I N T E R C O M Volume 40, Issue 4 July August, 2004 Iowa Grotto P.O. Box 228 Iowa City, IA 52244 Membership Dues : due January 1, $15.00 per year, includes INTERCOM and HotLine subscriptions. INTERCOM subscriptions only are $13.00 per year. The Iowa Grotto reserves the right to decline membership during or after a probationary period. Due Dates : for submission of material for publication in the INTERCOM are Sept. 1 and Oct.1. Send material for publication, e-mail, disk or hard copy, to: Editor and Typist: Scott Dankof 410 Hickory Circle Grimes IA. 50111 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Coordinate photographs for publication in the INTERCOM with Scott Dankof, the INTERCOM photo and cover editor. Cave Rescue : Contact the Kentucky Disaster and Emergency Services Central Dispatch at 502-564-7815 for cave emergencies only in the NCRC Central Region of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Iowa Grotto Meetings : are the fourth Wednesday of each month, third Wednesday in December at 7:30 p.m. in room 125 or thereabouts of Trowbridge Hall on the campus of the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. Cover Photo: Coldwater Cave, Iowa. Photo by: Scott Dankof Copyright 2004 by The Iowa Grotto of the National Speleological Society IOWA GROTTO National Speleological Society P. O. Box 228 Iowa City, Iowa 52244 2004 Grotto Officers: Chairman Mike Lace Vice Chairman Ed Klausner Secretary Treasurer Phil LaRue Volume 40 Issue 4_____________CONTENTS____________Iowa Grotto Meeting Minutes 49 Trip Reports : Loose Ends and High Water 50 Mammoth Cave Restoration 52 Easily Suckered 53 Iowa Grotto Picnic 53 Iowa Grotto Picnic Part 2 55Vindicated 55Two Trips 56Mouse Hollow 57ISS Weekend 57Dear Most Competent Caver 58 Maps : Camp cave 58Cueva del Arco 59 Cueva de las Aranas 5948
IOWA GROTTO MINUTES July 28, 2004 Regular Meeting The meeting of the Iowa Grotto was called to order by Chairman Mike Lace, at 8:10 p.m., with 5 members present after Mike Lace showed slides from Isla de Mona, Puerto Rico. Minutes from the June 23, 2004 meeting were read and approved. A treasurers report was given: Coldwater: $574.86; General Fund: $818.00; Petty Cash: $137.72. TRIP REPORTS: Jim Roberts reported on a Coldwater trip to resurvey the Waterfall passage with Larry Welch, Bill Mulder and Ed Klausner. John Kirk reported on a trip to Camps Gulf, Rubmling Falls and Blue Spring Caves in TN. Loren Schutt reported on a trip to Mystery Cave in MN and Ed Klausner reported on a trip to survey in Mammoth Cave, KY. FUTURE TRIPS: The annual picnic will be the first weekend in August in Jackson Co. Mammoth Cave week long cleanup starting August 15th, NSS convention in Huntsville AL next summer. MSS Cornfeed Aug 13-15. WSS Hodag Hunt Sept 24-26. OLD BUSINESS: The annual picnic was discussed. Volume IV of the Iowa Cave Map Book will be available at the picnic for $25.00. Earlier Map Books will also be available as well as t-shirts , stickers and patches. Republished back issues of the Intercom are still available. If all four volumes of the map book are purchased at the same time, the set will be $80. NEW BUSINESS: There will be slides on IA caves and the Puerto Rican mainland shown at the August meeting. The Intercom deadline is September 1st. With no additional business, the meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.. IOWA GROTTO MINUTES August 25, 2004 Regular Meeting The meeting of the Iowa Grotto was called to order by Chairman Mike Lace, at 7:56 p.m., with 5 members and two guests present after Mike Lace showed slides of Puerto Rico, Arkansas and Iowa. Minutes from the July 28, 2004 meeting were read and approved. A treasurers report was given: Coldwater: 574.86; General Fund: $1701.70; Petty Cash: $137.72. Totals from the Grotto Picnic were: Map Books: $200.00; Auction and T-Shirts: $795.50. TRIP REPORTS: Ed Klausner reported on Coldwater weekend where he, Chris Beck, Mike Lace and Larry Welch did some survey work at Brothers Grim. Also that weekend, Bill Mulder, his son, Shane, and his son, along with John Lovaas and Mike Nelson went on a short trip. The same weekend, Elizabeth Miller and Dawn Ryan collected isopods at Marlow Spring. Elizabeth M. reported on a trip to White Pine Hallow with Chris B., Gary Engh, and Ed K. where two caves were visited. She continued with a report on a trip to Allamackee County where one cave was surveyed. Phil LaRue reported that in July, He and John Kirk visited Little Princess Mine in Illinois. Grotto Picnic weekend: Ed reported on their trip to DollÂ’s and SearrylÂ’s Caves. Mike