The Texas caver

The Texas caver

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


General Note:
Contents: News: features - TAG fall cave-in -- Trip reports: The end is Near! -- Ukrainian visits -- Sphinx Cave -- Government Canyon -- From the files of the TSS: West Kerr Bat Cave -- TCC activities update: cave crickets assist -- News from the TSA: TSA winter BOG minutes -- More news from the TSA: 2004 election tabulation -- Even more news from the TSA: proposed constitutional amendment -- TCMA: Classic Texas caves.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Location:
Windy City Grotto Collection, 1961-2013
Original Version:
Vol. 49, no. 6 (December 2003)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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K26-04771 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4771 ( USFLDC Handle )
12767 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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I THE T[XAS (AVER December 2003 Volume 49 Number 6 ISSN 00404233 The Texas Caver is a bi-monthly publication of The Texas Speleological Association (TSA), an internal organization of the National Speleological Society (NSS). Snbscription rates are $25/ year which includes TSA membership. Libraries, institutions, and our-of state subscribers may receive The Texas Caver for $20/ year, Letters to the Editor, article submissions, subscription requests, advertisiug and questions should be sent to the Editor: The Texas Caver 10801 County Road 116 Kenedy, TX 78119 Don Arburn 361/362-3677 The deadline for submissions to The Texas Caver is the 3 weeks before publication month. Opinions expressed in The Texas Caver are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors, the TSA or the NSS. Texas Speleological Association Officers: Chair Terry Holsinger Vice-Chair Christi Bennett .. ~ Treasurer Joe Ranzau Secretary Jerry Atkinson . .. Texas Speleological Association Business Address: PO Box 8026 Austin TX 78713 Other contacts: TIlli TEXAS CAVER DON ARBURN TSA Store Logan McNatt TSA Web Team TCC Mike Walsh. . . . . . . TCR Andy Grubbs TSS George Veni TCMA Linda PaJit .. BCI Merlin D. Tuttle & Jim Kennedy .. AMCS Bill Mixon CaveTex Tom White THE COVERS: FRONT COVER: Will Harris in Parks Ranch Cave, Eddy County, NM. it was taken a few years ago, don't know exact date ... By Travis Scott BACK COVER: Amanda Scott coming out of a crawlway in Maple Run Cave. Owned by TCMA in Austin Texas. Contents News: Features TAG Fall Cave-in ............. 103 Trip Reports The End is Near! 1rt Ukrainian visits .11 Sphinx Cave ................. 1~11f Government Canvon .11:, from The files 01 the TSS West Kerr Bat Cave 11~ TCC ActiVities Update N:::~r~:::~~:=SiSt .......... 11~ I TSA WINTER BOG MINUTES .. .111, I More News from the TSA 2004 Election Tabulation .... 118 Even More News From the TSA Proposed Constitutional f'F I Amendment 11, I TCMA [i I ClaSSIC Texas Caves ......... 11", I TSA Store! http://www.cavetexas.orq/stores.htm Loqan McNatt 4419 Clawson Rd Austin, TX 78745 ~~2=462~'9)581' ,._sbi \5 Chronicles of the Old Reading Grotto . issues sac", o(lb e J(a S caver le \ "' w) ( 0\ "", bU n TSA patches ="-!!m1li!!&""CIOCkS! 102


NEWS: fEATURE TAG Fall Cave-in by Lawrence Najjar The 26th annual TAG Fall Cavein took place on Thursday, October 9th through Sunday, October 12th at the Sequoyah Caverns campground ( near Valley Head, Alabama. TAG is the area where Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia (TAG) meet. The area has great caving lots of long, deep caves with beautiful entrances, big passages, vertical drops, underground streams and waterfalls, and some really nice formations. Over 100 unaffiliated volunteers and cavers from the Birmingham Grotto, Chattanooga Grotto, Dogwood City Grotto, Huntsville Grotto, and Walker County Cave Rescue Unit worked together to plan and staff the 26th annual TAG Fall Cave-in. For 26 years the owners of Sequoyah Caverns have hosted the Cavein at their beautiful, sprawling campground in Valley Head, Alabama, about 35 miles southwest of Chattanooga, Tennessee. This year, 1389 National Speleological Society cavers or their guests from around the United States and around the world attended the Cave-in. I know of at least three cavers from the Lone Star State who made the trip. The popular Vendor Row featured 19 caving product vendors, including Inner Mountain Outfitters, OnRopel, and PM!. The TAG Fall Cave-in included many events such as Squeeze box Speleo Olympics Volleyball Bonfires Live band TAG videos and slide show Vertical contest Awards for service to caving Ky in Limrock Blowing Hole Second Breakdown Mountain (Photo by Lawrence NaiJar) Leopard flowslone in Sauta Cave Photo by Lawrence Najjar Door prizes of caving equipment and art Cave rescue unit pancake breakfast. Of course, there was a hot tub, plus a spa, restrooms, laundry room, and warm showers. For me, the big attraction was the caving. Local cavers generously volunteered to lead about a dozen trips to easy and hard, short and long, dry and wet, horizontal and vertical caves. To go on a trip, you just went to the Caving Information table in the Southeastern Caving Conservancy Inc. tent, signed up, then met at the designated place and time to caravan over to the cave. Speaking of the Southeastern Caving Conservancy Inc. (SCCi,, they do a fantastic job buying caves for scientific study, caver education, and species conservation. They own 50 caves on 21 preserves in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. The SCCi raises money from cavers who become members, agree to monthly deductions on their credit cards, "buy" features on SCCi cave maps, "adopt" endangered grey bats, "buy" an acre of a preserve, purchase SCCi logo clothing, or simply donate money. Since 1990, the organizers of the TAG Fall Cave-in have given over $28,000 of their proceeds to SCCi. Lawrence in Limrock Blowing Hole Second Breakdown Mountain (Pholo by Ky MacPherson) 103


