I N T E R C O M Volume 52, Issue 1 January February 2016 Iowa Grotto P.O. Box 228 Iowa City, IA 52244 Grotto Website: www.caves.org/grotto/iowa Coldwater Cave Project website: http://www.caves.org/project/ coldwater 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 next INTERCOM is April 1st. Send material for publication, e mail, disk or hard copy to: Editor and Typist: Scott Dankof 515 986 3219 410 SW Hickory Circle Grimes IA. 50111 E mail firstname.lastname@example.org Coordinate photographs for publication in the INTERCOM with Scott Dankof, the INTERCOM 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 Cover Photo: Formations in upstream Coldwater Cave, Iowa. Photo by Scott Dankof. National Speleological Society P. O. Box 228 Iowa City, Iowa 52244 Chairman Ed Klausner Vice Chairman/Treasurer John Donahue Secretary Elizabeth Miller Volume 52 Issue 1 ______________C O N T E N T S _____________ Meeting Minutes 4 Trip reports: Mammoth Cave Natl. Park 4 Shannon County Missouri Caving 7 Allie Spring Cave 14 Kartchner Caverns 15 16 Coldwater Cave 16 Spook Cave 2016 Bat Count 17 52nd Hodag Hunt Reg. Form 19 Photo Gallery 18 3
__________CALENDAR___________ June Grotto Meeting June 22nd Room 125, 7:30 pm, Trowbridge Hall. July Grotto Meeting July 25th Room 125, 7:30 pm, Trowbridge Hall. Annual Grotto Picnic August 6th at Coldwater Cave, Iowa. Minutes of the Iowa Grotto Regular Meeting January 27, 2016 The regular meeting was called to order by Chairman Ed Klausner at 7:40 PM with 8 members present. Prior to the meeting, Ed Klausner presented slides from recent trips to Arkansas and Kentucky. The minutes of the November meeting were approved as corrected. John Donahue reported that the grotto has $5276.66 plus $52 in petty cash and $75.85 in the Coldwater Fund. Trip reports: Ed, Mark Jones and Mike Nelson (long time grotto member now living in Arkansas) went on a survey and inventory of caves of the Buffalo River area of Arkansas. Ed and Elizabeth attended CRF expeditions of Mammoth Cave during Thanksgiving and again at New Years. Mike Bounk took a trip in November to Thupan Reisling cave with Ray Whitter and son in Allamakee County. He also tried to visit Highlandville Caves but was unable to contact the owners but did visit the Decorah Ice Cave. Future Trips: NSS convention will be in late July in Ely, Nevada. Information is at caves.org . Apparently no survey trips are planned for this winter. Trips to Kemling Cave will resume when the weather is warmer. Old Business: No applications were received for the grotto small grant program. The group discussed what would be necessary to interest students in cave research. Ed Klausner announced that the grotto has been granted tax exempt status. New Business: The March meeting will include photos by grotto members. Members should email their pictures to Ed Klausner at email@example.com . There will be a limit of 10 slides per person. The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 PM Minutes of the Iowa Grotto Regular Meeting February 24, 2016 The regular meeting was called to order by Chairman Ed Klausner at 7:48 PM with 4 members present. Prior to the meeting, Ed Klausner presented scans of old postcards depicting Iowa caves. These were from donated to the grotto by Deb McCarty. The minutes of the January meeting were approved as corrected. John Donahue was stuck in Indianapolis and could not make it to the meeting. Trip reports: Ed Klausner reported on a trip to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky Mark Jones was the expedition leader for the first time. Future Trips: NSS convention will be in late July in Ely, Nevada. Information is at caves.org . Spring MVOR April 29 30 at Brumley MO, Fall MVOR at the Lone Star Preserve in Kentucky Oct 13 16. Trips to Kemling Cave will resume when the weather is warmer. Old Business: Picnic will be held at Coldwater Cave the first weekend in August. The March meeting will include photos by grotto members. Members should email their pictures to Ed Klausner at firstname.lastname@example.org . There will be a limit of 10 slides per person. New Business: None The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 PM. Mammoth Cave National Park Woodrat Village Cave Edmonson County, Kentucky January 1, 2016 By Mark Jones For my first cave in 2016 with Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) at Mammoth Cave National Park I was assigned to survey Coke Cave along with Jo Smith and Karen Willmes. This small cave is an important Rafi4
eared bat ( Corynorhinus rafinesquii ) maternity colony that the park needed surveyed for their records. Since