L. reported that Chris B. lead a trip to Block and Tackle Cave. Phil L. reported on his trip to WerdenÂ’s Cave with our picnic hosts, Bill Brown and family. FUTURE TRIPS: See the N.S.S. News and the Intercom. OLD BUSINESS: Republished back issues of the Intercom are still available. Volume IV of the Iowa Cave Map Book is available for $25.00. Orders will be taken for Volumes I-III at $25.00 each. If all four volumes of the map book are purchased at the same time, the set will be $80. NEW BUSINESS: The Intercom deadline is September 1st. Fred Neck (old Grotto member) has donated materials to the library. The location of the 2005 Grotto picnic will be in the Dubuque area. The Coldwater hog lot issue. A 4800 head livestock confinement near the Coldwater basin has been proposed. The location is one mile south of the Minnesota state line and one mile west of Highway 52. The Winneshiek Board of Supervisors, after reviewing the filed master matrix plan, have recommended to the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources that the proposal be denied. Pat Kambesis has contributed data on the Coldwater basin to the I.D.N.R. and concerned area citizens. September 12th is the date for consideration of the proposal by the state. Please greet new 49
Grotto members: John Delong from Wisconsin and Shawn Thomas from Iowa city. With no additional business, the meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.. LOOSE ENDS AND HIGH WATER July 3, 2004 By Mike Nelson The bridge over Bloody Run was out. It wasnÂ’t the floods. It was in the works to start replacement sometime in July. Mother Nature egged them into starting earlier. They didnÂ’t want the extra work of extracting the old bridge from the creek. I had to go round-a-bout to reach Frank and Sandy SchlitterÂ’s. I had come just for a visit with this amiable couple. A visit to the Wild Well wasnÂ’t even planned. But of course the topic did come up as we caught up on each the otherÂ’s lives. The previously alluded to rains had made alterations that they thought might be of interest. A walk down for a look seemed appropriate. The flood of Â‘93 was notable. If memory serves me correct, there was about 10" of rain in as many hours. From the Wild Well on down to the flats was the effected area, totally repaved with fresh Galena. Nearer the Well the material was coarse. There was some sorting of the matter, from coarser to finer all down the run. Down on the flats the water lost its oomph and deposited an alluvial fan that raised the area 3Â’-4' from previously. This talus delta was held in place by a dam consisting of all the brush, tree parts and trees that had accompanied the flow. This flotsam made a pile considerably higher than the rock. The entire event would have been spectacular to behold, from a distance, anyhow. This yearÂ’s rains were particularly plentiful and much more numerous. The surface erosion in Â‘93 was negligible. Â‘04Â’s changes, however, were almost entirely along these lines. In places the cut road from the plateau down to the flats was impassable. A great deal of both rock and soil was displaced, leaving tree roots spanning some of the washed out exposures. The narrowest part of the road is now too narrow. The drop off on the steep side remarkably shear and deep, though not undercut. The new incising of the ravine became more obvious from this area down to its junction with the Wild WellÂ’s discharge. The drainage basin widens out at this point and the materials washing down the surface run tried to fan out. But the Wild Well held its own. Its resurgence forced this surface alluviation into a long, graceful, downstream arc. This deposit was very steep walled and about 5' high at the junction. The competition for the streambed did slow down the Wild WellÂ’s self excavating properties a tad. The opening is intact, with water and conduit both visible. But with its waterÂ’s escape route impeded by the surface flow, the rock washing out to the Well was deposited in the immediate vicinity. There is an old, dead tree that spans the resurgence basin. We used this to secure our lead-in dive lines, at about head height. I had to crawl under it today. The ever present sound of the water from the Well (when dormant) trickling through the rock to its escape (who knows where) could not be detected. The changes from here on down were no where near so dramatic. I imagine that the water was so deep that it was not restricted to the normally dry run. Once allowed to spread out it lost its force sooner. The new paving and accumulation did not persist down the flats. However, the