Lawrence wading in War Eagle Cave (Photo by Chris Kelly) I met up with friends from Outdoor Recreation Georgia Tech (ORGT). We went (0 four different caves in four days. On Thursday, Ky MacPherson and I went to Limrock Blowing Cave. SCCi recently purchased this cave and it is a beauty! Limrock is a great, horizontal cave with a nice entrance, huge borehole passages, fun side passages, some crawls, streams, domes, rims tone dams, and three waterfalls pouring in from holes in the ceiling. Despite several visits, neither of us had ever made it past the challenging "Second Breakdown Mountain" toward the back of the cave. But, with Ky's six-month-old notes from a partially successful attempt, and some luck and determination, we eventually found a route througb the crawly, confusing breakdown to the back, less visited, one-fifth of the cave. To celebrate, we went back to the SCCi tent and "bought" the section of the cave map just after the second breakdown mountain. Carl Chris Ashley, Mags, Drew, and Theral in War 'Eagle Cave (Photo by Lawrence Najjar) Lawrence doing a drop in Fox Hole (Photo by Chris Kelly) 104 II


II Ashley, Andy, Mags, and Chris at TAG Fall Cavein (Photo by Lawrence Najjar) The next day, nine of us went to Fox Hole. Our group included Andrea Burgess, Ashley Chan, Magdelana Dale, Carl Hlavenka, Chris Kelly, Theral Mackey, and Ky MacPherson. Andy Zellner was our trip leader. Fox Hole was a hard-to-find, dry, little, multi-drop cave with nearly connected pits that were 20, 20, 80, and 90 feet deep. There was only about 20 feet of tight horizontal passage off of one of the pits. Due to the time it took to find the cave, rope-tying, changeovers, and our large group, we basically did the old "touch-the-bottom, come-right-back-up" routine. It was a fun day in the woods and on-rope. On Saturday, Ashley Chan led us on a trip through War Eagle Cave. Drew Wimmer, the current ORGT Caving chair, joined us. War Eagle had a 135-foot-Iong entrance pit with a tough lip and about two miles of big, booming, borehole stream passage. We walked along the banks and cut back and forth across the stream About half of us did the cold, wet walk through the stream and a crawl over gravel to the very back of the cave. We saw some small in-feeder passages, unusual (for TAG) helectites, and other formations. On the way back, we were so busy navigating beside, across, in, and up the banks of tlhe stream that we walked right by the passage to the rope. We quickly realized we were in unfamiliar territory and reversed course back down the stream a hundred feet for the rope-climb. On Suuday, Andy Zellner led us to Sauta Cave. L.T Tognetti was also able to make the trip. This cave has a strange and colorful history. It is at the intersection of two major Indian trails (one is now a highway). It served as the county seat for Jackson County (l bet the natural "air conditioning" was an attraction). During the Civil War it was a saltpeter mine (you can still see some dangerous holes, an artificial darn, and tram tracks). It has a couple of mysterious petroglyphs. It was a commercial cave. Now, for part of the year it is a maternity and hibernation cave for over 200,000 endangered grey and Indiana bats. One day a year, the last Sunday of TAG Fall Cave-in, when most of the bats have migrated, the State of Alabama and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allow visitors to this National Wildlife Refuge. Members of the Huntsville Grotto coordinate the visits. Sauta Cave was mostly dry. The lower, wetter passages were Lawrence at the War Eagle Cave lip (Photo by Drew Wimmer) closed to protect any bats. We stayed in the higher, huge, wide passages that were as much as 100 feet high. Some areas had a lot of bacon, stalactites, stalagmites, and columns. One of the most unusual formations looked like leopard skin flowstone. Turns out, it was regular flowstone that was spotted by bat guano. And tlhere was a lot of bat guano piles of it. We walked on it, scrambled over it, and crawled over it. Some of it was old. Most of it was fresh. The large passages diffused tlhe odor and helped make the smell tolerable. But when we walked along tlhe forested entrance trail down from the main entrance back to the parking ~rea, we passed the second, lower entrance. We smelled it way before we saw it. And we were 100 feet away. So, the TAG Fall Cave-in was a lot of fun -lots of cavers, lots of caving, lots to do. I'm definitely going back next year. If you want to go to the TAG Fall Cave-in, check out tlhe Dogwood City Grotto Web site ( beginning in June. Bonfire (Photo by Theral Mackey) 105


NEws: TRIP REPORTS The End is Near! 12th Annual Caverns of Sonora Restoration Project article and photos by George Veni Making Caverns of Sonora rock-hauling restoration project reports sound different from previous reports is tough, so I won't try this time and will make this one brief. I think most people now know the story that many tons of rubble were generated during the development of the cave over 40 years ago. Cavers from the Texas Speleological Association and beyond have been belping to haul it Qui since 1990. Most of the work has concentrated in the Devil's Pit, where we again worked this year tallying 6.5 years of effort Fifty-four cavers headed into the cave on Saturday, 9 November 2003 and quickly assumed their positions to dig rubble, fill buckets, then haul the buckets out of the pit, dolly them through the cave to a staircase to be passed up and through a narrow bit of passage to the next dolly, deposit them at the base of the entrance series of stairs, pass them up and out of the cave, and finally dump them onto a flatbed trailer. A rotation system allowed people to gradually change jobs and locations in the cave. The caverns staff provided the usual outstanding meal deal of breakfast, lunch, and supper in return for the day's labor. After feasting on supper, several cavers went on photo tours while others lounged in the Visitor Center to look at many miscellaneous caving slides. On Sunday morning, most cavers headed home while about 20 others took a leisurely tour of the cave. The end result of this project was that we can definitely see the end of digging 10 the Devil's Pit rapidly approaching. We pulled out about 12 tons of rubble this trip to raise our project tally to 185 tons, 130 from the Dcvil's Pit alone. The tonnage tally has decreased annually over the past few years because the digging has become more difficult as it extends progressively deeper into more compacted and narrow areas. Next year should be our lowest tonnage yet as we complete the Devil's Pit and likely move to a nearby area to complete a little bit of rock hauling left over from our very first restoration project As before, the project will likely be held in early November, and the announcement will be made primarily via CaveTex in mid-September with the exact date and details. I extend my thanks and those of the cave's owners for every~----106 ------,.-..