the cave location was the only information on file we packed vertical gear in case it was necessary to get on rope. We left Hamilton Valley Research Center at 10:00 a.m. and took the ferry over the Green River to the parking area. Rather than hike the horse trail we decided to ridgewalk directly to the cave in the hopes of finding more small caves. Our one hour hike took us up and down several hills to the nose of a ridge that gradually sloped down to a broad valley. Unfortunately the GPS waypoint indicated that the cave was in the valley floor rather than in the rock ridgeline. While waiting for Jo and Karen I began scouring the hillside in hopes of finding the cave. Ten minutes of futile wandering finally produced results when I found a small cave entrance fifty feet up the ridge. Soon after my discovery the girls contacted me with news that they had found a cave as well as a collapsed sinkhole two hundred feet away. Believing that my cave was indeed Coke Cave we decided to mark both entrances as waypoints and begin the survey. For this survey Karen set stations, Jo read instruments and I sketched and kept book. The first shot was at 35Â° for twelve feet down an organic slope in a narrow slot to a small room. No vertical gear was necessary to access this cave. Oodles of fossils were sandwiched in the wall throughout the survey. Off to the left was a nifty balcony with the cutest little Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) nests. Constructed from strips of cedar these woven wonders were the nicest woodrat around the nests were sprigs of green cedar which indicated that the area is currently inhabited. Back at Hamilton Valley I was told that the cedar repels a variety of insects just like it keeps moths out of closets. The second shot continued down a narrow canyon at 35Â° to a seven foot drop. The floor was covered in acorn shells that had been discarded from the overhead woodrat village. Although only four foot wide the canyon was twenty five feet tall. Hanging ten feet up the wall was a lone Rafieared bat. No signs of a maternity colony were seen at this time. A single shot of thirty feet terminated in a blind canyon to finish our survey. Before closing the book on the cave I climbed up to the ceiling to confirm that the passage ended, it did. A total of 58.8 feet of survey was documented during the two hours we spent here. Additional fauna (cave and terrestrial) included some camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ), numerous orb weavers ( Meta ovalis ), some daddy longlegs ( Leiobunum sp.) a couple of terrestrial snails ( Inflectarius inflectus ) and a few flies ( Diptera sp.). Addendum: Upon returning to camp we talked with Rick Toomey and it was determined that this cave was not Coke Cave, but the first new cave of 2016 in Mammoth Cave National Park. The extensive woodrat activity cemented the cave name Woodrat Village Cave. The Search For Coke Cave Mammoth Cave Natl. Park January 1, 2016 By Mark Jones wandered two hundred feet over to tion methods were used between entering each cave to reduce the risk of spreading white nose syndrome (W.N.S.) ( Pseudogymnoascus destructans ) among the bats. Without enough time to survey the cave I opted to reconnoiter so that the survey party store for them. No vertical gear was necessary to access this cave. A four foot diameter entrance steeply sloped (40Â°?) thirty feet down a leafy mat to a muddy floor. Immediately the temperature rose ten degrees. While 5
the ceiling was comparable to Woodrat Village Cave the walls were much wider. Forty feet inside the entrance running less than twenty feet while the left branch disappears around a corner. Large breakdown blocks are scattered throughout the cave. The ceiling appears to have dark grease spots from possible bat clusters. I estimate at least a hundred feet of survey in this cave. Cave fauna included orb weavers ( Meta ovalis ) as well as other spiders and evidence of Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) activity. This proved to be the elusive Coke Cave. Fifteen minutes were spent on this trip. Roppel Cave Mammoth Cave Natl. Park January 2, 2016 By Mark Jones The second day at the Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) expedition at Mammoth Cave National Park found me leading Petra Byl, Daniel Heins and Andrew Wilkenson in the Weller Entrance of Roppel Cave to resurvey a portion of Lower Arlie Way. We carpooled with Bob Osbourn, arriving at the parking area at 10:00 a.m. Once geared up it was only a short walk to the shed protecting the entrance. Ten of the ladders ready for the easy hike down to