removal, or slanted questionnaires in visitor s tudies, often do not reflect how mo s t park visitors feel. A better indication is information from unsolicited comments filled out spontaneously by visitor s at the tim e of their visit. The park receiv es many of the se on a variety of topics every day and use s th e m to correct problem s and maintain quality in operations. H e re i s a s ampling of three visitor comments received between July 8 24, 1994 giving their thoughts on the und e rground concession. Th ese were not influenced e ith e r by park manag eme nt or local opponents. A vis itor from Pa sa d e na, California wrote on July 8: "I was very disappointed to see that th e underground lunch room was st ill servi ng lun c h. I thought it was supposed to be r e moved ? I s that still the plan? Per so nally, I would prefer that area of th e cave be r e turned to its natural state." A visitor from Redmond Washington, wrote on July 24: "Just a comment about th e concession area at the bottom of the cavern: It seems e ntir ely out of place in such an e nvironm e nt. The bathroom is a n ecessi ty, but the snack bar and vendors are not needed and create a commercial atmosphere. It made me want to leave on the elevator immediately although I didn't. Please reconsider the benefits of snack bar revenue over the loss of atmosphere ... And lastly, also from Redmond, Washington, on July 24: "I really enjoyed the self guided tour through the caves. My experience, however, was greatly affected by the commercialism of the underground concession area. I feel that it is unnecessary and greatly detracts from the natural beauty of the caves I truly think just having the area upstairs and a bathroom downstairs would be sufficient. I had a great time and the rangers were very helpful and friendly. Thank you for your time." What response can be given to these and other visitors who make similar comments? The underground concession has been determined to be no longer necessary or appropriate through the National Environmental Policy Act process. Should they be told that the decision of professional managers is being blocked by people more interested in money than in the cavern's future or the quality of the visitors' experience? It appears that what many have failed to grasp is that Carlsbad Caverns is not a city, county, or state park, but a truly great National Park which is about to be nominated and considered for designation as a "World Heritage Site" by a committee of the United Nations. In light of that, the strong constituency of 11,000 National Speleological Society members and 400,000 National Parks and Conservation Association members among others should not be ignored, nor should other park visitors who write unsolicited comments. WHAT ABOUT CAVE RESCUE AND THE N.C.R.C. IN TEXAS? Joe Ivy For that matter, what is the N.C.R.C.? What is an N.C. R. C. Regional Coordinator? Did you know that you even have a Texas Regional Coordinator? Hmmmm .... well, first, a quick explanation about the N.C.R.C. The National Cave Rescue Commission (NCRC) was formed in 1977 by 78 The 1EXAS CAVER September, 1994


the National Speleological Society to: a. function as a cave rescue communications network. b. maintain a working relationship with other rescue operations. c. maintain caches of rescue equipment in locations across the U.S. d. encourage, follow and perform research on new equipment and techniques. e. promote cave rescue training throughout the U.S. and ..... f. encourage international cooperation on rescue efforts. The U.S. is divided into regions with their own Regional Coordinators. At present, I am the Texas Coordinator. The Regional Coordinator's job is to: a. know where the rescue resources are in the region, i.e. where the gear is, where the people are, etc. b promote cave rescue training in the region. c. promote cooperation between the various existing rescue organizations throughout the region. The Regional Coordinator is selected from recommendations given to the NCRC Board by cavers in the region. This entails cavers sending letters to the board stating why they feel a particular person should be the coordinator. The Board then votes on the recommended persons. Once selected, a Regional Coordinator serves a two year term. At the end of that term, a notice is placed in the NSS News that states which region is affected and calls for recommendations from that region. Usually, a coordinator is selected by default because of lack of recommendations from the region. I pretty much volunteered for the job because I felt that there was a need for rescue training in Texas and greater access to resources across the U.S. for potential use in Texas and, especially, in Mexico. In the Spring of 1993, the NCRC sponsored a Level I Seminar in San Antonio that was very successful. If interest persists, we will work to make the seminar an annual affair. We are tentatively planning another Level I Seminar for January 1995. If you are interested in having an NCRC Weekend Orientation in your area, contact me about setting one up. The Weekend Orientation is a hands-on, skills oriented class designed to familiarize the average caver with first aid, patient packaging and handling and rigging to facilitate self-rescue. As every Texas caver knows, Texas' caves have a habit of being a LONG way from anything. This is what makes knowledge of self-rescue techniques imperative. What do you do if a chunk of ceiling falls, whacks your buddy on the head and renders him unconscious in the stream passage of River Stix in North Texas? What if someone falls and breaks a leg in the bottom of Madonna Cave out in the Guadalupe Mountains? What if you are heading out of the bottom of Sorcerer's Cave in West Texas and you find one of your group on rope in the Demon Drop about half way up and unconscious? Or in H T. Mier's Cave north of Del Rio? What if someone slips and dislocates his/her knee way back in Fitton Cave m Arkansas? ... or Gruta del Palmito in Northern Mexico? To date, most of the self-rescues I've been involved in were Palmito. In order to increase the level of self-rescue knowledge across Texas, I will be writing a column in the Texas Caver where, each month, I will go over some basic technique that is used in self-rescue situations. If you have any specific questions concerning self-rescue techniques you would like to see covered in my column, send a post card or letter outlining what you want to see. Address your questions to Joe Ivy, Texas Regional Coordinator, N.C.R.C., 4019 Rarnsgate, San Antonio, TX 78230-1629. Also, please inquire about weekend orientations to the above address. As far as the Level I Seminar in January or February, more information will be forthcoming in the Texas Caver and the TSA Events Newsletter. CAVE RESCUE (Collect) 210-686-0234 September, 1994 The TEXAS CAVER 79


rn Thru Have you ever wondered about the various sections within the NSS or how to join or receive their newsletters? Wonder no more. Listed below are contact persons for various sections or organizations within the NSS. If we have left an organization out of the list, it was unintentional. Please help your editor to correct or update this list. This list originated from John Ganter and was current at the 1994 NSS Convention. CAVE DIVING SECTION c/o Gene Broome P.O. Box 950 Branford, FL 32008-0950 CAVE PHOTOGRAPHY SECTION c/o Dave Brunnell 320 Brook Drive Boulder Creek, CA 95006 COMM & ELECTRONICS SECTION Frank Reid P O. Box 5283 Bloomington, IN 47407-5283 SURVEY AND CARTOG SECTION Tom Kaye, Editor 3245 Rio Drive, # 804 Falls Church, VA 22041 VERTICAL SECTION Bru ce Smith Chair 6313 Jan Lan e Drive Harri so n TN 37341 CAVE DIVING SECTION H V Grey P O Box 12 Nokomi s, FL 34274 NSS DIGGING SECTION c/o Steve P ee rman P O Box 2763 Las Cruces, NM 88004-2763 RESCUE SECTION c/o Micki Liska RR 1, Box 59 Alum Bank, PA 15521 UNDERGROUND LIGHTING SECTION c/o Kelly Deem P.O. Box 657 Barrackville, MD 26559 VIDEO SECTION c/o Alex Sproul 102 Travis Cir. Seaford, VA 23696-2412 THE TEXAS SPELEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION P.O. Box 8026 Austin, Texas 78713 TEXAS SPELEOLOGICAL SURVEY c/o William Elliott, PhD 12102 Grimsley Drive Austin, Texas 78759 THE TEXAS CA VERS' REUNION c/o Gil Ediger 300 Mockingbird Austin, Texas 78745 TEXAS CAVE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION P.O. Box 202853 Austin, Texas 78720-2853 NATIONAL SPELEOLOGICAL SOCIETY Cave Avenue Huntsville, AL 35810 NSS BULLETIN c/o Andy Flurkey 13841 W. Braun Drive Golden, CO 80401-2142 THE TEXAS CAVER Publisher P.O. Box 1094 Lubbock, Texas (Data mailed for publication always mailed to current alternating editor) TSA ACTIVITIES NEWSLETTER c/o Pat Copeland 103 Lori Lane Brownwood, TX 76801 (Monthly publication of dated material) 80 The TEXAS CAVER September, 1994