------------------~ one's help on this project. A few photos from the trip are included with this report. For more photos from the trip, they are posted on the following website courtesy of Bill Bentley: http://www.pbarc.neticaveman/Caverns_oCSonora_2003_Restor ation Lhtm Caver Restoration Team: Michael Anderson, Barbe Barker, Gary Barnes, Christi Bennett, Bill Bentley, Phyllis Boneau, Mike Burrell, Andrew Butler, Pat Chappelle, Melissa Cicherski, Michael Cicherski, Allan Cobb, Grahn Coffin, Frank Everitt, Linda Farley, Walter Feaster, Stephen Fleming, Tom Florer, Steve Gutting, Andrew Herzig, Frank Herzig, Keith Heuss, Fran Hutchins, Jay Jorden, Jim Kennedy, Kerry Lowery, Dave McClung, Michael McEachern, Shari McMillan, Logan McNatt, Ky Macpherson, Ruel Metcalf, Evelynn Mitchell, Joe Mitchell, Left: Sonora Restoration Team. Photo by Bill Bentley. Top Left: Dennis Welch "muling" buckets cut of the Devil's Pit. Photo by George Veni. Top: Justin Shaw digging in the Devil's Pit. Photo by George Veni. Top Right: Steve Gutting, Chnsti Bennett, and Tom Florer passing buckels up a ladder at the shallow end of the Devi!'s Pit. Photo by George Veni. Right: Walter Feaster unloading bucket raised out of he Devil's Pit. Photo by George Veni.' Far Right: Stephen Flemming carrying a bucket full of rocks. Photo by George Veni. Bill Mixon, Lawrence Najjar, Rebecca 0' Daniel, Rae Olenick, Walt Olenick, Libby Overholt, Karen Perry, Carl Ponebshek, Carol Schumacher, Wes Schumacher, Charles Shirley, Peg Sorenson, Bill Steele, Diana Tomchick, Bill Tucker, George Veni, Audy Walker, Vickie Walker, Dennis Welch, Jim Wolff, Jimmie Worrell, and Jan Zelinka. Caverns of Sonora Staff: Jacqui Bills, J. Lee Boatright, Mandy Brister, Starlyn Chadwick, Mike Cunningham, Patrick Cunningham, Nick Fauela, lJ. Galindo, Filemon Garza, Gerry Ingham, Sherry Ingham, Stella Ingham, Alex Kenney, Melissa Long, Michael Lozano, Seco Mayfield, Louise Moore, Bi11 Sawyer, Justin Shaw, and Jody Trainer. Evening feast: Benita and Harold Martinez of B&H Caterers. 107 ~--------------------


NEWS: TRIP REPORTS Ukrainian caver's Texas visit hosted bv DFW Grono by Jay Jorden Tbe Dallas-Fort Worth and University of Texas grottos have hosted Ukrainian caver Tetyana "Tanya" Yerrnakova during a weekJong visit to Texas that she described as the best part of her one and a half-month journey through the United States. During the first week of November, Tanya visited Caverns of Sonora, Inner Space Caverns, Whirlpool Cave, Beck's Cave, Marigold Pit and a number of other caves in the Austin-Cedar Park area. She also played tourist as Jay Jorden, Sheila Knight and Dave "Cave" McClung took her for a total of 1,400 miles through the state. The JFK Memorial, the Grassy Knoll, the JFK Museum, Dinosaur Valley State Park and Wurstfest in New Braunfels, The University of Texas at Austin and the Posse East were among her stops. The Ukrainian American Youth Caver Exchange Foundation, an NSS Project, sponsored her visit as this year's exchange caver, She arrived in the States on Oct. 5, returning to Ukraine on Nov. 16. The UAYCEF crew lined up a full agenda of caving, sightseeing and camaraderie that included West Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Niagara Falls and upstate New York; Florida and Busch Gardens; TAG Country Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia; and Texas. Included were visits to the seat of U.S. government and sights in Manhattan. "Texas has been the best part of my trip and I don't want to go back to New York," Tanya said through her interpreter, Anatoly Kantor of New York, via cellular phone. "Caverns of Sonora was very, very beautiful." She also agreed that Dave "Cave" is a party animal, but has decided that she prefers beer and vodka over margaritas (Dave provided many longnecks at the Posse East after talkiug Tanya to the UT Grotto meeting in Austin.) A veteran North Texas caver who recently moved to the Austin area (a.k.a. the Center of the Caving Universe), Dave has been members of expeditions in New Mexico, including Lechuguilla Cave; central Mexico, including the Golondrinas area; Great Britain, including pits and systems in Wales, the Mendip Hills and Yorkshire Dales; and other world-class caves. He expressed interest in showing Tanya some of the best of Texas caves in the short time she had in the state. In the Texas capital, Tanya visited severaJ caves as the host of Texas Cave Management Association and the Texas Cave Conservancy. She went to the back of Whirlpool Cave, which is owned by TCMA, and also visited Marigold Pit and other caves formerly managed by TCMA and now under the supervision of TCC. Tanya did the bulk of her Anstin area caving with Dave on Nov. 4-5, visiting a number of attractions in the Austin-Cedar Park area. She also toured TeC headquarters. She greatly enjoyed driving a Polaris Ranger ATV around the area cave preserve. Tanya visited five of the 17 caves that can be reached by all-terrain vehicle, with Mike Walsh as her host at the preserve. When she emerged from one cave, she visited a Snap On Tool truck and was amazed by the display of tools displayed on the walls, floor and the ceiling. "America, what a place!" was the observation. In Whirlpool, TCMA officer Julie Jenkins accompanied Tanya to the end of the cave, which has several thousand feet of passage and a number of digging leads. Tanya's only discouragement occurred when she broke her glasses in one of the Austin area crawls. She was told she could probably get them repaired more cheaply back in her home country, and considered the damage to be a badge of honor! On Dave's I,ISO-mile travels with Tanya in the Taj-Ma-Van, he ensured that she sampled all of the great cuisine and libations that the Lone Star State has to offer. So there was plenty of barbecue at roadside pits, sausage and beer at Wurstfest in New Braunfels, and Tex-Mex for added measure. Tanya toured the town square at Brady, at the self-proclaimed "Heart of Texas." She visited the rotunda of the Texas Capitol. She sampled some Czech hospitality in the little town of West, north of Waco, and the purveyor of homemade kolaches. Tanya is 27 and a graduate of several Crimea Vertical Caving Workshops. She has been caving since the age of 12. Her experience includes the vertical caves of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine, where she adapted well to the Petzl Bobbin and Stop to use with her Eastern Europeanstyle Frog system. She also has a great deal of survey experience, with a great deal of it accumulated in the mapping of The "Giant Gypsum" Ozernaya, the world's ninth longest cave. On some of UAYCEF's annual expeditions to Ukraine, Tanya 108 11