fossil hunting was as good as it gets and I found two nice samples on the walk back up. Sandie has a particular weakness and appreciation for these. The Schlitters have a fine rapport with the quarry down the road. The cut road will be repaired sometime before too long. Randy Kwiatkowski and Art Dahms had penetrated the Well to its terminus. This was a blockage of unstable breakdown. This was prior to the floods of Â‘93 and Â‘04. It might be interesting to look at the far end of the Wild Well again. When I first approached the Schlitters about access to the Wild Well, Frank told me Â“I only wanna deal with one face, and thatÂ’s yoursÂ”. They did give us some leeway once they got to know Randy and Art. Our schedules didnÂ’t 50
always mesh. As IÂ’ll not be around regularly in the future, I asked him again how heÂ’d like things handled. He wants to leave things as theyÂ’ve always been. Any future visitors to the site will most likely be referred to me. I will personally bend over backwards to accommodate anyone willing and able to contribute serious effort ( i.e. mapping, further push attempts) at the Wild Well. Though not debilitating, Frank and Sandie are both dealing with health concerns, so please respect their request. Next I went over to A.J. Spring Cave. Although we had a pleasant conversation, it seemed as though Arlo would still prefer to be left well enough alone. He was open to me coming back sometime for a concerted remapping effort and to remove my line and artificial stations from the cave. I left him with a fresh liability release and the promise to accomplish these matters at some vague point in the near future. I walked out to see if the spring had been effected by this yearÂ’s ample precipitation. The spring is now a bit less accessible, as Arlo has ceased to maintain the trail. The wee small rise pool looked about normal. Minor cleaning would easily let one into the cave proper. The next 30' down the spring run was washed entirely clear. All of the fallen frost fracture that had imparted the soothing babbling to the brook was gone. The water ran over smooth, clean, flat bedrock. There werenÂ’t that many Â“stepping stonesÂ” beyond that point as previously, either. I took a circuitous route over to the ChristiansenÂ’s and Fiet Cave next. Cliff was there but Charolette was still in town with a new great-grandson. Cliff even had a lead on a new cave for me. As Charolette was coming out later, I went to check it out and said I would come back then to visit with them both. The site was east of Waukon and north of Waterville. Prior ramblings in this area had not shown a great deal of promise. An actual cave discovery in this area was exciting. The landowner had intended on putting in a lagoon for a hog confinement. But they encountered cave conduit in the excavating process. Karst and hog lagoons donÂ’t mix too well. A little information may be needed here. As it turned out, Mike Bounk and associates had already been there and mapped the cave for him. He was too busy to show it to me. Just as well, I had no cave gear with me. I assured him that he was in good hands and headed back to Fiet. It may sound like a wasted effort, but the drive out and back was on a road I had never been on before. Northeast IowaÂ’s subtle beauty was as spectacular here as any IÂ’d seen to date. I certainly am curious about the hog cave confinement lagoon and how the fellow might solve his dilemma. Back to Fiet and darn it, I had missed Charolette in the interim. Cliff did drive me down to look at the cabin he had built. In passing the cave I noted nothing significant there from all the precip. The cabin was small, but tall. Cliff had built it predominantly from site harvested timbers. It felt as fresh inside as it did outdoors. I left Cliff with the same assurance I gave Arlo. I will be back. I will map the cave. I will remove all my lines and weights. I headed for Livinggood next, but found myself meandering. Eyeballing Berns Spring from the road, something just looked different. There didnÂ’t appear to be anyone residing at the trailer house on the site. So, I trespassed, in the innocent, ignorant curiosity mode. To my utter amazement, all the loose stuff that had always plugged up this spring was gone. Several larger pieces of breakdown were tilted outward from the resurgenceÂ’s face. A solid bedrock lip was visible inches below the water line, and void below that. And I had no mask or adequate light! This needs looking at as soon as possible. Permission to dig and a half an hour doing so in a wetsuit may prove to be very fruitful. Good luck, somebody. Dage Spring never changes. The potential for cave is somewhere short of zilch. But I stopped by anyhow. ThereÂ’s another new tenant at Livinggood. I visited for a moment for the sake of his reassurance before walking to the sites. He confided that he had driven his van down to the spring. While it sat there, a tree had fallen 51