Arlie Way. With notes provided by Ed Klausner ther Lower Arlie Way nor our starting point, Station W8. In addition to conducting the survey Andrew and I would be teaching Petra and Daniel how to read instruments. Initially Petra read instruments, Daniel set points, Andrew assisted and I kept book. The first seventy five feet of survey was in a roomy stoopwalk that gradually morphed into an eighteen foot tall canyon. Interesting mud coated popcorn formations covered the walls throughout the passage. The canyon trended south for over a hundred feet before abruptly returning to stoopwalking. A trickling stream joined the canyon from a tiny (two foot wide by four inch high) opening for fifty feet and then disappeared under a similar floor ledge. The stoopwalking extended another fifty feet to a twenty foot wide pancake room. For the remainder of the survey we were horizontal. Unfortunately Petra was chilling out in the muddy crawl and opted to return to a warmer spot while we continued the survey. Daniel took over reading instruments and Andrew took point. Although not the comfiest of crawlways we did benefit from several long shots which moved us through rather quickly. In eight stations we racked up over 250 feet of hands and knees crawling with no sign of ending. Daniel and Andrew reconnoitered another two hundred feet reporting that the crawl returns to stoopwalking. We finished the day with a survey total p.m. Cave fauna observed on this trip included a multitude of cave beetles ( Neaphaeps telemkampfi ) and camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ). Frozen Niagara Entrance Mammoth Cave National Park January 3, 2016 By Mark Jones For my third trip at the 2016 New dition I was assigned to Lynn section of the East Bransford Avenue off of the Frozen Niagara Entrance. In addition to Lynn we had Fred Wilkenson to round out our party. We went into Frozen Niagara Entrance at 10:00 a.m. and passed by the named formations Crystal Lake, Onyx Colonnade and Frozen Niagara around some big breakdown down to College Heights Avenue. Climbing down a trail through the breakdown we turned right to duck under a rock ledge where a pinch over a rimstone dam was the tightest squeeze of the trip. At the bottom of the rimstone dams we stoopwalked down Fox Avenue to the first station of the A Survey. Ac6
cording to Lynn the A Survey extends to A314, the longest sequential survey in the cave. Soon after crawling into the A Survey we dropped down a narrow canyon to the Toilet Seat formation (A28). Below this formation we merged into Logan Avenue that widened out but lost some ceiling for hundreds of feet of easy hands and knees crawling. Soon we regained some height so that we could stoopwalk which eventually became walking. Evidence of waterflow became apparent with several mud bathtub rings, drains and scoured walls. Although the passage is devoid of formations the scalloped walls make up for it. Nearing the start of our survey we found interesting chert nodules and unnamed formations dotting the passage. Our survey began at station A89 near the mouth of the P/K sidepassage at the Logan Avenue/Bransford Avenue junction. Originally this was called the P survey but was superseded by the K survey; our task was to resurFor this survey Lynn shot the Disto X, Fred set stations and I kept book. The first several stations were in an easy stoopwalking tube that began with a rock floor but soon changed to a sandy one. The first stations cut through some convoluted passage which challenged my sketching ability but eventually the cave settled down into a pancake passage. Although the walls were over twenty feet apart the dimensions were deceiving since it was often a narrow ledge. Most of the shots were over thirty feet with only a few short shots necessary. Midway through the survey a thin wall on the right separated the main trunk from a low, wide bellycrawl before it rejoined passage. We continued in the main trunk through a wide, sandy hands and knees crawl for three hundred feet to tie into an R station (RR1). With our main objective completed we returned to survey through the low, wide bellycrawl from PK8 to PK5. This was the muddiest area that the Disto X overcame the frustration that can occur when surveying in this type of passage. We finished the day with 665.4 feet of resurvey in the P/ K survey and 180.85 feet of new survey in the low crawlway. A total of eight hours was spent on this trip. Cave fauna seen on this trip included camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ), cave beetles ( Neaphaeps telemkampfi )and a cave webworms ( Macrocera nobilis ), a