--------------------~ 1 II served as the assistant guide to Sergy Epifanov, the President of Western Ukraine's Ternopol-Podolsky Speleological Association. She also participated in the NSS-sponsored 1991 expedition to Ukraine. Peter Lenahan, one of Tanya's primary benefactors who helped with her transportation expenses to the States, lined up a meeting between the caver and a University of Texas researcher who is an expert in gypsum caves, which occur often in Eastern Ukraine where Tanya caves. Annette Summers Engel enjoyed the brief visit with Tanya and discussion of her work in a movie about gyp caves that has appeared on educational television. Tanya and another Ukrainian caver, Sergey Epifanov president of the Temopol caving club which controls access to the ninth largest cave in the world, have discovered and mapped much of the 122 km length of Ozernaja in the Ternopo! region of Ukraine. Tanya often caves with him. One of her recent trips into Ozernaja was August of this year. Peter wrote that Tanya can explain the chemical formulas of almost every crystal she sees in caves. She holds the American equivalent of a master's degree in Food Technology. Currently, she works at an artificial leather plant in the Ukraine. Her salary is about $30 a month norma! by Ukrainian standards. In Ukraine, many things are different: Cavers there don't go to a store to buy their equipment they make everything themselves. Peter says that's really amazing when you see that the guy next to you is using a car oil filter as his carbide generator, or that the light on a caving helmet with the electronic ignition for the acetylene gas was build from electronic parts that he designed and assembled himself, and it works correctly even when coming up out of the water. Tanya even made her own helmet from hardened pig skin leather, with a carbide light mounted on the front of it! Peter was in Ozernaja cave this past summer with Tanya and Sergey. He saw a crystal that is about 1,300 years old. Sergey said that the crystal grows 1 em every seven years. Tanya, during her trip to America, worked hard to communicate in her limited English, having to struggle some of her journey with a lot of hand signals and some Americans yelling the English words louder when she says she doesn't understand. Tanya started out this trip touring New York City. In New York on Oct. 5, Bob Cohen threw a welcoming party for Tanya. Then she attended the TAG Fall Cave-in and did some of the pits there. She toured Atlanta for a day with an American caver she had met in the Ukraine before returning to New York for a couple of days. Then it was off to the New River Bridge in West Virginia to watch the base jumpers and rappelling. Peter wrote that she wasn't qualified to do the 800-foot drop off the bridge and was annoyed that she couldn't try it. But the team leader, Chris Nicola, didn't feel confident that she could do a drop of this height with an American-style rack such as other cavers were using on the drop. She hadn't done more that a 300foot free drop. But Tanya says she has penetrated over 800 feet of depth in multi-tier drops in Crimea. Tanya went to West Virginia for a week and she discovered some new passage on her first trip into one of the caves. She spent one week in West Virginia before touring Washington, D.C. and then went down to Florida for five days. There, she was the guest of Valeriy and Luda Rogoznikov in Sarasota, Fla. They are Ukrainians from Kiev who have become American citizens. After her Texas caving experience, Tanya returned to New York for a trip to the Canadian border and then a week in Schoharie county to do some cold and wet New York caving. Her six-week tour of the states wrapped up with a going-away party at the New York City-area home of Anatoliy and Lydia Kantor. Chris Nicola, founder of trip sponsor UAYCEF, said Tanya's visit was a tremendous success in bolstering international cultural exchange between Ukraine and the U.S. Tanya, who flew AeroSvit airlines back to Kiev's Borispol airport, returned with many memories of her trips. She was reviewing stacks of photos, preparing to describe for friends her view of America through experiences at stops including Valley Head, Ala.; Blacksburg, Va.; New York City; Hillsboro, W.Va.; Baltimore, Md.; Washington, D.C.; Tampa and Sarasota, Fla.; Orlando, Fla.; Dallas, New Braunfels, Austin and Sonora, Texas; Albany, N.Y. What a country! UKRAINIAN IN AUSTIN: Tanya gets some winged company in Whirlpool Cave. Dave McClung/Julie Jenkins photo. 109


News: Trip Report Sphinx Cave and a visillO Karchner Caverns By loe Mitchell, Evelynn Mitchell, and Melissa Long A Thanksgiving weekend trip to southern Arizona gave LIS the chance to not only visit the newly opened Big Room in Karchner Caverns but also, thanks to some GPS coordinates provided by a friend allowed us to visit and explore Sphinx Cave. Located in the southeast corner of the state at the foot of a mountain range, Sphinx Cave is supposedly the Arizona sacrificial cave. Although, if this is their sacrificial cave, we'd really love to see some of the good ones! The zravel road to the cave led from the interstate south into a e progressively more remote landscape. Finally the GPS showed we were approaching the cave coordinates, and we found a space to park right before the cattle grate as the hand drawn map had shown us. The GPS showed us that the cave was located up a steep hillside across an arroyo from where we parked. As we crossed the arroyo, we found a trail along the hillside that conveniently, just happened to go right to the cave entrance. There were two entrances only about 20 feet apart, one a walk in, the other involving a climb down. After tossing in a couple of anti-rattlesnake rocks, we headed down through the easier entrance. From there we had to scramhle through some breakdown, and then ended up in the first room of the cave, where we found the register. There were two ways to go out of that room. One of these looked like a somewhat treacherous climb down, so we decided to save that for later. We had heard that the cave was somewhat muddy, but as we crawled down the other passage, we kept finding more formations and not as much mud as we expected. Eventually, this led into a sizable room with a small side passage and a mud slope leading. up to the right. The mud was thin but slick, making the climb a bit of a challenge, but with some mutual assistance we all made it up. Now any mud in the cave ended and a stairstep crawl/climb began over water-smoothed rock. Unlike most caves in Texas we had been constantly ascending since the entrance to get further into the cave. Now, we started seeing a great deal of formations along the I P Numerous colortul speleothems in the upper dry portion 01 Sphynx Cave. walls and in little alcoves along the passage, including some beautiful translucent speleothems and very nice helectites and needles. Finally reaching another room with large flowstone walls. Joe climbed up this to see if there was any continuation to the passage, but there were only some very tiny holes. This section was evidently near the surface as there were some roots growing across the floor and walls near this room. During the climb down, we looked into a small side passage. Joe crawled in first and determined that it led into a nice looking room. To get into this room, it was necessary to belly crawl over a lot of small, sharp rimstone dams. Melissa followed next, but a rimstone darn decided to reach ont and grabbed her in a bad place. After a few choice words and the extraction of her nipple, Evelynn carefully followed, and we all made it into the room and a pretty room it was! Very white flowstone, bacon and speleothems covered the walls and ceiling. After enjoying the room for a while, we resumed our decent. The last section of the decent was conveniently accelerated by the mud slides. (WHEEEEEEE)! Poking aronnd in some of the side passages at the base of the mud slope led to a couple of small rooms. One side passage from this area was blowing a substantial 'amount of air, but was not passable due the small size of the opening and the rock that was cemented in the middle of it by tlowstone. Rather than try to worsen the reputation of Texas cavers by trying to break it up, we elected to move on. Back in the register room, we took a closer look at the big climb down. There appeared to be a way involving a short traverse across fJowstone to a ledge that was about midway down although it was not clear where to go next. After shimmying across to the ledge, Joe found that there was a relatively easy climb down on the far side of the ledge. As soon as we got down, we realized that this was the boot-sucking mud part of the cave' But it was also the big part; with borehole passage about 20 feet high going in both directions. Choosing the left direction, the passage cameto a 3-way junction. Again choosing the left direction we came into a room With a short climb down to a tiny little pool hidden under a ledge of rock, with a fine sandy powder all around it. Leading out of this room in one direction was a stooping passage that got progressively tighter and started to descend more steeply until Joe found f