A FOND FAREWELL TO CONVENTION '94 Making History Can Be Fun Well folks, the 1994 NSS National Convention at Brackettville, Texas has come and gone. What Memories we are left with! This caver enjoyed every second of the preparation and the work before, during and after the Convention. I, as I'm sure every committee chair, sincerely thank my friends and caving comrades for their help with the job of making the various factions feel at home in Texas. To an editor's delight, cavers presented me with a number of great articles and photos for the "last hurrah" of the Texas Caver's coverage of the great convention. The mental strain on our Co-chairmen, Ron Ralph and Jay Jorden and our Treasurer, Bruce Anderson must have been frightful, but they each performed flawlessly. I am pleased to have been able to work with them and to help. Tell everyone you saw sweating in the noonday sun, "Thank You". Not any less dedicated were other committee people and their helpers. I am happy to have worked with all of you. I hope that you have a good time with the following articles and photos. Assembling this portion of The Texas Caver was pure fun. We'll have a lot to talk about for some time to come. ENJOY .......... The Ecstasy ... and the Agony of the Third NSS Convention With the Alamo safely retaken in the space of one summer evening, an old Southwest Texa s Army fort came to life for a week of fun, reunions science, cave exploration, border hopping, and more. The week at Fort Clark Springs turned into an endless summer. Bronzed bathers renewed themselve s in the healing waters of Las Moras Spring that fed an olympic-sized swimming pool. They occasionally cast a curious gaze at more than 1 100 cavers who had gathered from across the United States and 13 other countries for the third T e xas NSS convention. It didn't take the cavers long to take the plunge, escaping from temperatures that occasionally climbed to the century mark. They also sought refuge within the thick limestone walls of the Old Commissary Building for sess ions and shopping at indoor vendors September, 1994 The TEXAS CAVER 81


Some convention memories: --The joy of rappelling into Devil's Sinkhole for the first time since the early days as a University of Texas grotto member; -The agony of a propane-fired water heater rolling over a finger as it emerged like a beached whale from a flatbed trailer. The ecstacy of an inner tube excursion down Los Moras Creek; --Sunset over the ramparts of a reconstructed Alamo at Happy Shahan's tourist attraction as explosives boomed and clouds of smoke drifted over "Texicans" and Mexican soldiers -actors and cavers in period costumes re-enacting the battle for Texas independence; -Lazy breakfasts at the Crazy Chicken and wonderful buffets at the Las Moras Inn; -The thought of paperwork piling up at home (ugh!). For a just-the-facts account of convention, read the NSS News August edition. As the fall leaves gather and a chilly wind blows in the morning from the north, I still remember it all. And, Oztotl help me, I miss it . plus the springs. In a Howdy Party worthy of a Cecil B. De Mille production, a cas t of dozens of San Antonio Living History Association m embers -augmented by cavers with antique weaponry provided the evening entertainment, setting a theme of Texas history for the convention. It continued at Fort Clark Springs a living museum and former U.S Army post. Other convention activities included a midweek, poolside party near life-saving Las Moras Springs, an auction that raised over $2,400 for the National Speleological Society, a Friday evening banquet under the stars and a keynote address by a member of the NASA-U.S. Geological Survey team to Lechuguilla Cave. The population of the 142-year-old fort and adjacent Brackettville swelled from a little more than 1, 700 to nearly 3,000 during the week, with cavers from as far away as Switzerland, Hungary and other European countries in attendance. A tent city sprang up near the springs that were home to Comanches and earlier Americans more than 8,000 years ago. One wag, seeing all the tents, remarked, "The Army has returned!" The first NSS convention for the Lone Star State since 1978 was co-sponsored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Caving featured caves on state parklands and sessions emphasized research on speleology and other disciplines. The Symposium on North American and Mesoamerican Cave Archeology included presentations on beyond-the-entrance projects in Belize, Mexico and the United States. Another symposium on biodiversity and the conservation of cave faunas included a panel discussion by scientists concerning populations of amphipods, crustaceans, bats and other cave-adapted creatures. Other sessions covered biology, paleontology, geology, U.S. and international exploration, conservation and management, and social sciences. The expanded geology field trip, billed as a Waltz Across 82 The TEXAS CAVER September, 1994


T exas, ad d ed a scenic tour and biology-archeology excur s ion. A record-breaking 342-page guidebook co-a u tho red by Doctors William R. Elliott and George Veni sho wc as ed d ozens of area caves. Through the efforts of Texas Parks and Wildlife archeologist Rune Burnett and other agency staff members, more than 200 caver s were able to descend the Devil's Sinkhole, T exa s third deepest cave. The state property has been ina cce s sible for over 20 years awaiting research, planning and development funding. Kickapoo and Green Caves, Since Juneteenth coincided with the start of convention, there was an added bonus. After completing a 120-mile trail ride from San Antonio to Brackettville, a group of Buffalo Soldiers rode horseback into the ceremony, symbolizing the role of Black Americans in Army history. The co-chairs read a proclamation by Texas Gov. Ann Richards declaring the convention dates Cave Awareness Week in the state and introduced Andy Sansom, executive director of the Parks and Wildlife Department, who welcomed cavers to the Lone Star State. He praised the thousands of volunteer hours cavers have labored at state parks during inventory, TEXAS CAVERS OFFER VALET PARKING AT '94 CONVENTION located on State parkland just north of the c onvention site, provided da ily u nderground recreation and evening bat flights for hundreds of cavers. Everyt h ing s bigger in Texas, and cavers from other states cam e t o see it. We didn't disappoint them, with the traditio n a l convention hot tub enlarged to include not one but two fir eb o xes and room for even more cavers, courtesy of Pete Strickland of Austin and Steve Dalton of Fort Worth. The c on v ention sauna was heated by donated highway steel, with a 500-pound chunk on standby! exploration, mapping and scientific investigations. He also promised to match dollar for dollar all donations made at parks opened to cavers for the convention Pete Cook, Fort Clark's general manager, and Jeanne Gurnee, outgoing Society president, were also present to welcome the largest gathering in the fort's post-war history. The three-story Commissary Building, remodeled and restored by Texas cavers, was the site of the NSS Board of Governors' meeting and other sessions. It had last been occupied in the late 1940s and was a backdrop for Charlton Heston's "Arrowhead," a movie of that vintage. Sept embe r, 1994 The 1EXAS CAVER 83