larva of the fungus gnat. Shannon County Missouri Caving Round Spring Resurgence Cave January 15, 2016 By Mark Jones For my first day of caving in Missouri in 2016 Scott House took Richard Young and me to the Upper Current River to monitor caves for the National Park Service. In December much of Missouri was inundated with torrential downpours that caused extensive flooding and related damage. The bridge across the creek to Round Spring Cave had been dislodged but was temporarily repaired although the bridge will probably be replaced before the cave is reopened to the public. The steps up to the entrance were covered with debris that had been carried down the hill by the excessive runoff. Scott needed Round Spring Resurgence Cave to be monitored so Richard and I detoured off the trail to ridgewalk the short distance to the entrance. An obvious five foot high by sixteen foot wide opening at the bottom of a rock outcropping with water tumbled down a rocky gully all indicated to us that we were at Round Spring Resurgence Cave. The cave ran thirty feet into dirty left hand crawlway and a wet, rocky right hand crawl. The left side piddled out after twenty feet while the right branch funneled down to an impassable squeeze. Some nice, active speleothems were found off to the right while many inactive and dead formations were seen elsewhere in this short cave. The only cave fauna seen were flies ( Diptera sp.) 7
but there were plenty of them. Total cave time was thirty minutes. Round Spring Cave Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones Spring Resurgence Cave Richard Young and I scooted over to Round Spring Cave to join Scott House and assist Kim Houk of the Ozark National Riverways in swabbing bats for white nose syndrome (W.N.S.) ( Pseudogymnoascus destructans ). Victoria Schleh a high school senior who was job shadowing Kim, was also in our party. The goal was to test ten bats between the enfully three different bat species were very cooperative during our sampling. We found a dozen pipistrelle or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ), six Indiana Bats ( Myotis sodalis ) and a big brown bat ( Eptesicus fuscus ) that we were able to swab. The results will help the park make management decisions relating to addressing the white nose issue. Ninety minutes were spent on this task. Bootlegger Cave Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones Following a short lunch break Scott House led Kim Houk, Victoria Schleh, Allison Young, Richard Young and me over to monitor Bootlegger Cave. After beaching the canoes we hiked to the base of a rock outcropping where the sixteen foot wide by four foot high entrance was hidden by a reverse slope of debris. Kim, Allison and Richard conducted a cultural inventory while Scott, Victoria and I did the biological inventory. Numerous Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) the middens and scat piles were found throughout the cave. Almost immediately we began finding bats all over the ceiling pipistrelle or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ), big brown bats ( Eptesicus fuscus ) as well as a little brown bat ( Myotis lucifugus ). The passage retained its general boxy shape all the way to the end. Near the entrance formations were absent but the deeper we ventured the more formations we found. Colorful stalactites dotted the ceiling with corresponding stalagmites scattered along the floor. Several massive and beautiful columns as well as some nice rimstone dams were found near the back. Probably the most interesting formations were the stalagmites growing on some timbers! Ninety minutes were spent inventorying this cave. Shaft Cave Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones From Bootlegger Cave Kim Houk, Victoria Schleh, Allison Young and I hiked up the draw in search of Shaft Cave while Scott House and Richard Young canoed down to Lime Kiln Cave. Shaft Cave is a thirty five foot deep pit situated high on the hillside. Since a new trail was planned for this area it was important to determine how the layout of the trail compared with Shaft Cave. Within fifteen minutes Kim found the rock outcropping hiding the sinkhole entrance. With this information the trail can be constructed in the best place. Lime Kiln Cave Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones The last cave for the day was Lime Kiln Cave (SHN296) across from the lower landing. Scott House and Richard Young met Kim Houk, Victoria Schleh, Allison Young and me at the rock outcropping that hid the ten foot wide by five foot high entrance. The passage tapers down to a hands and knees crawl before becoming too tight for most people (me included.). Kim, Allison and Richard took a cultural inventory while Scott, Victoria 8