I P Stalactites and pure white Ilowstone in Sphynx Cave. himself in a handstand position in a small and very muddy deadend. After much grunting and cursing he managed to pull himself fully down into the hole and used the slipperiness of the mud to slide around enough to get his head up again. Meanwhile Melissa and Evelynn checked out other various small muddy crawls, so afterwards we finally looked like we had been caving! One notable feature in this area was the very deep red veins that ran through the limestone. Upon closer inspection there were in fact many hues of red, orange, and yellow within cracks in the walls very nice! Back at the 3-way junction, we took the remaining route and the ceiling quickly ascended until the passage was now about 3040 feet high. The floor itself climbed more gradually until topping a rise, it descended under a ten-foot wide natural bridge in the middle of the passage. Soon the main passage ended in a muddy loop, which made for a fun slide for Joe between Eve1ynn and Melissa's legs! On the way back, Evelynn checked out a side passage. The muddy steep slope seemed to be heading down to a room with a small crawl. She realized though that there was actually water right in front of her and the crawl was underwater! The water was crystal clear with numerous calcite rafts floating across it. Off to the right was more of the fine powdery material forming a beach on the bank of the lake! Although the beach had clearly been often used, the lake itself was amazingly untouched with no footprints visible on the bottom. After enjoying this scene for a while from the soft powder shore, we scrambled back up the slick slope and then back along the main passage, eventually returning to where we had initially descended. Although tired, we still had one more direction to explore. The continuation of the passage from the climb down was not too extensive and gradually descended until we reached another clear lake. From the direction of the underwater openings, it's likely that it connects to the other lake we had found. There was one possible lead over a rock traverse above the lake, but it did not look promising and we did not pursue it It was after dark already when we approached the surface. We heard a loud roar back down in the valley which sounded like a raging river. For an instant we worried about the truck, having left Evelynn and Joe show off an especially nice section of flowstone. it parked next to the arroyo, until noticing that the stars were out and the sky was clear. In fact, the valley formed a wind tunnel, funneling the wind along the valley floor, while up on the hillside at the entrance it was completely calm. Descending, we entered nothing less than a gale, which with the rapidly dropping temperatures after nightfall, made it damn cold! We al1 got real cozy cramming into the back of the truck trying to change and get warm. The fol1owing day we took the Big Room Tour at Karchner Caverns (anyone who worked on building the trails would know this area as the Strawberry Room). This section of the cave had only been open a couple of weeks and we were fortunate to get tickets. The tour wound though an area of the cave absolutely filled with formations of all types. At Karchner, they are very concerned about the cave welfare almost to extremes. Visitors pass through three airlocks, an air shower, a mister, and travel on trails that are washed daily for lint with the wash water being trapped by berms along the trails and pumped out of the cave. A lot of effort clearly went into the development of this beautiful cave, which is defiantly worth a visit if you are passing that way. They still had a few bugs to work out, but that tour is much longer than the original tour and you get to visit more of the cave. Melissa, our fearless trip leader, enjoying the beautiful cave that she got us into. III