Donkeys' braying and other livestock at stables across from the building reminded conventioneers they were in a land of working ranches and cowboy s -and provided comic relief to some long-winded speeches! The Howdy Party at the Alamo Village movie set came on the heels of filming for James Michener's "Texas." Cavers arriving by bus and private transportation received convention mugs for beer, tea and soft drink s They could then grab tortilla chips from a mound in the bed of a dealership's new pickup truck, pick up some salsa, and saunter through the streets of old San Antonio for more ''Taste of Texas,'' including hot n spicy com, jalapenos and chili, the state dish, available from a cookoff run earlier in the day. Around a comer, the appetizers ended but more s ign s beckoned and cavers were confronted with a choice of barbecue brisket and all the fixin's, fajitas or Tex-Mex dinners The stock in the area western wear stores was low, with many cavers sporting cowboy hats, jeans and boots. Emcee Kelly "Deacon" Deem ran the best-dressed cowperson contest. A "gunfight" broke out on Main Street between the sheriff and three quickdraw artists over a couple of money bags. All four ended up prone in the street in a hilarious showdown for the loot, which ended up b e ing ammunition! But the a c tion didn't end there, as a loud cannon blast was heard from th e hill above and Texas defenders rode into town purs ued by Mexican soldiers. The Texans, firing their rifles into th e air, urged cavers to help them fight. At the Alamo s oldier s faced off acro s s the mission ramparts Explo s ion s r es ounded along the adobe walls as the chara c t e r s of Col. William Barret Travis, James Bowi e and oth e r "Te xi cans" relived the 1836 battle in whi c h all th e d e fender s died. The actor playing Travi s dre w a line in the dirt and a s ked Texan s willing t o die for freedom to c ro ss it. Following the re enac tm e nt Travis r e peated hi s question to caver s a s king th e m to make a s ymbolic decision of th eir own by s t e pping a c ro ss. Hundreds did! The P eoples Choi c e the sam e band that entertained c av e r s during th e last N e w Braunfels Texas convention in 1978, cranked up a reunion performance for an evening of two-stepping, Cotton-eyed Joe and even hard rock. The versatile group played into the next morning, even as a thunderstorm several miles away gave a light show of its own in the indigo sky. The next morning, a full schedule of meetings and sessions, including Congress of Grottos and a geology session, got under way along with the traditional SpeleOlympics, the Great Debate and a special evening tour of Caverns of Sonora. Dozens of cavers also journeyed to Kickapoo Caverns State Park to see the second of three scheduled bat flight viewings at Green Cave. At the Old Quarry Amphitheater, Dwight Deal in favor of the Society encouraging responsible cave-for-pay businesses, with Emily Davis Mobley opposing the idea. Afterward, cavers joined their voices in unison and strummed stringed instruments in cave ballads at the Old Fort campfire. A sampling of other events, as recounted in ''Texas Down Under,'' the conventiongram: -A Swiss contingent was on hand, bringing slides and printed materials on the 12th annual Congress of Speleology scheduled for Aug. 10-16, 1997 at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland; -A Parks and Wildlife-guided archaeological tour at Seminole Canyon State Historical Park, containing more 84 The TEXAS CAVER September, 1994


than 200 pictograph sites, with one shelter including some of North America's oldest such art, believed to have been p a inted as long as 4,000 years ago; The traditional SpeleOlympics were among highlights on Tu es day and Wednesday, while the second annual "Cavers Giv e Blood" drive on Thursday collected a total of 76 pints from I 00 people; --Th e two-part Photo Salons Thursday evening and a dditi o nal shows Friday morning included Tom Zannes' s pectac ular New Mexico video early and recent Devil's S inkhol e footage, and a multimedia show by the Swiss on Lec huguilla Cave; --A r e pr ese ntative of Bat Conservation International gave a prese ntati o n at the Old Commissary, complete with a flying mamma l d e lighting young and old alike; -Country and western dancing classes were run during convention; and -Post-convention trips abounded, including field camps in the Bustamante and Rancho Minas Viejas areas of northern Mexico, along with Hoya de las Guaguas and El Sotano del Rancho Barro to the south. Since the first NSS convention in New Braunfels in 1964, it had taken 14 years to regroup and gear up for a second Society gathering in the same city. Another 16 years passed before the third convention. Some thought it had been too long since the last NSS soiree while others felt not enough time had passed. But most agreed on one thing: if Texas had a third convention, it had to be somewhere different. We found the right place. But by some accounts, we strained the resources of the Texas caving community (and perhaps a few friendships) in organizing such a massive endeavor. While cavers from every Texas grotto volunteered and put in long hours to make the convention a success some chose not to participate and didn't support the convention with their attendance. Where were they? Was the convention worth it? For the hundreds who did come, it was afiesta in the Lone Star State's finest traditions. Texans did themselves proud. Don Shofstall of Indiana put it succinctly: ''another GREAT Texas convention.'' After the smoke cleared, Ron Ralph and I --as co-chairs thanked the convention committee members who were the real reason for the event's success. We invited them to contribute their sage advice under the heading "Lessons Learned" for committees now planning NSS convl!ntions in Virginia, Colorado, and Missouri. One of mine? At the next convention, it's time to kick back and relax. But having looked from the inside out, conventions now have a different perspective. One slogan repeated after Brackettville: "In 2010, we'll do it again." Well, maybe. S e pt e mber, 1994 The TEXAS CAVER 85


Impressions Of My First Convention 4 t:JtWU ..t1. Brackettville was my first NSS Convention. I've been caving about a year and a half and I didn't know what to expect. I was hoping for a chance to get to some caves that wouldn t normally be open. What I found were experiences that helped me grow as a caver. Initially, the convention presented a dilemma for me. Would I go caving or attend the convention activities? Caving won out by a wide margin and looking back, that was the best choice for me. My hunger for getting und e rground needed to be fed and it had been too many months since my las t s u c h venture. I went to Kahn Kave, Pow e r s Ranch Cave, Kickapoo Cavern, Webb Cave, Montgomery Gypsum Cave, Palac e Cave, and Kahn Kave again to s urv ey. The mos t memorable experience was discovering a beautiful room in n e wly opened Kahn Kave. It wa s my firs t time in an unexplored cave and my I first c han ce for new discovery und ergro und I lived on the excite m ent for seve ral day s .... The next impr essioo n I hav e i s ... b eco ming aware of the lar ger caving co mmunity that s preads across the world. Though my cav ing exp erie nce is limited I felt I was a part of that larg e r group. My experie nce in Kahn Kave, the way I was accepted by experienced cave r s, and the easy time I had with the vertical work in Montgomery Gypsum Cave gave m e co nfid e nce as a caver. It now feels like I am ready t o s tr e t c h beyond the security of my many friends in the Houston Grotto and join the larg e r caving community. I have a l ot t o learn and it will be fun learning it. Another m e mory of the conve ntion is a collage of people and conve rsations. Ther e are so many it is difficult to sepa rat e the m In the mix, there are memories that will surface now and then with a burst of pleasure. Looking back over the experiences, I notice something about the process of meeting people. The conversations on the way to a cave were different than the conversations around the campground. I know the people I met on the trips much more than I know the people from the conversations around the convention. Traveling to a cave presents a chance for a different kind of conversation. There's an unexpressed need to know more about these people before going underground with them. Then, the experience, effort, and adventure underground seems to cement the relationship. It has been a long time since I have been aware of that experience in my life. I'm happy to have it back as one of many gifts from the NSS convention. The location at Fort Clark Springs was enjoyable and well selected. The were friendly, with a nice facility and no big city distrctions. A little less heat would have been nice but also totally foreign to Texas in June. I wanted to attend some of the sessions along with the caving, but that didn't work out. Next convention, I will spend some time underground before convention and maybe be more inclined to attend sessions I did attend most of the evening convention events. I thought the pool party was the best party. The keynote talk on Friday after the awards fascinated me. I have been a research scientist all my life and the prospect of new life forms in caves was wonderful news. It also is a warning to enter dark underground caves carefully, respecting the unique things that could be harmed or destroyed. The convention was an exciting time for me. There is no way to personally thank all of the hundreds of people who worked to put it on, but if I get a chance, I will. For now to anyone who helped in the convention, thank you for you r effort in an event that was important in my life. Editor's Note: The pre ce ding was reprinted from Speleospace, the newsletter of the Greater Houston Grotto, July 1994 86 The TEXAS CAVER September, 1994