and I looked at the biology. Thirty minutes were taken to survey this cave. With our work completed we hopped back into the canoes and paddled over to the truck. All in all a very successful day! Smokehole Cave Shannon County, Missouri January 16, 2016 By Mark Jones For my second day of caving at the Ozark Region of the Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) January expedition Scott House assigned Richard Young and me to monitor three caves on the upper Current River in the Ozark National Scenic Riverway. The first goal was to monitor Smokehole Cave (SHN025) near Akers Ferry. A chilly wind blew across the field as we hike along the creek to the four foot high by fifteen foot wide entrance perched twelve feet above the water. The recent flooding had reached the cave covering the floor with a mix of fine mud and leaf debris. Just inside the dripline was a domed room with a small chimney like feature that defined the cave. A single bat ( Myotis sp.) clung to the ceiling in this area. An easy crawl ran another thirty feet before choking out at a filled pinch. Thousands of flies ( Diptera sp.) buzzed throughout the crawlway. In addition to the biological inventory we conducted a cultural survey. An hour was taken to monitor this cave. Polygon Pit Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones Above Welch Spring Cave was our next objective, Polygon Pit (SHN084). Parking on the ridgetop it was an easy hike to the nose of the ridge where we dropped down thirty feet to a steep slope with an exposed rock outcropping. According to the records this blind pit would require some vertical gear to drop the twenty feet to a scree slope. We decided that a cable ladder would suffice so while Richard Young tied the webbing to an acceptable anchor I landscaped around the mouth of the pit. Once properly secured I descended the cable ladder to a steeply angled floor. The entire horizontal distance was less than thirty feet from end to end. A thin roof covered the ceiling over most of the cave. The most interesting aspect of this pit were the huge boxwork formations on the ceiling. Other than a few flies ( Diptera sp.) no other fauna were seen in this cave. Thirty minutes was spent at this cave. McDonald Cave Shannon County, Missouri January 17th, 2016 By Mark Jones Our third and final cave for the day was McDonald Cave (SHN105) located above Pulltite Campground. Richard Young and I followed a rocky streambed littered with big breakdown blocks up to a rock outcropping with a seventy foot wide by four foot high entrance. T errestrial snail ( Inflectarius inflectus ) shells were sprinkled throughout the twilight zone. The floor gradually sloped from right to left changing from dirt to gravel. Several Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and piles of scat covered much of the floor. A tiny stream babbled along the left wall. Inspecting the water I discovered hundreds of aquatic amphipods ( Crangonyx forbesi ) scooting amongst the rocks. Camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) were found everywhere in the cave. Two shallow domes were about the only significant features in this part of the cave. Three bats were seen in this area a big brown bat ( Eptesicus fuscus ) and two pipistrelle or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ). Seventy feet inside the entrance the passage narrowed to a rocky bellycrawl where we opted to retreat to daylight. The next hour was spent doing a cultural inventory in the entrance area. To finish our work we climbed up the slope to the skylight entrance just 9
beyond the rocky bellycrawl. Dropping down a steep sinkhole slope we chimneyed down a six foot climb to a pile of slimy surface debris covering a gravelly base. A distinct organic odor wafted out of the entrance emanating from an extensive pile of scat (raccoon?). Entering a twenty foot diameter dome room we found two pipistrelles and a cluster of six big brown bats hunkered down in a ceiling vug. Off to the right a shallow pool spanned the passage and discouraged us from pursuing the end of the cave. Peering into the water Richard found several aquatic isopods ( Caecidotea sp.) scavenging around the decaying wood. Beyond here we saw two more pipistrelles clinging to the ceiling. A total of two hours was spent at McDonald Cave. Polecat Pit Shannon County, Missouri January 17, 2016 By Mark Jones The third day of caving at the Ozark Region of the Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) January