News: Trip Report Government Canyon Karst Survey 13th and 14th December, 2003 by Marvin Miller trip participants: George Kegley, David McKenzie, Marsha Meredith, Marvin Miller, Rebecca O'Daniel Saturday Activities George, David, Marsha, and 1 headed up the Comanche Cut trail to try to locate and evaluate some karst features located and marked back in 1994. The feature locations had been estimated on a USGS tapa map by the teams that found them. The teams should also have tied flagging at the feature and flagged a perimeter 5 to 10 meters around the feature to make it easier to spot. Of course, after 9 years, the flagging may have disappeared. I figured we would be lucky if we found any of them. 1 entered the UTM coordinates of the map location in my GPS and set the unit to "go to" the location. This way we would at least end up where the team that found the feature thought they were. The first feature we set our sights on was 6-4, supposedly located about 50 meters west of the trail, according to the feature report. There was also supposed to be a piece of flagging tied at the trail due east of the feature. We found a likely piece of faded pink flagging but we couldn't find the feature. However, in the course of spreading out and searching a fairly small area to the west of the trail we found six new sinkholes. This is an area that has not yet been systematically ridge-walked. We dug some at almost all of the features and all but one will need a return visit with some heavier equipment like a sledge and long bar. One feature, 6-12, we dug down to solid rock and gave it up. It was not a promising feature to begin with. After finishing up with these features we went north on Comanche Cut to try to locate 9-C-l. We spent an hour to an hourand-a-half searching for it but couldn't find anything. In one last search loop I headed farther north and carne across a new feature. It was a horizontal passage in the exposed edge of a bedding plane. The passage sloped downward and had been enlarged to some extent by an animal. There was an associated collapse of surface rock into whatever void lay below. Some digging would need to be done before we would be able to tell if it was a cave or not. Since the day was well advanced, I left it for another trip. Hiking back down Comanche Cut was our last act of the day. Sunday Activities On Sunday Rebecca and I headed up-canyon to finish up the survey of Goat Cave. We surveyed 27.7 meters in 13 stations. The cave is now 75.5 meters in length and 10.4 meters deep. A few meters remain to be surveyed. We would have finished the cave except we found a blowing lead that we did some harmnering on, attempting to get past a tight spot. However, once I entered the data in Walls, the cave survey software, I saw that the blowing lead lined up directly below the crevice passage that heads east from the entrance. It is in this passage where you have to climb up into the top of the crevice and then crawl and claw your way forward for about 9 meters before the cave opens up and drops down into the area where we were surveying. In the upper level crevice crawl the airflow towards the entrance was quite noticeable. At the blowing lead the air was blowing into the cave. The large, vertical nature of the cave entrance and the situation of the upper and lower levels of the crevice passage make this an ideal situation for a convective air flow on a cool day, which Sunday was. The cooler surface air sinks to the floor of the cave and then continues to flow into the down-sloping crevice. As the air enters the cave it starts gaining heat from the cave walls and rises to the top of the crevice, pushing warm air already there back out toward the entrance. With this theory in hand we will return to the cave and finish the survey down the lower part of the crevice until it gets too tight and then attempt a voice and light connection to the lead on the other side. News: From the Files of the TSS: West Kerr Bat Cave Kerr County, Texas by Jim Kennedy This previously unreported bat cave was visited by Jim Kennedy and Elaine Acker of Bat Conservation International on 6 April 2000. It is located on the YO Ranch quadrangle, but is not marked on the tapa sheet. The exact coordinates and owner information are on file with the Texas Speleological Survey. The entrances to the cave are in a shallow draw just downstream of the confluence with another draw. There are five entrances large enough for human entry. Unfortunately, from a bat's standpoint, all but the smallest entrance are restricted by vegetation. All entrances are unclimbable drops, approximately 18-20 feet (6-6.5m) to the floor of a large room, almost 80 feet (24m) in diameter at the base. The center of the room is a flat platform, and the ceiling is likewise flat. There are no passages leading off from the entrance room except one at the northeast end. This passage begins as a stoopway, descends a short flowstone and guano slope, and levels off into a flat-floored walkway to a large elongate room, 35' x 70' (lOx21m). There are no other passages leading from this room. The biota of the cave is interesting and diverse. Two species of bats were observed, hibernating Eastern Pipistrelles tPipistrellus suhjlavus) and Cave Myotis (Myotis velifer). Seven P. subflavus were noted, and approximately 150 M. velifer, but roost stains and guano in the elongate room indicate a much larger past population, likely as many as 50,000. There was also abundant evidence, including a skeleton, of porcupines tErethizon dorsatum), and 112


wm ImR RAr CAVC Kerr Count.y. texas lkel.oh m3p by;YO"" Kl'rI~dJ Sokllt\lJll~s arc c~ilirlt l.emperat,uru in ~bcl~ domed ceiling of the elongate room, thereby providing adequate temperatures for developing pups. 3rCa!Jr obV~ roost. st.aining OIl ceiling fresh guano, act.i~ roost. 6 April 2000 II Human disturbance and degradation does not seem to be a significant factor at this cave. A broken ladder inside the largest entrance and evidence of possible guano mining (wooden slats, old feed sacks, and a trench at the far end of the elongate room) indicate past human visitation. Recent visitation is very limited due to the location of the cave and the limited ranch access. Future human visitation should be limited to non-critical months except for legitimate scientific research. More visits and observations will be necessary to determine exactly what these periods are, but the most sensitive times are likely the winter months (November through March) and the summer (May through August). A far more serious problem to the bats, and therefore the entire cave ecosystem, is the presence of trees and shrubs in the entrances, especially the largest. These trees all but block the openings, restricting the bats' flight path. Undoubtedly this is the primary cause for the reduction in the bat colony that once roosted here in the s~mm~r. These trees also make it easier for predators (such as Ringtails, Bassariscus astutus) to enter the cave t fee.d on the bats s~nce at least two grow from the cave's tloor. Evidence of behavior was not clear at this time of year, but may be due to the low numbers of bats overwintering. In order to restore .the bat populations to former levels, all trees and other vegetanon should be cut down and removed from th .. e entrances, allowing the bats free ingress and egress. An accurate map of the cave should be made d I .. ,an a camp ete description wntten and submitted to the Texa S I I . s pe eo ogical Survey. Future tnps should note the numbers d I . an ocatrons of roostmg bats, and take comparative tempe t . ra ure readings Finally, rumors of other caves in the area should be i . e mvesttgated. 113 woodrat (either the White-throated woodrat Neotoma albigula or the Southern Plains Woodrat Neotoma micropus) through latrines and middens in the entrance room. Invertebrates observed included honeybees (Apis melifera) nesting in a wall cavity of the entrance room, ticks, fleas, cave crickets, and unidentified spiders. No particular attention was devoted to the invertebrate fauna. Temperatures were taken throughout the cave, using a Raytek Raynger(tm) infra-red thermometer. Temperatures (see map) in early April indicate that the cave provides suitable temperatures for hibernation. as suggested by its configuration, which is an ideal cold air trap. The extensive guano and roost stains in the elongate room indicate long-term summer roosting. It is unknown whether summer use is by a nursery colony or only from bachelor males and non-reproductive females, but a large enough colony could certainly produce adequate heat that would be trapped in the