11Thanks .. 1994 NSS Convention and her registration group. They manned the tables all day and all night for days, expenencmg both abuse and praise from cavers. I wish we could have had a practice run for I think we all have learned a lot from the Convention, but maybe we can get together and discuss what to do and what we should have done differently. It might be a big help to future Convention hosts. Well, the 1994 Convention has come and gone and hope fully a lot of people will have fond memories of their time spent in Brackettville. The Convention was my first and it couldn't have been better. A bunch of great cavers pulled together and did a great job. Some of them such as James and Mimi Jasek just jumped in and helped with serving food at the Banquet. I just can't express how much I appreciate everyone's work w ith the Banquet. Everyone I came into contact with had praises for Texas cavers and the ranchers who allowed us to go caving on their land. Noble Stidham and his people from Lubbock did a super job on the vendor area. We had lots of good things to buy and look at. We sure thank all the vendors for coming down to Texas with all their goodies. Donna Anderson did a very good job coordinating the cave trips, with only a few misunderstandings about where to meet. The trips were great and the ranchers were even more gracious. I was able to cave with Deb Marshall, Justin Justice, and Tom Runyon came from Arizona to help with the Banquet, along with Bart Rapp from Arkansas. Space will not allow me to mention everyone, but I also want to thank three y oung cowboys who drove down from Abilene Thursday night just to help. Even though Scott Adair and Lealand Godbe are very good cowboys, they are also engineers for Lockheed. Tate has finished Junior college and helps his gr andfather on the ranch. E v eryone I came into contact with had praises for Texas cavers and the ranch e rs who allowed us to go caving on their land. We had caves available everyday (I missed one day because I had to do laundry). Fort Clark Springs community welcomed everyone with ope n arms an d lots of food served with smiles, sometimes weary smiles, but they were always there! Also, a BIG BIG THANK YOU for the dedication of people from all over the world and meet some of the friendliest people ever. Mike Walsh and his group did a super job with the Howdy Party. I think everyone would have to say it was the best yet. I heard Lee Stevens say it was the best ever. Barbe and Dave supervised the Speleolympics and cavers had lots of fun and won lots of prizes. George Veni and Bill Elliott did an outstanding job on the Convention Book about Texas Caves. This book should be in everyone's library! Congratulations guys!!! Also the Waltz Across Texas trips were a great hit and very informative. Jay Jorden and Ron Ralph did a great job in organizing. Gil Ediger and Blake Harrison (and I'm sure there are others) did a superb job with the camp grounds. Pete Strickland should get the biggest award for his wonderful showers and dressing rooms. I want him in my comer when I have to come up with something for a large group of people. Ca"er's Reunion Fr14ay, Oeteht 21st. Participate In a Giant Garage (tarp) Sale. Bring your used or unwanted caving related gear and help yourself and others. Sell or trade your extra worldly goods. Also. please bring your used alkaline for recycling. zmt 117<0USSJ41W September, 1994 The TEXAS CAVER 87


and more photos at the 1994 Convention 88 The TEXAS CAVER September, 1994


September, 1994 The TEXAS CAVER 89


TRIP REPORTS FROM HERE TO THE GUADS OR COTTONWOOD DELIGHT by John Thompson Personnel : Luz Villegas, Chad Penner Clark and Suzie Giles, Larry Mr Mobile' Martin, Kevin Glover John Thompson Destination: Cottonwood, Second Parallel On thi s Guads trip, I had permits for four caves, Cottonwood (second parallel), Cavetree, Hidden Chimney, and Black, although this trip report will only be about Cottonwood In all of my trips into the Guads I had never v i sited Cottonwood. What a gem I had been overlooking I was expecting pretty. What I was not expecting was selenite chandeliers massive amounts of selenite needles, beautifully clear e psonite formations growing majestically from the floor, wall s of aragonite, tables galore etc etc. etc .. . Well maybe I am getting ahead of myself here . .. In the beginning, I wanted to squeeze in a cave trip between my s pring and summer semesters, so I called Chad to see if h e would be interested in a Guads trip It didn't take long for us to decide on a non-vertical picture trip where w e could bring some prospective cavers. I wished to bring Luz Villegas, a non (but willing)-caver and Flor De Mi Corazon and Chad brought a couple of prospective cav e r s along with his friend Larry. On Thursday, I met Chad at his house around seven o'clock to g e t his directions to a place that would make a good camp Then I se t my fairly new little blue Ranger hurtling w es tward toward s the Guads Would my new truck live up to the r e putation of my pr e vious truck "Beast?" Hmrnmmrn ? Surely, Three-mile Hill would let me know. Along the way we drove through a few rain showers, but from the flooded sec tion s of road we encountered (especially in the Guad s ) mos t of the rain had come this way. But what the h e ll, I had my c ut e blu e tru c k and lots of caver t estos t e ron e-all in all not a worry in the world. Well, the trip up Threemile Hill was anticlima c tic and I knew we w o uld be camping befor e the dragons teeth. I w as thinking to myself that my little two-wheel drive tru c k was doin g jus t fine .. a chip off the old blo .. then, with c amp jus t around the c orner, I came upon a water hole with thr ee po ss ible paths to driv e thr o ugh I got out of the tru c k (at a c old 3 a m ) and s tarted p o king the three paths with a stick, but my attempt to find a shallow path through just made me depressed. BUT WAIT!!!! In Chad's directions, he had mentioned that at the previous road split, the left route could, should, I dare say would be better (in his defense he did add fine print that said something to the effect that this could change in a flash if a storm comes through.) So I backed up to the last split and took the left route. It was very narrow, I would not be able to backup on this one ... but, after all, Chad had said.. So onward Luz, my little baby Beast and I went, but just before getting to camp there was another pond/lake. Once again, I got out and probed and poked and prodded in hopes of picking a route through. This route was longer, and deeper than the other, but I was committed now. Besides, if I got stuck, I knew Chad was only a couple of hours behind me with a four-wheel drive vehicle. After assuring Luz that I and my truck could make this "no problem" I entered first gear ... entered lake Fenner ... andju8t when the end was in sight, I found a hole that sent my front end under water causing a wave to roll over my hood and up to my windshield. With a splash similar to but larger than that created by Six Flags' Splashwater Falls ride, my now proclaimed BEAST II jumped out of the water and drove through what remained of lake Fenner like an amphibious assault vehicle ... WE WERE THROUGH AND HERE WAS CAMP!!!! On Friday, we visited Cavetree Cave first, then Chad took the others off to Black Cave while Luz and I did the camping thing .... enjoying the great weather. That evening, while looking at food stuffs we noticed that our trip quartermaster C.E. Fenner had underestimated the amount of hamburger we would need for the weekend. But then something happened that will change my thoughts about "getting away" forever. Larry yells out that ifl have Kevin Glovers' phone number, he will give him a call on his mobile phone and ask him to bring us some more hamburger on Saturday. Not believing, (oh woe be us of little faith) I got him the number. Just minutes later I heard Larry saying, "OK just bring up however much hamburger you can get, see ya tomorrow, Bye. The Guads will never seem so remote again. Almost makes you want to put one of the little wonders in your pack for your next bum trip doesn't it? Picture this: "Hey, where is the entrance to Sentinel anyway"? "Hold on a sec while I give camp a call on the mobile and see if they know" .. or, on a more serious note... "Keep that leg 90 The TEXAS CAVER September, 1994