expedition found me teaming up with Tony Schmitt to monitor a couple of pits found back in 2007. This would be the first trip back there since they were surveyed and the first trip there in the winter. Tony was able to drive within a half mile our objective so it waslow to the Polecat Pit (SHN570). The GPS coordinates got us close to the the rock outcropping hiding the entrance. While I slipped into my vertical rope and padded a sharp corner. The first drop was a mere twenty four feet down to a debris covered slope. Nine pipistrelle or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) were found in this area with one exhibiting visible signs of white nose syndrome (W.N.S.) ( Pseudogymnoascus destructans ). Continuing down the debris slope we popped into a muddy room that led to the second drop. Thankfully when they surveyed the cave they had installed a permanent anchor that allowed us to offset the rope to make the final descent. A narrow pinch opened up into a wide canyon that dropped down twenty feet to a balcony before dropping another twenty feet to the floor. A shallow gravel pool six foot in diameter punctuated the end of the cave. A broken whiskey bottle was found in this area. Just as we were preparing to leave an eerie sound began echoing off the walls. Tony thought it could be some and knew better. Rather than a feline I thought it was probably a pickerel frog ( Rana palustris ). To confirm my suspicions (and avoid being mauled by a bobcat) I encouraged Tony to climb first. Up on the balcony Tony did indeed find a pickerel frog hunkered down in a tiny alcove. Situated five feet above the frog was a three inch Western slimy salamander ( Plethodon albagula or glutinosus ) clinging to the wall. Wiggling through the narrow slot proved to be the most challenging part of the trip. While climbing up the debris slope Tony discovered ern slimy salamander. Other fauna found on this trip were numerous camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ), countless flies ( Diptera sp.) and several terrestrial snail shells ( Inflectarius inflectus ). Ninety minutes was spent in Polecat Pit. Addendum: Upon returning to Powder Mill Research Center I was showing my cave photos to Kirsten Alvey when she noted that one of the pips unfortunately had white nose syndrome (W.N.S.) ( Pseudogymnoascus destructans ). Little Skunk Cave Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones From Polecat Pit Tony Schmitt and I hiked up Polecat Hollow about a mile to Little Skunk Cave (SHN571). The inconspicuous three foot high by ten foot wide entrance sat high on the 10
11 ridge. The cave felt much hotter than Polecat Pit. An upper crawlway ran back thirty feet before pinching out but a lower canyon level offered more passage. I chimneyed down twenty feet to a lower level that ran thirty feet toward the hollow before closing down at a breakdown wall. Rather than rig the final drop we opted to simply peek into the last room. Twelve pipistrelle or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) were found scattered around the cave. Before leaving the cave I noticed a c ave webworm ( Macrocera nobilis ) along the wall. We took thirty minutes to check this cave. Spring Hollow Cave #1 Shannon County, Missouri January 18, 2016 By Mark Jones Richard Young and I set out from the Powder Mill Research Center at 9:00 a.m.to monitor two nearby caves. A bit of buffoonery led to us arriving a tad later than we should have but with the temperature in the single braving the elements anyway. Parking the truck at the mouth of the hollow we trekked east up the dry, rocky streambed for a quarter mile to an inactive waterfall. The twelve foot wide by three foot high entrance to Spring Hollow Cave (SHN468) was perched on the same level off to our right. Surface debris coated the first twenty feet of the floor with three inch ice stalagmites scattered about. While Richard conducted a cultural survey I would be doing a biological inventory. Surprisingly just inside this chilly area I counted the first of many pipistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ). Gradually the passage warmed up to a more comfortable temperature. Fifty feet into the cave an alcove off to the right harbored a small cluster of pips. Back in the main passage the ceiling was dotted with pips for the next hundred the right wall in a wide hands and knees crawl above a tiny, trickling stream. Not many bats were counted in this crawl nor did the stream yield any signs of life. After a couple hundred feet the crawlway rejoined the main trunk. Here a ceiling collapse of angular rock filled