NEWS: fROM THE TCC Cave crickets assist in the TCC headquarters acquisition! by Mike Walsh The Texas Cave Conservancy (TCC) is attempting to obtain a permanent headquarters in Cedar Park, Texas. ~ince February of thi ear the Tee has been leasina a house that IS used as a headJ8 y , e ... uarters, In order to information related to the acqutsiuon of the house and the 4.3 acres on which it sits, the TCC contracted Jerry Fant and Mike Warton to conduct a cricket study. Two endansered species caves, Wilcox Cave #1 and Wilcox Cave If2 are located on the property, Wilcox Cave #1 was studied past summer The TCC will be conducting a study at Wilcox Cave # 2 in November 2003. Cave crickets are highly important to the Tooth Cave Ground Beetles (Rhadine persephone) that live in the cave. Each evening, hundreds of crickets leave the cave to search for food. The crickets lay their eggs inside the cave. These eggs often become food for the cave beetle. The healthy population of cave crickets at Wilcox Cave #1 makes this property an excellent site for the beetle, and therefore for a cave preserve. I Wilcox Cave #1 Cricket Emergence Census Wilcox Cave Preserve Williamson County, Texas by Jerry Fant US FIsh and Wildlite Permit Number TE062322-0 Introduction Wilcox Cave #1 is in a cave preserve for a federally listed endangered species in Williamson County, Texas known as the Wilcox Cave Preserve. The preserve is 4.3 acres and can be found in the R. ,0. Anderson Survey Abstract No. 28 as Tract 2. Prior investigation, include the work of Mike Warton and Associates, which included the karst terrain surveys, excavation, collecting, and cave survey. This previous investigation Jed to the designation of Wilcox Cav~ #1 as an endangered species cave. The ,purpose of the Cricket Emergence Census was to deterrmne If there is a healthy population of Ceuthophilus inhabiting WllcoxCave #1. The number of crickets and their foraging habits are critical to the preservation of the listed species, which inhabit the cave. Personnel Personnel for this project included Jerry Fant, Mike Warton, and Mike Walsh. Cave Setting Wilcox Cave #1 is part of the interconnected caves of the Buttercup Creek Karst. It is formed presumably in the Cedar Park Limestone. The entrance to the cave lies in the eastern-central section of the karst preserve. The entrance is roughly two meters long by one meter wide. It is not gated, but covered with three large boulders averaging I meter square by 0.5 meters thick. There are numerous voids between the boulders, which provide exits for the emerging fauna. The vegetative cover in the general area consists of native grasses, oak trees, hackberry trees, grape vines, cacti, Virginia creeper vines, and other various weeds and shrubs. Methodology The survey was conducted with Jerry Fant of KarstTee Consulting (USFWS Permit TE062322-0), Mike Warton of Warton and Associates, and Mike Walsh of the Texas Cave Conservancy. The survey began with the emergence of the first cricket each evening. The count was divided between the juveniles/nymphs (cave crickets less than 3/4 inch in length) and adults (those greater than 3/4 inch in length). As the count was in progress one member of the project followed and observed the feeding habits of the cave crickets while outside of the cave. At ten-minute intervals during the survey a total tally was collected for use in the following graphs. After two hours from the emergence of the first cricket the survey was concluded. Field Observations The Cave Cricket Emergence Census began on May 28,2003. The first cricket appeared at 9:34 PM. Temperature was recorded at 72.6¡F and Relative Humidity at 57.6%. Temperature and Humidity were recorded with an Amprobe THWD-I Digital Sling Psychrometer. Accuracy was recorded within 0.1 % humidity and 0.1 ¡ for temperature. The following table shows the time/count flow from the cave entrance. Juveniles o 55 68 76 40 3B 53 40 19 19 20 6 9 Time Adults 9:34 PM 0 9:44 PM 15 9:54 PM 31 10:04 PM 51 10:14PM 38 10:24 PM 28 10:34 PM 71 10:44 PM 35 10:54 PM 25 11 :04 PM 44 11 :14 PM 22 11 :24 PM 17 11 :34 PM 24 A flow chart (below) was developed to the show patterns in the exodus from the entrance. The detected pattern depicts a he~Vy wave as the flow begins both from the juvenile/nymph and adu ts. Each twenty to thirty minutes the wave is 'repeated and may the tinue to a lesser extent into the night. The survey also shows-t e majority of cave crickets to be juvenile and nymphs. 114


--------------------Totals from May 28, 2003: Adults 401, Juvenile/Nymphs 443 ~ Total 844 Wicox #1 Emergence May 28, 2003 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 o C('\':f. '}. Q.~ Q.'~" 4':"', Q.'~_ !{';"'. _,<';'" Q., ...... <'{,.,:1Jq'}. ,'sQ, .... ;,.. :~'" ,.s.. "to. ~"" ,:.. ~,,,,, '~ .... 'to '~ ,} ,l't' c:{'r <:.,~..)< ~~ ~{;y. ~~~ "",'d" ,,~.:y. Wilcox #1 Errergence May 29,2003 180 160 140 120 ¤ 100 8 80 60 40 20 o > ,,} ~~ ..... > ,,::""> ..... '} ,,;''} ,,,:: (i"> ,>:;, ,,::'~ .;.~f' ~<."v. ~t't "1,-J,,,J" ._,,<:1>' ~,& ",,~ "",t c,~ ._,vP' ,,<:f' .,,\'f' ~_ '" '" ,>, 't' .~. .~. .~. .\:;', ,~, ",,' ., -Series1 Series2 -Series1 .. Series2 _Series3 Series4 Time Series 1 Adults Series 2 Juveniles/Nymphs Time Series 1 Adults May 28, 2003 Series 2 Juveniles/Nymphs May 28, 2003 Series 3 Adults May 29, 2003 Series 4 Juveniles/Nymphs May 29, 2003 The entire preserve is covered in a rich 'flora, which is beneficial to the foraging habits of Ceuthophilus. There is a second filled entrance to Wilcox Cave # I with a physical connection to the cave, The entrance is not open, but can be seen from inside the main cave (Warton, pel's. cornm.). Due to the extremely small connections at this entrance fewer than 3 cave crickets were observed exiting. It is likely that vulnerability from predators plays a large role in the lack of crickets found at this second entrance. The foraging range for Wilcox Cave #1 based on this study is determined at 10 meters. 115 11IIIIIIII_------------------