immobilized, I'll ascend the rope and call for help, be back down in five minutes" Hmmmmmm maybe not such folly after all Saturday brought another beautiful day in the Guads, and by 9 a.m we were off to the tower to meet Kevin Glover who would lead us to Cottonwood Cave, Second Parallel Tour. Soon we were at the tower. Kevin was already there, and yes so was our hamburger meat which we stuck in a cooler The elephant trail made the hike to the cave s hort and easy. The entrance to Cottonwood Cave is most impressive There is a very large opening (picture included) leading to a substantial entrance room decorated with many stalactites and stalagmites Kevin pointed out that the formations we w ere seeing were known to have been brilliantly white b e fore the cave suffered a lot of vandalism in the '50s and 60s. He also pointed out that the floor had been silted in to a depth of five feet, covering many formations due to an inappropriately placed entrance trail. The new trail down the entrance should prevent further degradation as it has been placed with conservation in mind using many s w i tchbacks as you descend into the entrance room The j ourney through the entrance room is beautiful and does not r equire artificial light as the entrance allows plenty of sun to e nter The entrance room had lots of cave swallows s wooping and darting here and there. Lights are needed as you travel up some areas in the cave and then down the s ubstantial dirt/breakdown backside. Near the entrance to the second parallel Kevin left us for a few minutes check to out the locks at the Wonderland e ntrance Shortly he returned and we entered the small gate a t the entrance to the second parallel. The entrance is followed by a relatively short crawl of maybe 50 to 100 meters None of the new cavers had any trouble with the crawl or for that matter any obstacle in the cave. Soon we were standing in the second parallel s main passage It was truly impressive and well decorated The damage that dust can cause was not nearly as bad as in Cottonwood's main passage but some damage could be seen. Selenite needles seemed to be everywhere on the trail. We had to be vigilant to avoid stepping on these delicate formations throughout our trip in the cave. One of the most impressive formations I have ever seen in my life is the s e l e nite chandelier in Cottonwood's second parallel. The size of the crystals are a truly awesome sight. Our adventure in Cottonwood Cave continued past the chandelier w ith agreements to photo shoot on the way out. After a short journey, we soon came across more of the wonders which have made this cave world renown. There are gyp sum flowers which extend 8 to 10 inches from the wall And, if the incredible white of the flowers is not enough there are the epsonite formations which extend several feet, not inches, from the ground. Cottonwood is a cave that can knock your socks off once, then, when you round a formation, it does it again as you encounter a very large aragonite wall. Well after the sensory overload at Cottonwood, it was time to sit and have a bite to eat in a bowl shaped depression in a room with a ceiling decorated with a virtual plethora of small and medium stalactites. In one comer of the room, there was a pair of formations known as lions tailstruly a wonderful spot for lunch. After we stopped and ate, we divided into small groups of three and took turns following Kevin into a beautiful room known as the table top room. Kevin took Luz, Larry and Suzie first. Then, Chad, Clark and I took our tum and eagerly went to see what the stir was about. WOW. The table top room was aptly named alright. There were small lakes in the corners and the entire room was filled with tables and helectites of all sizes WOW!! And, not surprisingly for this cave, you only have to look closer or in a different way and you discover something new. While photo shooting the room we discovered some of the formations phosphorized, emitting a light bright enough to read by. When Kevin is impressed, then you know it is something impressive indeed. Kevin said he was definitely planning to return to attempt to photo shoot the formation's glow. Well, the time came to return to the group and soon we were all planning to start back to the Chandelier. After a short trip over some Ladderite formations (a very convenient man made formation) we were once again at the beautiful, wonderful, exquisite, astounding.. Chandelier formation. I set up and shot the formation from about a half dozen angles, bracketing all my shots. This is one formation that would not escape my photo album. After the photo shoot, we all took notice of the bright yellow sulphur formations high on the wall above us before starting out of the second parallel and out of Cottonwood. The hike out of Cottonwood is a long long, trail that is a continuous positive grade. Luz informed me that STEP REEBOK's claim that their workout is the toughest in the world, should perhaps be changed to the second toughest. I really didn t have the heart to tell her s ome of the pleasures we ve had from many death march/bum trips in the Guads. Well needle s s to say, the trip was wonderful and the sights I saw in Cottonwood's Second Parallel will be with me forever. P.S. The meal for which Chad needed the hamburger did S e ptember, 1994 The IEXAS CAVER 91


tum out well. Furthermore, on the car trip to the tower we discovered a path that would allow us to avoid the water on the way down Three-mile Hill. POST -CONVENTION: NORTHERN MEXICO by Jay Jorden Following the 1994 NSS Convention at Fort Clark Springs, I had determined to unwind from the co-chairman's duties by heading south of the border. (Some had joked during convention that they were going to bail out by going caving in Mexico!) Luckily, we all stuck it out through the weeklong convention, which turned out to be a great success and will probably be talked about for years. Connecting with Greg "Hans" Hanson of South Dakota, we headed to the Bustamante Area field camp in Nuevo Leon. We drove south from Brackettville on Monday, June 27, stopping briefly in Eagle Pass before proceeding on southeastward to Laredo. There, we parked the truck at a downtown hotel's storage, crossed the Rio Grande and customs on foot and then boarded a Frontera bus for Sabinas Hidalgo late Monday afternoon. We had lucked out with our transportation, since this bus was "state-of-the-art" for Mexico: it was equipped with air conditioning and even had multiple television monitors which proceeded to show the American movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Red Dawn" in English (with Spanish and Russian subtitles.) With this flick cranked up, we barely noticed driving through the checkpoint south of Nuevo Laredo and were soon zooming along the InterAmerican Highway. Arriving in the city, we found that the Zuazua line, which served Villaldama and points west, was at another bus station which was closed for the night. Hiking through a quiet city past midnight, we woke up only a few cringe dogs and soon found accommodations just west of town. Tuesday morning, we awoke with a grand view of the mountains and a bus heading our way from Sabinas. We flagged it down and were in Villaldama less than an hour later, eating breakfast. We inquired about buses to Bustamante, about six miles away, but soon decided to hitchhike instead and caught a ride to the turnoff with a telephone company truck. A pickup stopped less than a minute later and we were driven to the town square At the Anc ira Hotel, we walked into the courtyard to find T e rry Sayth e r, Debbie Williams and the Kramers from Maryland. Inside the restaurant eating breakfast were Joe Ivy and Linda Palit of San Antonio. They were leaders of the Minas Viejas crew. The caves around Bustamante and Minas Viejas offer an example of about everything you would expect from Mexico -BIG caves and deep pits. Two field camps were operated in the vicinity -one in Bustamante Canon from which day trips were made to the several nearby caves (mainly Palmito and Precipicio) and the other at Minas Viejas, an area of vertical caves 10 miles northeast of Bustamante. Several abandoned mines in the area offer good pickin's for the mineral collector. Either of these areas is well suited for people with only a day or two to spend in Mexico on their way home after convention. The city of Bustamante has some entertainment planned especially for the visiting cavers. A base camp was maintained in Bustamante Canyon during the week following convention. Cavers from as far away as California stayed here. Cueva de Carrizal and Gruta del Palmi to were day trips and Precipicio was a 1 112or 2day caving trip actually in the canyon and within sight of camp. The last two caves have HUGE rooms with large formations. There was room for everyone. Greg and I went to Palmito on Tuesday along with the Maryland cavers and some Californians. Precipicio requires some vertical work. Numerous rock art sites are close by. The Minas Viejas area has two excellent pit caves named Montemayor and Cuchillo, as well as several abandoned silver-lead mines, some about 300 years old. Daily trips were limited to 30 or 40 people per day. MONTGOMERY GYPSUM CAVE Terrell County, Texas by Gralin Coffin. Present for trip: Gralin Coffin, trip leader, Bill Bentley, Walter Feaster, Noel Pando, Noel Pando Jr., Ken Kamon, Rick Day, all of PBSS fame, Pat Geery, Austin, Dan Hansen, North (rowdy) Colorado and David Williams This trip was a scheduled "day trip". Wednesday, Jun e 22nd, during the 1994 NSS convention held at Brackettvill e (Ft. Clark Springs), Texas during the week of June 2024. Besides the above mentioned PBSSers, there had been a tota l of 15 people that signed up for this trip, and although ther e 92 The TEXAS CAVER September, 1994