half the passage but a crawlway continued off to the left. Popping out on the other side the passage transformed from a formation deficit tube to a formation rich wonderland. For the next hundred feet I was enthralled by beautiful soda straws, stalactites, drapery and columns. As a bonus I discovered numerous formations in the process of redissolving resulting in strange and interesting designs. On the left a miniature waterfall dripped from the ceiling creating the trickling stream that meandered out the entrance. I followed the walking passage back to the way. puzzling over a trench and three pits that had been previously excavated. Other than some marks left by a pickaxe there was no clue as to the nature of the dig. Were they digging for lost Incan treasures . . . hidden Civil War booty . . . Jesse James gold? Whatever it was Richard couldwhy this mud had been moved. While Richard continued to ponder the pits more cave fauna. While the right arm had a floor that was rocky with a bit of mud the left branch had a soupy mud floor. A hundred feet into the crawl the ceiling dropped down to a roomy bellycrawl through a shallow pool. Rather than push on to the end and getting slimed I figured the hike back to the truck in freezing temperatures would be much nicer if I turned back here. I ended the bio survey with 210 pipistrelle bats, bat guano and moth wings scattered throughout the cave, several areas of Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) scat, some raccoon ( Procyon lotor larval salamander, numerous camel
12 larval salamander, numerous camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) and scads of flies ( Diptera sp.). Ninety minutes were spent in Spring Hollow Cave #1. Spring Hollow Cave #2 Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones Just across the dry streambed from Spring Hollow Cave #1 is Spring Hollow Cave #2 (SHN469). Prior to the collapse of the valley floor these two caves were connected. Although this cave boasted a roomier entrance (six feet wide by four feet high) it quickly funneled down to a rocky bellycrawl. I ventured fifty feet before retreating to the entrance. I was amazed to find a dozen pipistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) in this chilly tube along with two fishing spiders ( Dolomedes sp.). Signs of cave fauna included a couple Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and lots of raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) tracks frozen in the mud. Total cave time was fifteen minutes. Horseshoe Cave Shannon County, Missouri January 19, 2016 By Mark Jones Allison Young (no relation to Richard), the archeologist for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways joined Richard Young and me to monitor a boatload of caves in Johnny Hollow on Powder Mill Research Center at 8:30 a.m. and arrived at Rymer Landing a little after 9:00. Scott House had suggested that we walk up the hollow, start at the top of the ridge and work our way back down. It was advantageous to do this since we could locate caves along the way and finish the day close to the truck. It was an easy mile hike up Johnny Hollow paralleling the stream on the rocky bank or the scoured creekbed. The recent flooding wiped away a lot of the understory giving us a clearer path up the valley. Our first stop would be the Horseshoe Caves to conduct a cultural and biological survey. While Allison and Richard would look for signs of human presence I would search for evidence of cave fauna. It was easy to identify the eight foot square black void of Horseshoe Annex Cave (SHN337) entrance forty feet above the valley floor. This cave extends forty feet into the bluff before terminating at a breakdown collapse. Indication of cave fauna included several Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat, four eastern phoebe ( Sayornis phoebe ) nests, a couple of orb weavers ( Meta ovalis ), some camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) and numerous flies ( Diptera sp.). Just off to the left of the entrance was the upper opening of Horseshoe Cave (SHN338). A biting wind blew through this walking passage as I was poking around for cave critters. A hundred twenty feet later I reached the impressive lower entrance. A few desiccated formations were found scattered along the wall, but overall the cave was devoid of speleothems. Signs of cave life included a big brown bat ( Eptesicus fuscus ), a few camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ), some flies ( Diptera sp.) and some Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat . An hour was spent at the two caves. Four Entrance Cave & Two Entrance Cave Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones A hundred feet down the bluffline from the Horseshoe Caves we found Four Entrance Cave (SHN339) and Two Entrance Cave (SHN340). Allison Young and Richard Young conducted a cultural survey while I continued to look for cave fauna. Four Entrance Cave is a hands and knees crawl cave that wraps around for sixty feet breaking through the rock with four windows. There was extensive use of