blocking it in until he can recruit a chainsaw. The abandoned resurgence, which we had dug on so intently years ago, had not yet succumbed to subsequent frost shatter yet. One good afternoonÂ’s work would get one back to the point that we had once left it at. At a previous tenantÂ’s request, we had gated the excavation from the curiosity of his cattle. We had secured an old, beat-up round bale feeder with large rocks over the dig. This entire structure was found down the normally dry streambed about 50' from the escarpment, sans rocks! The spring, per se, looked as normal. Except for the van setting quite near the waterÂ’s edge, that is. Back at the dwelling, I checked out with the new renter and suggested that he may want to consider moving the vehicle up onto the hill with the salt lick by the oak tree. He seemed disbelieving that it wasnÂ’t safe right where it sat. I told him to check out the round bale feeder and to realize that no water issued from that spot until Livinggood was maxed out and that he probably didnÂ’t really want to pay the DNR a hefty recovery fee to fish it out of the creek. He grabbed his keys and went one way while I went the other. There was no notable difference in the springs along the dead end road to the east of the old stage road on the north side of the river. Then I dropped into Gary BrinkÂ’s. IÂ’ve been doing this every couple of years for a long time now. He used to greet me with a long look askance. Now IÂ’m met with a smile. No invitation to dig in the spring yet, but after more conversation today, IÂ’m pretty sure that the feature he sent me to look at a couple visits ago was the elusive Roaring Hole. I enjoy our armÂ’s-length banter and aloof but humorous relationship. I thanked him, facetiously, for tolerating my incessant intrusions into his privacy. He commented, quite seriously, about Â“at least getting to know me someÂ”. Who knows, maybe on some future visit... I still had the Flatlands to visit. I had another like keyed padlock and extra keys to the resurgence gate. No need to take them with me. Wanda would keep them in a safe place or see them into the right hands. But I was getting hungry. Word was that the Burr Oak Mercantile had reopened. I took my chances on that and that the pizza would be comparable. I could not believe the good fortune with me today. I walked in the door of the place and the first thing I did was give Wanda a big hug! Her and Kenny and some of the family were there for supper. They let me join them for a very enjoyable meal and conversation. The pizza, though somewhat different, was still top quality. Wanda even invited me out for another batch of home-made ice cream. That was awfully hard to resist. But I thanked her and said that it was a Family holiday and that I had more landowners that I just had to touch bases with. It had rained constantly during dinner. It rained hard heading west on Iowa highway 9. I hoped that the van had gotten moved. Circumstances and the foul weather kept me from bidding adieu to Bill Wilson yet this day. But I did make the effort the following Monday with success equal to what I had enjoyed Saturday. Mammoth Cave Restoration By John Kirk The Mammoth Cave May Restoration Weekend was a great success. 30 cavers volunteered to help the old cave out. First thing Saturday morning we met Ernie and Jackie at the opening safety briefing by Roy Vanhoozer. They had advanced tickets for the Grand Ave. tour. Ernie was a MaCa volunteer years ago and I think the 08:30 get together brought back good memories of great times at Mammoth. We were all happy that morning as Rick Williams handed out reimbursement checks from the past two years for mileage and food. We did not expect the large check. Our project for the weekend was hauling abandoned electrical fixtures and wire out of the El Gohr/Silliman/Cascade Hall area of the cave. This is approximately 3 miles from the Carmichael Entrance. We stockpiled wire, heavy armored cable, fixtures, ballast, and electrical boxes52