were just 3 out-of-towners that made it, it was agreed that those that didn't show up were the ones that lost out. The trip went great, with only the usual "couple of hitches." And lest we forget YES it was HOT! Don't b e lieve me? Just ask Noel how hot the pipe across the entrance was when he put his arm across it as he got to the s urface The Noels, Ken and Rick, so graciously went down to Montgomery on Tuesday night and rigged the cave making the trip into and out of the cave an easy one. Once we had all reached the bottom we spent a lot of time looking at the numerous gypsum speleothems. Although it has been stated before, I must say it again. This cave has s ome of if not all of the best gypsum speleothems" in Texas They are truly great. After spending some quality time inspecting the gypsum area and mulling over a few s peleopolitical topics we devided into groups; those that thought they would (tour the remainder of the cave, including a nice chimney and a squeeze) and those that t hought they wouldn't. Noel Jr. led the way, with yours truly right behind him The further we went the more I wondered when the little guy (by the way he ain't little except maybe when compared to big Noel) was going to lead me into something that only h e knew how to get out of. When we got to the top of the c himney and Noel Jr. climbed on up and told me one of those hole goes back to a crack that you can crawl back to and s ee a big chandlier" I thought this was his big chance as he pointed to the holes and said "I think it's the right o ne But alas he's too good a kid or maybe he thought that an old fart like me might kill him if he lead me up the wrong preverbial creek. Meanwhile back at the Bat cave, w hoops wrong story. Back at the bottom of the last drop Bill and Walter were getting ready to get back to the top. I knew t hat it had to be Miller time or else Walter wouldn't be b reathing on Bill's foot gibbs as he started up the rope. I kne w there wouldn't be much refreshment left if I left W alter on the top too long by himself so I proceeded up the rope right after him. The rest followed with Rick and Noel b ringing up the rear and the rope 'Preciate it guys! A good time was had by all, and all of us conventioneers agreed that it was definitely worth the 3 5 hour drive Oh y eah I didn't elaborate on the couple of hitches" Briefly, Pat had a blowout on a rear tire of his baby pickup ( the rock s get sharp out there) with no spare except, you guessed i t a baby "pretend" spare The cave gods were with him (and u s ) But through the worst part of the trip in and all of the trip out the squirrelly little donut made it The other h itch ? Nothing really new for thi s cave Rick sat on a s nake. Thi s time no rattles though. Sid e note : For those of you that didn't make it to the convention, you missed a real good time and a hell of an experience FIRE ON THREE MILE HILL by Allen Laman Participants: Mike Huber, Ken Kamon, Allen and Rose Laman, Martha and Jill McAuthur, Sean and Shane Muirhead, Chris Wright Well, as you all know, you should never set any certain time for departure. We did this anyhow. We thought we would leave around 3:00 or 4:00. Instead, it was closer to 6 : 00 or 7 : 00. We got to Carlsbad about 8:30 and filled up with gas. We then headed for Dark Canyon The sun was going down as we made our way toward the hill. I really don't like driving Dark Canyon road at night but we had a great weekend planned. All went well and we made it up the hill but things were not as they seemed We had noticed a fire on one of the ridges. Little did we know how it would effect our weekend Much to my surprise we were the first ones there. I talked Rose into letting me park in the party spot and she was not happy later on in the evening. Shortly after we got every thing set up Bill Yett showed up. He came over and we talked for awhile when I realized he had run for the B.O G. (that's Board of Governors for all you spelunkers out there). I mentioned it to him and he told me he not only ran but also won. We now have a BOG member in our region. After Bill showed up I think Martha and Jill were next. They chatted for a few minutes then decided they were going to camp by The Dragons Teeth. Mike was next to show so we all sat around chewing the fat and waiting for the arrival of our friend "the bloke" just kidding Chris, who was supposed to be corning up with Ken. They finally We all discussed the fire and whether we thought tt was going to ruin our weekend of caving. It got late enough for every one to retire to their own camps1tes (really the lantern went out) so everbody went to sleep. A new day dawned on the hill and we could smell smoke Ken had permits to the Pinks but Mike to go to Madonna which sounded good to me. We talked It over and decided it would most likely be Chris's only chance to see this cave so we decided to go Martha said she wanted to go to Pink Dragon so she, Jill, S e ptember, 1994 The TEXAS CAVER 93


Rose, Sean and Shane headed out. The rest of us had to wait for Kevin who was bringing the permit and the key. He s howed up and then Ransom showed up, the bearer of bad news. Seems the fire was likely to jump the ridge. It wouldn t hurt us in the cave but we might have to fight it to get back to camp. We decided we would catch up with the Pink s party and go to Pink Panther. Well, we got to the parking area but they had already s tarted for the cave. We tried to find where Martha had hidden the keys No such luck. We convinced Chris to break out her window since she probably wouldn't get too mad at him, him being a foreigner and all, but he decided to try Ken's key instead. What do you think happened? Yep, it opened! We got the permit, signed it, and off we went. Everybody who s been to the Pinks knows what a hike it is; almo s t like going to Sentinel or Gunsight. After a few breaks along the way we got to the top of where we were s uppo sed to be. Down we went, and down, and down After a little bit of looking around we found it. Mike opened the gate while Chris donned his caving apparel. Mike went, then Ken, then me, then Chris. While Ken and Mike were rigging the drop Chris and I chatted. Chris realized that he had left his gloves with his stuff outside While he went to fetch them Ken made the drop. I got Mike to let me go next, then Chris and finally Mike At the bottom of the drop we all shed our rappelling gear and off we went to s ee the sight of a very pretty cave. Ken didn't s eem to feel well so we all ditched him. We looked around for a couple hours. We went to see the bear s keleton or whatever it is. We then went to the other end of the cave and poked around there for awhile. Mike said someone had told him about a room called "the speleogasm room". To get to this room involves a pretty good chimney but well worth the little bit of trouble to see. After seeing this room we decided to go out. Mike wanted to tak e some pictur es so w e said we would meet at Pink Dragon He agreed s o Chris Ken, and I headed for the e ntran ce. K e n wa s eag e r to try out his new a s cending device so we l e t him go fir st. H e said he had a little bit of trouble but made pr e tty good time. Chris was having a little trouble putting his gear on so I went out and it wasn't long until Chri s wa s out also. Whe n w e got out we discovered it had rained which got o ur hop es up sin c e tomorrow we were to go to three fingers. W e headed for Pink Dragon. It was easy to find. On the way w e pas sed by Damn Cave but could not enter since it was gated We went on by and came to the Dragon after only a few more yards. We sat down and decided to relax for a few minutes before going on. Chris wears a dry suit while caving but packs it all in While he was getting changed I looked around. There is not much to see until you get down deeper into the cave. We all headed down into the cave and looked around. We went both directions and gave it a good looking over. There's not a whole lot to see but it is a pretty cave. After seeing everything there was that we could find we headed back to the entrance. When we got there Mike was snoring and we were kinda scared to go out thinking maybe it was a bear or something. We finally decided it was just Mike so out we went. It sure was a long hike back to the trucks but we made it. Mike turned on his Walkman so he was not very good company on the hike. Oh, well we finally made it. Back at camp everyone was in pretty good spirits except Rose, who was not to happy about getting lost and hiking all over the Guad's After some vittles we all sat around chewing the fat about tomorrow's caving. Ken, Chris, Mike and I were planning to go to Three Fingers. We would soon find our plans changing. We had been watching the glow from the fire across the other ridge. We figured they must have it under control, then Ransom showed up and told us we should probably get off the hill. He told us to call him in the morning and then he would know if we could go on our trip to Three Fingers or not. We went to the base of the hill and got set up for a short nap. Daybreak came. After breakfast Mike and Ken went to try to call Ransom. They soon returned with bad news. Ransom thought it best to keep the hill clear for fire fighting equipment. We reluctantly agreed and decided to go to Sitting Bull Falls After getting everything packed, we decided to take the long way so we could check out the fire and the devastation it had caused. The damage was not as bad as we had figured but any damage to our forests is too much. After watching the drop-plane circle a few times we headed out. We made a stop in Queens for ice and that is where we caught up with Mike who was eating breakfast. As soon as Ken got a whiff of the food he wasn't going anywhere till his belly was full. Rose, the boys and I went on to the Fall s since we had already eaten. Ken and Chris showed up after a little bit. We all checked out the cave and Buddy and Ken went for a swim. We decided to go to Parks Ranch to spend the night. told the guys we should try to get Chimney Cave from the Park Service as we were going in that direction anyway 94 The TEXAS CAVER September, 1994