Treasurer Terry Holsinger 70 Write-in Mickey Mouse, , , , , , , , , , , , , .. 2 Christi Bennett ., .. , .. , 1 George Veni .. , .. ,.,.,. ., 1 Spiro T. Agnew ., , 1 Abstain ', '.' .. '"., 12 More News: From the TSA 2004 Election Tabulation Chairman Votes Diana Tomchick 55 Jonathan Wilson 28 Write-ins Ixta ' . ' Pete Lindsley. ' , Bob Cowell .. ,. Abstain ... ,., ............. 1 ...... ,I ..... ........ I , . . . . . ,I Vice-Chairman Joe Ranzau 70 Write-ins .lay Jordan .. ,., .... ..... ,' '.,....... .. 1 Christi Bennett ' , .. , .1 Daffy Duck ". , , .... . , .. 1 Jerry Fant .. , , .. 1 Jim Kennedy .. .. .. .. ..I Abstain .,., .. .. "......... .12 Secretary Jerry Atkinson ................................ 71 Write-ins Christi Bennett "."" ,.,.,.... ,.,.2 Allen Cobb .. "....... ,' .. ".............. ,.,.1 Mike Walsh .. ,.. ,."" ,., 1 Abstain .. .. ,' ..... ,................. .12 li~\II~U:SSI:S j\SI:I:NI)INlj SVS'IBVIS j\SI:I:NI)I:IIS & 1lI:1:1:~ml:IIS (:I\IU\III~U:IIS & SI:III:WI.Il\mS l)lJI.I.I:VS .limJn~lj (il:1\11 Ilmal: & (:mll)~\m: .lleu:l( (:I.IMlm\m .lil:U~II:TS -ueurs I)~\I:I(S I(~ml: I)~\I)S (:I.OTlm\llj HI"I'h\llj INSTIUJI:TIIJNS (:lJSTOM \~'mU( Going on an expedition? GGG can supply gear from rope and screwlinks, to dry bags and sewing awls, to nalgenes and stoves. Please mail To plac~ an order or get a catalog, call us at 915-247-5165 We accept Visa and Mastercard for your convem~nce. For established customers, we will also ship and bill for payment by check or money order With 30 day And, of course, cash is always accepted. When placing an .order, tell us w.hat tf u want and where It's located in the catalogue. Don't forget sizes and color choices when apphcae: For custom sewing orders, we'll need to talk with you to make sure we get the info we need to build what you want to fit you properly. Total ballots received: 87 r:~""""'" '. .~~~ ~~Pifle~JJ300~S YOUR SPECIALIST IN CAVE & BAT Books & related merchandise Gifts, jewelry. tee shirts & more ONLINE CATAlO(j: Emily Davis SCHOHARIE, NY 12157 P.O Box 10 518/295-7978; FAX 518/295-~~~1 (J ~:v~ 118


." Even More News: From the TSA "Proposed Constitutional Amendment: In accordance with Article VI, "Amendments" of the Bylaws of the TSA Constitution, the following proposed amendment is announced: The change in length of term of TSA Officers under Article Ill: "Officers", Paragraph B from: "Officers are member's elected annually at a TSA meeting." To the following: "TSA Officers are members of the TSA elected to a two year term. Terms will be staggered with the Chairman and Secretary elected on odd numbered years and the Vice Chairman, and Treasurer elected on even numbered years." The official vote on the proposed amendment will be conducted at the 2004 Winter Meeting. 'Why this amendment to the Constitution? com 'e main reason for this is to try and help the TSA with some -city. Many years the complete TSA board runs from the -is and leaving the new board to try and figure out what is : the TSA. The thought is that by doubling the term length zgering the terms it shonld help the TSA Board keep an 10 what has happened and what is going to happen." News: From the TCMA Classic Texas Caves Texas has some Classic Caves; a few people have seen them and many people have not. Some have been closed or virtually closed for years. Texas Cavers can begin to change that if we want, and if we work together. Texas Cavers face huge opportunities this decade, as some of the big West Texas ranches with traditional West Texas caves come on the market. Traditional owners are looking to get out of the ranching business or new money owners are finding is isn't really what they want to do. Currently for sale, there are at least five big acreages of land with significant caves on them. But most owners won't sell just the cave, and are not interested in donating the cave. That means we have to find another way to acquire these properties, and make the caves a permanent part of the Texas Caving Scene. Texas Cave Management Association wants to acquire these caves for cavers. And we can use the organization to accomplish this task if we work together. Purchasing the first big property is the most difficult, but it can be leveraged to purchase others, hopefully, if we can only purchase the first. There are currently two big possibilities, and as soon as one is under contract we will make a formal announcement. But we need your help; whether you can contribute ten dollars, ten thousand dollars or something in between, please donate now. And consider donating your time also. We need to do fundraising, write people and organizations in other states, investigate possible properties, and manage the caves we have plus any we acquire. Linda Palit El Presidente, Texas Cave Management Association TSA Minutes Continued from pq. 90 proposal that the TSA purchase a digital projector to be used at TSA and TSS events. Discussion ensued as to the merits of the proposed purchase. The consensus of the membership was that the TSA should borrow the hardware as needed until such time as prices for digital projectors become more reasonable. Location of Futnre TSA Winter BOGs: (Veni) It was noted that bad weather has plagued several of the recent Winter BOGs, and that attendance has suffered accordingly. It was snggested that future Winter meetings be combined with some type of indoor project. The TSS volunteered to host next year's TSA Winter BOG in conjunction with some type of workshop. Announcements: The next TSA meeting will be held Snnday at the 2004 TSA Spring Convention at a time to be announced. Submitted by Gerald L. Atkinson. 119 POSH; up w and :', idea The chairman introduced for discussion the need for resuming publication of the TSA ANL in order to facilitate improved and timelier communication to the membership. It was suggested that the publication be available in electronic format only in order to reduce costs. Concerns were voiced as to the availability of an editor, the necessity of the publication, and further erosion of support for the Texas Caver. It was suggested that any effort to improve communications should be focused primarily on the Texas Caver. As the topic was intended for discussion only, it was tabled after a reasonable period. International Congress of Speleology: (Veni) Veni gave a short history of the NSS's efforts to sponsor the 2009 ICS and the possibility of Texas hosting the event. Veni requested a sense of the membership as to their interest in sponsoring the 2009 ICS in Texas. There was a unanimous vote from the TSA membership in attendance to support a bid for Texas to host the 2009 ICS. Pnrchase of Digital Projector: (Kennedy) Kennedy made a


THE TEXAS CAVER 10801 County Road 116 Kenedy, Texas 78119 PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID BEEVILLE, TX PERMIT NO. 882 DATED MATERIAL '2''-0 ,00 I'll Ii 1'. 0 ?l \ \ ~r-:' Address Service Requested 120

Contents: News:
features TAG fall cave-in --
Trip reports: The end is Near! --
Ukrainian visits --
Sphinx Cave --
Government Canyon --
From the files of the TSS: West Kerr Bat Cave --
TCC activities update: cave crickets assist --
News from the TSA: TSA winter BOG minutes --
More news from the TSA: 2004 election tabulation --
Even more news from the TSA: proposed constitutional
amendment --
TCMA: Classic Texas caves.


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