(some with concrete bases) at Rhoda Arcade. From there the pile was moved to the elevator shaft where it later will be lifted to the surface and a park dump truck. We met Jackie and Ernie again while carrying our last load before lunch. They were leaving the Snowball Dining Room and having a fine tour. While we were eating our box lunch, Claire Park walked up to our table. What a pleasant surprise. Claire is the daughter of Rosemary and Joe Park. Easily Suckered Yearling Pit, Cowboy Up Pit, KepplerÂ’s Cave, Clayton County, Iowa July 25, 2004 Gary Engh, Ed Klausner and Mike Lace By Ed Klausner Last fall, Dawn Ryan, John Lovaas, Mike and Gary visited KepplerÂ’s Cave to survey the new passage that was dug open by the owners. This is an impressive undertaking and several reports are in the Intercom. The latest was DawnÂ’s from Oct. 29, 2003 (Intercom v40:1 p6). After surveying in KepplerÂ’s Cave, they visited a recently opened sinkhole. They dug on the opening, moved rocks and rigged a rope. Dawn attempted to enter, but the walls were too close together. The trip report that Dawn wrote said that they intended to sucker me into trying to get into the pit. IÂ’m pretty easily suckered, so we set off for Clayton County in hopes of catching the landowner home and relocating the pit. The landowner was just leaving, but we did get permission. Finding the pit was a bit more problematic as the vegetation was pretty thick. We followed a different route in hopes of avoiding much of the bushwhacking. It had an added advantage. We found an open pit that turned out not to be the one visited last October. We rigged it and I volunteered to take a look. After some housekeeping around the edge, I got down into the pit. Unfortunately, there was no passage off the bottom and the total length (also the depth) was 7.6 meters. It was named Yearling Pit for the yearling deer who wandered by while I was in the pit sketching. Gary and Mike then located the pit from last October, and it looked pretty narrow. We rigged the rope and I got down about 12 feet to a rock wedged between the walls. It got narrower lower down and I thought IÂ’d have trouble getting back out. At this point, I both started back out and dropped my wifeÂ’s 7 LED flashlight. That had the advantage (or disadvantage) of fully illuminating the bottom of the crack. I decided to abandon the light and buy her a new one. Mike looked down and thought it could be retrieved. Somehow, I found myself taking off my vertical gear and helmet light to give myself more room and going down after the light. It was a bit easier with the extra room. While on the bottom, Mike and Gary threw down the end of the tape and we had more than enough footage (or in this case meterage) to survey Â– 5.8 meters. Cowboy Up Pit was named for some B movie that Mike had recently seen that had a good line in it that reminded him of how I would have to get back up. That finished off the pits in the area, so we headed back to the truck. Since it was still early, we headed over to KepplerÂ’s Cave to continue the survey of the newly opened passages. In a few hours, we finished and the new map will show about 50 percent more cave than the last map. They have been busy digging. Iowa Grotto Picnic 2004 August 6-7th, 2004 Ozark Area, Jackson County, IA By M. Lace A total of 46 cavers, family and friends, gathered for the annual Iowa Grotto picnic this year on the banks of the North Fork of the Maquoketa River. Saturday was spent touring some fine Jackson/Jones County caves before regrouping at the pot luck trough for the evening feed. The Caver Auction once again saw animated, and occasionally full contact bidding on the 53
generous donations of Â“treasuresÂ”. The net proceeds for the weekend reached over $770, which will continue to support future Grotto publication efforts and keep our annual dues stable. Cavers bloated from the banquet met the challenge of the squeezebox. As many fell short of their previous personal records, the recent restoration of the box (with a little wood glue here and there) was cited as a factor rather than any midline modifications since last year. Be warned! Chris is planning on adding a second, more fiendishly designed, box for next year. Thanks to everyone who brought auction items or food and/or just came to enjoy another perfect weekend. A job well done to Phil LaRue for grilling professionalism; Mark Jones, Scott Dankof and Dick Reth for running the squeezebox and our caving trip leaders Chris Beck, Ed Klausner, and Phil LaRue. A very special thanks has to go to Bill and Marlis Brown, and their family, for generously hosting the event at their camp. We really couldnÂ’t ask for better caveowners and friends. See you next year! Here are the squeezebox highlights: Adult co-winners = Jess Coffman 6 1/2" and Ryan Brown 6 1/2" Kids winner = Conner (The Kid) Cleveland 6" Bill Brown 8.5" Dave Cleveland 7.5" Scott Dankof 8 3/4" Rachel Dankof 6 3/4" Mark Jones 8 3/4" Jess Coffman 6 1/2" Ryan Brown 6 1/2" Wes Brown 6 3/4" John Lovaas 9 1/2 Â“ 54 Bill Mulder 11" Lynn Mulder 8" Dick Reth 11" Dawn Ryan 9" Nick Schmuecker 6 3/4" Dave Wysocki 8 1/2"