When we got to Cave Resources it didn't look like anyone was there. Then the door opened and there stood Jason. W e told him about our luck on Three Mile Hill. Pitifully as w e could, we asked if we could go to Chimney Cave. He l ooked it up and seems we didn't have to beg after all. A fter trying a few minutes to talk him into "Lech" we gave u p thanked him for the permit to Chimney, and headed for camp. We had bought a rack of ribs to Bar-B-Q for Chris and w hoever else was around at the time We got a fire going w hile Chris and the boys played football. We talked about stringing Chris up at midnight since he was a "Brit", and tomorrow was the 4th of July. He didn't seem too worried. M orning came and we wanted to get an early start. Ken of fered to buy breakfast at White City so we accepted. A fterward, we headed for the cave. We set up the camper at the parking area since Rose said she had all the caving and hiking she could stand for one weekend. We headed out and soon we were at the mouth of the cave. We got the gate ope n and I went in first. Shane and Sean came in next, then K e n and Chris. We headed for the drop and got it rigged in n o time. I dropped first then Shane came down. This was his first time on rope and I think he did well. Ken came next while I was taking off my gear. Sean and I had to pass gear because I only had my gear and Walter's gear. Soon we were all down and signed in on the register. We checked out the antenna and went over to the crawl. We went back as far as we could and I think it's really neat back there. After seeing all there was to see back there we came out so Chris could take some pictures. We tried to help light up the big room as best as we could but that's a pretty tough task. We figured we had seen all there was to see s o we headed for the top. At the top of the drop I did the traver s e to see what was over there and was rather disappointed We got out of the cave without incident to find a thunder s torm heading our way We headed for the truck to find that Rose had fixed us all cheeseburgers. (Thanks H o n e y they were good ) After lunch we packed up and went d o wn to White City so Chris could get some souvenirs W e l eft camp just in time cause God Jet the rain come down. Aft er a little bit the rain let up We all said goodbye to our friend from the United Kingdom. Chris, enjoyed caving with y ou again this year and look forward to seeing you next year. Just kidding about all the "Brit" jokes and thanks for being s uch a good s port. God bless and see you next spring Silky Stone Rivers and White Clouds We sit on the couch in front of a glowing fire I am trying to understand a passion for caves and darkness, which is difficull, because I have chosen the magic of the sky there, I ask. in the darkness that you hope to find?-"Well, he muses, "not just darkness It' s really lots of things. He leans closer, anxious to help me understand "Like stalagmites reaching for stalactites, and silky stone rivers frozen in time "There's goldenflow stone helectitts, and occasionally silent bats wing by ... His voice fades as I sink into my inward self and see endless sky, shades of blue, silver rain, and golden moon I see glinering stars, shooting stars, and white clouds softly floating by ... We fall silent looking deeply into each other's eyes. Looking closely into hazel, I see reflected there, stalagmites, stalactites, rivers frozen in time And looking deeper still, down into his heart, there's flow stone lily pads, and shadowy bats spiraling by . And in my eyes he sees silver wings and spinning props, puffs of exhaust as engines burst to life, Looking higher there are vapor traiLs, towering clouds and smaller clouds all white against blue sky We look at each other and smile Turning and gazing back into the fire we watch as yellow flames become stalagmites leaping and reaching for stalactites, golden sky, flow stone, silver wings, with bats and clouds occasionally passing by .... ROICIIW)' Stidlwn, Pilot for my huabaod, Noble, C.Ver S e pt e mber, 1994 The TEXAS CAVER 95


THE DEVIL YOU SAY? by Ke v in Gl ove r P e rsonnel: Mike Huber, Kevin Glover Ken Kamon, Laurence Parent, Larry Grey, Dave Stuart (Texas Parks and Wildlife) Destination: Devil's Sinkhole and The Caverns of Sonora Approximately May 8, 1994, I was on Three Mile Hill in so utheast New Mexico ridgewalking with Mike Huber and trying to find a grand fissure pit that had been reported by so meone else. The ridgewalking was going very well. It wa s th e n that Mike mentioned that Laurence Parent was going to do a photo shoot at Devil' s Sinkhole on the 16th. Laur e nc e wanted to get an old group together that had shot so m e stuff in Carl s bad Cavern However, John Burke wa sn't available, so Mike was see ing if I was interested. Bless his heart. I gu ess h e really appreciated a certain cave that I bar e ly managed to get him into la s t January. (Thanks Then we drove. Mike on his motorcycle and me in my car with all th e c aving ge ar and Mik e !) Anyway I jumped at the c hance. Since the 16th was a Monday, w e thought that the Caverns of Sonora would be neat for the 15th. Mike said that he knew Bill Sawyer and that he might b e available for either the Cav e rn s or th e Sinkhole. On To Sonora rope Aft e r spending Saturday night at Mike's hou se in C-had, we rose Sunday m o rning r ea lly ea rly, w e nt to J erry's Restaurant, and beat any br ea kfast c rowd. The n we drov e. Mike on his motor cycle and m e in my ca r with all th e c aving gear and rope. After six hour s w e pulled into th e Cav e rns parking lot and found Bill Saw yer. Mik e invited Bill along o n th e D evil's Sinkhol e trip but h e co uld n o t get off w o rk on Monday. However, Bill grabbed another e mpl oyee and to o k Mike and I on a three h o ur t o ur o f th e Caverns o f Sonora Bill would occasionally tum th e lig ht s o ut f o r o ur ph o tography It' s a beautiful cave. And lik e so m e of th e fin e r Guadalupe caves, it d oesn't kn o w when t o quit. Everything i s co v e red over with an y thing and eve r y thing Ju s t when I would think that I had h a d e n o u g h we w o uld round a co m e r and th e c av e would a tta c k again with a th o usand h elic tit es o r ma sses of white co r a l o r spar or th ose r ea lly uniqu e fis h tail h elic tit es. And the r e would be Mik e and I trying t o l oo k in eve ry dir ec tion at once. Well, that ordeal eventually ended. Did I mention how hot is was? The cave is 71 degrees and 95 percent humidity. Sweat was common We spent that night at Bill Sawyer's house. That was cool of him. The alternative was a humid, hot night somewhere else. (Thanks Bill!) The Devil' s Sinkhole Next day, we drove to our meeting place in an extremely small town (Rock Springs, I think) and met the other four in our group. We piled into two 4WD vehicles and headed for the cave. Several miles of rough road later, we stopped. We didn't even have to get out of the truck. Not 50 feet away was MUCRO GRANDE SINKHOLE, 60 feet in diameter and lying in flat ground that one could easily drive a truck over. We got out of the truck and ran all around the sinkhole. While running around it, I discovered two man-sized, partially hidden holes that lie on the very edge of the entrance. I stopped running Dave Stuart, our Parks representative said that since he was going to give two tours of this place for the NSS Convention in June, he didn't need to see the cave this time. He let us all go in while he sat on the surface. (Wow, thanks, Dave!) Before we went in, Dave gave us some history and information on the place At least two people (non-cavers) have fallen into the sinkhole in the past 10 years. One was a Boyscout. They either leaned over too far or were running around the place a little too fast, I guess, and ... Well, they both made a "Descent into the Depths of the Earth" and they really didn't land right on those sharp rocks at the bottom. When the five of us looked down the hole, we got ourselve s totally prone We didn't even need to hear the story to do that. Dave also said that he rarely takes tours into the Sinkhole, but that he sometimes brings 30 or so people to the entrance at sunset to watch the bat flights. There are about 4 million bat s here in the summer. Mike and I rigged two ropes to the trucks and rappelle d first. Laurence, leaning over the edge, was photographing u s as we did the first few feet. Wherever you rappel, you star t with a lip. You go from standing up on the surface to a 90 degree tran s ition on a wall which ends two feet later in anothe r 90 degree transition which leaves you free-hanging. All aroun d this sinkhole this lip varies from two to three feet thick. I n some places it makes a shelf that is thin to look at if someon e is standing on it, but according to Dave is strong enough t o hold a lot of w e ight. The rappel is a 150 foot total free hang. The wall is only close enough to gaze over at and say, "Wow, look at all those 96 The 1EXAS CAVER September, 1994