55 Iowa Grotto Picnic Part 2 Jackson County, IA August 8, 2004 Iowa Grotto Members and Guests By Elizabeth Robinson Brad Smith and I arrived at the Iowa Grotto picnic Friday night. We were fortunate that the location was close enough for us to arrive before dark since it was at a private campground and not at a well-marked county or state park. However with good directions and signs we had no trouble finding the place. When we arrived there was a grilled dinner of wild turkey breast and venison both with interesting marinades. We spent the evening around the campfire talking. The fire ring was really neatÂ—a truck tire ring with a grate placed in it provided a strong container that is not likely to rust away very quickly. The next day we went on our cave trips. Although rain was not predicted, we did have to have our share of light showers before leaving on the trips. Brad and I went and a trip led by Phil LaRue to WerdenÂ’s Cave, a very nice little cave with lots of passage looping from one room to another. It did not have a lot of formations, however it was very pleasant inside. I made the silly mistake of leaving my sunglasses on in the cave and wondering why my light was not working well. It was amazing how well my vision and my lamp improved after I took them off and put them in my pocket! After the cave trips we watched the swarms of hummingbirds that came to the feeders. The birds chirped at each other as they chased each other way from favorite spots. Â“SwarmsÂ” is not an exaggeration. They came in groups of as much as five and there were few times in daylight hours when the feeders were totally unoccupied. Brad attempted to take some pictures and we have yet to get them developed to see how they came out. In addition, the outhouse was worth the price of admission. It had all kinds of great graffiti in it as well as a chamber pot with magazines in it and all kinds of things including a toy camera hanging in it. Dinner was the usual pot luck along with the grotto auction. This year I was not much of a spender but I did buy a bag of homegrown cucumbers, in addition to buying Volume IV of the Iowa Cave Maps series. Most people left early the next morning. We were able to get back to the Quad Cities by noon, in time to do a cave laundry. (Incidentally I laundered my sunglasses but they came out all right.) Vindicated Coldwater Cave, Winneshiek County, Iowa August 22, 2004 Chris Beck, Ed Klausner, Mike Lace, John Lovaas, Mike Nelson and Larry Welch By Ed Klausner A year or so ago, Larry Welch bought a collapsible ladder with hopes of using it on some high leads in Coldwater Cave. He was met with skepticism and some ridicule due to the logistics of getting the ladder to these distant leads, the weight of the ladder, and the problem of mud in the locking mechanism. Larry kept the ladder at home until a good opportunity presented itself. That opportunity presented itself as a 15 foot climb to a dome in the mainstream near BrotherÂ’s Grimm Passage. Chris Beck intended on using the scaling pole and both Chris and I brought vertical gear to use with the scaling pole. Larry thought this was a good opportunity to test the ladder and he stoically carried it to and from the downstream site. Several years ago, Mike Lace was shoved up and into this dome. He did not survey it at the time. He did not have a strong light, so he could not determine if there were any leads high in the dome itself. When we got to the area we decided to give the ladder a try before assembling the scaling pole. We got it fully extended and locked. Chris secured it by using a chock and webbing. I was voted most expendable and was elected to climb first. It was an easy way up and I was soon in the dome. Larry followed. The dome was quite beautiful and the floor was covered with flowstone. Larry set point, Chris read instrument from
below and I completed the sketch that Mike Lace started in the mainstream. The dome was about 45 feet high and, unfortunately, had no leads. Second Story Dome would have been a good name, but it was taken. Tentatively, it is known as LarryÂ’s Gadget Dome, but that may change. We got a bit over 50 feet of new survey. The ladder was highly successful and Larry was vindicated. With ChrisÂ’ mechanical skill, we finally got the ladder collapsed even though mud was an issue in the ladderÂ’s locking mechanism. Mike and Chris headed back upstream to work on the new shed while Larry and I went to the end of BrotherÂ’s Grimm to see if we could either use the ladder or the scaling pole for some later trip to reach the lead in the second dome. We figured that the ladder wouldnÂ’t reach and the scaling pole could make it through all the twists and turns. The level of CO2 was elevated between the mainstream and the dome, but that should clear up in a month or so. John Lovaas and Mike Nelson went down to the Sinus Passage to download data from JohnÂ’s data logger. We met them at BrotherÂ’s Grimm as we were coming out and returned upstream with them. John had a new digital camera and we held flashes for him while he photographed the red iron formation. The pictures came out very well. Elsewhere in the cave, Bill Mulder took his son Bill and grandson Shane on a tour, the first trip into coldwater for Shane. Dawn Ryan arrived later in the evening and Elizabeth Miller arrived the next morning for a trip to Marlowe Spring. The purpose of the trip was to collect isopods for species determination. A proposed hog confinement facility would adversely affect the biota of this spring and we wanted to collect information of what is living in the spring. 56 Two Trips CaptiveÂ’s Blood Cave Allamakee County, Ia. August 12, 2004 Ed Klausner and Elizabeth Miller Grouse Cave, several sinks and Ridge Top Cave, Dubuque County, Iowa August 14, 2004 Chris Beck, Gary Engh, Ed Klausner and Elizabeth Miller By Ed Klausner Elizabeth and I had a few days off from work and decided to go to a part of the state that we donÂ’t often visit: Allamakee County. We searched for exposed rock in several areas and finally found both exposed rock and some small caves. These had been described by Jim Hedges in 1971 along with nearby Blackhawk Bluff Cave. Blackhawk Bluff Cave was on private property and we did not approach the landowners. We poked around the base of a bluff and found one cave long enough to survey (15 feet). This was a mechanical cave in sandstone. The floor was quite comfortable (sand with few rocks) and it was easy to sketch. We named it CaptiveÂ’s Blood Cave due to the toll the mosquitoes took on our limited supply. A few days later, Gary, Elizabeth and I met Chris in Dubuque County to look at a few sinks that we had found last winter. At that time, Gary found a double sink for which he needed a rope to enter. We also found a single sink that needed some digging to be able to enter. We returned with vertical gear and digging tools. The bottom of double sink proved to have walls that were too close together to be able to enter what appeared to be a fairly deep crack. There were many sinkholes in the area and we dug on any that looked promising. They all had the same problem. We finally found a horizontal cave at the bottom of one of the sinkholes. We surveyed it even though it looked familiar to Chris. Since it was a bit under 20 feet in length, it didnÂ’t take long. In checking the map book later, it turned out to be Grouse Cave. It had dome popcorn and flowstone, and had standing room despite its short length. The next stop was a known cave, Ridge Top Cave. Elizabeth and I climbed down into this 83 foot mechanical cave while Gary and Chris figured out our position on the topo map. Once Elizabeth and I had seen the cave, we headed north to
57 the edge of this public land to look at the remaining sinkhole found last winter. Unfortunately, it was completely plugged. WeÂ’ll have to revisit this one in a few years as it obviously takes quiet a bit of water. Mouse Hollow Camp, Attic, Lichen it or Not, Green Hallway, Mouse Hollow Ice, and Barred Caves, Jackson County, Iowa August 29, 2004 Gary Engh, Ed Klausner, and Elizabeth Miller By Ed Klausner An acquaintance of mine owns some land in Jackson County. I made arrangements to meet him so we could go to some of his known caves and look for others in the area. We met the landowner, but unfortunately, he couldnÂ’t get out with us. After showing us where to park and how to get to his cabin, he drew us a map and marked the known caves. With map in hand, we started ridgewalking. The valley is known as Mouse Hollow and our first stop was Camp Cave, described as having a campfire spot where it looked as if people had recently camped in the entrance. We located the cave and as we were surveying, found that the back area (after a low spot that probably protected it) had several nice formations: flowstone, a column, and small stalactites. Next to Camp Cave