trees!" So Mike and I are hanging just below the transition and Laurence is photographing us and saying, "Ok, Mike, look down at the bottom, or, "Look over at those trees, or, "Look back at me, Mike. Then, Laurence sent Mike down and had me go down ten feet to Mike's previous position. He did the same with me. "Look down, up, .. at the trees". Actually, it was quite fun. Every once in a while I would look down and be reminded that I was 150 feet up in a place that I shouldn't naturally be. And s ince I have never considered a 150 foot rappel to be a very long time to spend in a seat harness, I didn't bring any foot loops to allow me to stand at times. So, I was wanting to get down Another glance down revealed that Mike was off rope, and not long after that Laurence let me go. The day above was hot while just below the entrance, it c ooled nicely. Mike and I had landed on a rather large breakdown mound 150 feet below. Looking up caused tunnel v ision. The large round entrance gives way to the wider walls w hich bell out as they go down. Just above where we stood, the diameter of the bell shape had reached way over 100 feet. T hen, where the walls of the bell contacted the really big room below us there was a sudden widening. From the top of the breakdown mound, we stood at the center and the very top of this great room. It is sort of round and 300 feet or more across We spent a lot of time watching streams of water drops fall by the ropes and striking all around us. Dave had said there were a few bats here. Well, the b ottom of the room is thick in guano. We saw many bats and swallows there. Since several of us saw no chance to ever return to this pit, we took large quantities of photos. Some of them are really g ood. This cave doesn't go anywhere, so we spent all day under the entrance. Laurence shot his photos for a long time. H e said that the shoot was for the Texas Parks and Wildlife and their records and also that he might have an article on this place i n T e xas Highways magazine. Larry Grey and I were the first to climb. Of course, we sto pped to let Laurence photograph us again. Near the top, I c limbed to about 10 feet below the entrance and 50 feet above Larry, then carefully took out my camera, and shot a few pictures looking down at him. Larry, who was at the top, ende d up exhaling as much air as one of those 747 engines w hile trying to make it over the lip. Dave and I assisted him o n those mean transitions and then the others came up. We thanked Dave a lot for the trip. We spent a little time talking cave management and then we all headed home. A good time was had by all, except maybe, the time when Larry was climbing. MADONNA CAVE July 23, 1994 by Pat Copeland Personnel: Mike Huber, Wayne Walker, Shannon Seals, Chad Horton, Pat Copeland. We set up a camp at Three Mile Hill. Saturday morning Shannon arrive and we headed for Madonna. The road is very rough and getting to the cave is always a challenge After hiking and following the nose of the mountain, we started down and eventually came to the entrance of the cave. Mike led the way and secured the rope for our descent. He went first, then me, followed by Chad, Shannon, and Wayne. The drop is breath taking, but I remembered that if you go down .. you also have to go back up ... We gathered our gear and headed to Dean's Drop that leads to the Wine Cellar. On the way down my pack came loose and fell. It landed on a ledge where, fortunately, I was able to retrieve it. It had all my climbing gear for the climb out! Finally we reached the Wine Cellar. I took Shannon to see the Shield while Chad, Wayne, and Mike surveyed. Shannon was awe-struck just as I was the first time I was in this cave. We took pictures and just stood and took in the beauty of this room. After seeing the Shield we made our way back to help with the survey but didn't make the correct tum and found ourselves in another beautiful room with lots of Dog Tooth Spar. It was purple, and under the ledge of light blue was a ball approximately two feet in diameter that was solid black with diamond shaped ends sticking out. We took a few pictures and found our way back to the survey team. Mike took us back to the most awesome room in the world!!! We saw Spar on the ceiling that was over a foot long (14.5" long, 2" thick). We noticed that the wall was solid Spar that was being covered in areas with white carbonate coating and in some places formations of flowstone was forming over the crust. Wayne was trying to sketch everything in on his survey. Chad and Mike checked some high leads but nothing was found. On one place we saw black on a large wall formation like the entrance of Black cave. Mike thought there might be another entrance. After the sketching was done, we moved to Mike's favorite room, Oggly Mugly. The room is wet with the tinniest helictites that I have ever seen and has every kind of formation that you could think of, including the King that the room was named after. We made our way back to the Wine List, signed our names and read other entries in the book. It was time to start up the HORRIBLE chimney. Wayne free-climbed behind me as I was using my full climb gear. There is no easy way to do this climb. We made it up, followed by Mike and Chad free climbing behind Shannon who was also using his climbing gear. The climb out of the September, 1994 The 1EXAS CAVER 97


New Years' R oo m was an eas i e r climb. Everyone mad e it up and we s tarted out. It was l: 30 AM when we rea c hed the e ntran ce. Walking ba c k t o ca mp the moon was so bright, we didn t n eed o ur light s to see th e trail. That night I s l e pt Piototool(cf N. Stidham outside and went to sleep looking at the stars and thinking o f how gorgeous the moon had looked shining on the mountain s as we came out of Madonna Sweet dreams ........ Pa t 98 The TEXAS CAVER September, 1994


Newsletter publishers and covers using computers for entering survey data be alert for the following viruses found roaming In certain computers. These pesky viruses may be spreading. PAUL REVERE VIRUS. This revolutionary virus does not horse warns you of impending hard disk attack--once if by LAN, twice If by C1>. AIRLINE VIRUS. You're in Dallas. but your data Is In Singapore. ADAM AND EVE VIRUS. Takes a couple of bytes out of your Apple. FEDERAL BUREAUCRAT VIRUS. Divides your hard disk into hundreds of little units, each which does practically nothing. but all of which claim to be the most important part of your computer. AT&T VIRUS. Every three minutes it tells you what great service you are getting. PBS VIRUS. Your programs stop every few minutes to ask for money. MCI VIRUS. Every three minutes It reminds you that you're paying too much for the AT&T Virus STAR TREK VIRUS. Invades your system in places where no virus has gone before. OLLIE NORTH VIRUS. Causes your printer to become a paper shredder. GOVERNMENT ECONOMIST VIRUS. works. but all your diagnostic software says everything is fine. KEVORKIAN VIRUS. Helps your computer shut down as an act of mercy. I NIKE VIRUS1 Just does lt.j


TH TEXAS CA. VR P. 0. Box 8026 Austin, Texas 78713 Address Correction Requested BULK RATE U.S. Postage PAD Lubbock, Texas Permit No. 328

Contents: Conservation
Reports: The Government Canyon Survey / George Veni --
TSS Reports- Guidebook Available --
Hi-Tech Conference --
TCMA Reports TCMA at Convention / Jay Jorden --
Underground Review Book Reviews / Bill Mixon --
General News- Grotto Newsletter Wms Again / Jay Jorden --
The Dreaded H Word / JayJorden --
Following The Money Underground / Bob Crisman --
What About Cave Rescue and the N.C.R.C. in Texas? / Joe
lvy --
Finding Your Way Thru the Maze / John Ganter --
A Fond Farewell to Convention '94 Making History Can Be
Fun / Noble Stidham --
Ecstacy ...and the Agony / Jay Jorden --
Impressions of My First Convention / David L. Williams --
"Thanks" 1994 NSS Convention / Pat Copeland --
Photos at the 1994 Convention --
Trip Reports --
From Here to the Guads or Cottonwood Delight / John
Thompson --
Post-Convention: Northern Mexico / Jay Jorden --
Montgomery Gypsum Cave / Gralin Coffin --
Fire on Three Mile Hill / Allen Laman --
Silky Stone Rivers and White Clouds / R. Stidham --
Phototoons / N. Stidham


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