was a mechanical cave of 21 feet that the owner later named Attic Cave. We mapped it also. As we continued along one side of the valley, we encountered both Lichen or Not Cave (a mechanical 15 foot cave) and Green Hallway Cave (a 16 foot mechanical cave). We continued on and found one of the known caves, Ice Cave. Since the name has been used before, we named it Mouse Hollow Ice Cave. It was a solutional cave of 19.2 feet that had lots of popcorn and good air flow. The last cave of the day was a 17.5 foot solutional tube with a potential digging lead at the end. The landowner named it Barred Cave because we later told him that we heard an owl calling while ridegwalking. This cave entrance is easily recognizable due to its arched profile, so we will have a landmark for our next trip to the area. We covered a fraction of the landownerÂ’s property, so weÂ’ll hopefully have a chance to take his kids out with us on a future trip. It was quite a successful day. Six caves were surveyed and the weather was perfect. ISS Weekend Aug. 28-29, Â‘04 Dawn Ryan and John Lovaas. Jack Wood, Allan and Cindy Sankowski By Dawn Ryan CouldnÂ’t have a better start to a weekend; sitting around a campfire with friends. Not to mention a sip or two of some fine Mexican Tequila Jack brought back from his last trip to Mexico. It had been raining off and on that night and into the morning so our objectives for the weekend were changed. The continued survey of an active spring cave was called off because of the threat of weather so instead, we all went ridgewalking. With the help of JackÂ’s topo maps we found the right driveway and knocked on the landownerÂ’s door to ask permission to walk their property. The landowner was very nice and even sent her two boys along with us. It was just sweltering; the humidity must have been 100%. I was expecting some heat much like my beloved desert but I have never felt anything like it before. I was praying for the rain to return. John had warned me about the Southern Illinois summers but I had no idea. We hiked in the woods looking for the sinkhole noted on the map and to our pleasure John discovered some Paw Paw trees ripe with fruit. I knew Gary Emerson would like this and John made sure to bring some extras home for Gary. WeÂ’ve talked Paw PawÂ’s before and Gary even sang a Paw Paw song to me. We ate several of the fruit and continued on our quest. We ended up locating the sinkhole but found that it was filled with countless numbers of used tires. There were two more sinkholes to locate but not enough time. This will require a return trip. We ended the day in Hutchins Creek at a real nice swimming
hole with limestone outcrops. 6-7 inches of rain got dumped on our original objectiveÂ’s drainage area later that afternoon. Roads were closed because of flooding and wash outs, and we were forced to take a rather long detour to get back to camp. The next day Jack accompanied John and I to a sandstone rock shelter that John knew of from his college days at SIU. During the depression, the government employed famous writers to produce history/travel guides for all the states. The Illinois guide mentions the shelter, and that before the trees grew up in front of the shelter one could hear the river almost two miles away. The shelter acted as a natural sound collector. What an incredible site. The sandstone shelter was big but also highly decorated with Native American pictographs. The rock art was surprisingly well preserved. Of course, there was the usual historic and even some recent graffiti, even a fraternity logo. But the Thunderbirds, hands and Raven were very distinct. We even spotted a couple of shields and deer pictographs. The day ended at the Larue Pine Hills, with a spectacular view from high atop a limestone outcrop overlooking the Big Muddy river, the Larue bayou, and the Mississippi River valley beyond. Photo by John Lovass58Dear Most Competent Caver Dear Most Competent Caver, I recently attended a grotto caving event. During the festivities, awards were given out for various achievments throughout the year. Much to my chagrin, I recieved the Oldest Caver Award. I admit, IÂ’m a little cranky, and have a few parts not working quite as well as they used to. But, my time spent underground is not permanent yet. How can I shed this perception of myself? Signed, Krusty Kaver Dear Krusty Kaver, Look at it this way, your not old, your indigenous. You know, like a species. I feel your pain. Winning an award like that is like kissing your sister. Although, IÂ’ve caved in some parts of the country where thats considered a win.