13 this cave by Eastern woodrats ( Neotoma floridana ) as was evident by the middens and scat. The only creature seen was an orb weaver ( Meta ovalis ) tucked into a ceiling crack. Two Entrance Cave was fifteen feet down the bluff and probably connects with Four Entrance Cave beyond a breakdown wall. This cave is a rocky bellycrawl for its entire twenty foot length. No fauna was noted in this cave. Total time in these two caves was thirty minutes. Canyon Cave Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones Our next cave to monitor down Johnny Hollow was Canyon Cave (SHN341). This cave has an obvious fourteen foot square opening in a rock outcropping gradually narrowed down to eight foot before abruptly ending after sixty feet at a wall of breakdown. Again Allison Young and Richard Young conducted a cultural survey while I searched for cave fauna. I found three orb weavers ( Meta ovalis ), a few camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) and numerous flies ( Diptera sp.) along with Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat. Fifteen minutes were spent in this cave. Wet Shelter Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones Three hundred feet down the hollow from Canyon Cave we crossed the creek to find Wet Shelter (SHN342) above the stream bank at the base of a hill. The mud floor was frozen solid which was an incentive for us to work Allison Young and Richard Young to finish their cultural survey and I survey. The only sign of cave critter use was a pile of raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) scat. It only took ten minutes to complete this cave. Johnny Hollow Shelter Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones Further down the hollow we climbed up to our next objective, Johnny Hollow Shelter (SHN335). Again Allison Young and Richard Young looked for human activity and I looked for cave critters. At only thirty feet it didwork. The only indication of cave fauna usage was a bit of woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) scat. Thirty minutes were spent here. Rocky Dome Cave Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones Rocky Dome Cave (SHN331) was our next stop down Johnny Hollow. Down at the bottom of the bluff just above the stream bank is the breakdown entrance crawlway that leads to a nine foot dome before piddling out in a tight pinch. While Allison Young and Richard Young looked for signs of human usage I scanned the passage for cave life. What I found were two orb weavers ( Meta ovalis ) and numerous flies ( Diptera sp.). Total cave time was fifteen minutes. V Tree Cave Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones Just around the bluff from Rocky Dome Cave was the steep slope to V Tree Cave (SHN316). The thirty foot wide by fifteen foot high entrance was easily identified from the valley of Johnny Hollow. Extensive digging was noted in throughout this short cave. Once at the entrance Allison Young and Richard Young began a cultural inventory and I took a biological survey. Fifty feet of cave yielded a smattering of terrestrial snail shells and oodles of flies ( Diptera sp.). Total cave time was thirty minutes.
14 Ten Cave Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones Downstream fifty feet from V Tree Cave was the crawlway entrance to Ten Cave (SHN330). At twenty five feet in length it was only a matter of survey of this cave. Allison Young and Richard Young worked on the cultural inventory while I hunted for signs of cave creatures. While flies ( Diptera sp.) were the only life I found there were other indications of biological activity. An Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) midden and some scat, a pile of raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) scat and some terrestrial snail shells show that this cave is used by other animals. It took ten minutes to survey this cave. Another Cave Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones As I was looking for Johnny Hollow Cave high up on the bluff I stumbled across a small cave at the base of a rock outcropping. A twenty foot bellycrawl cut into the cliff from a forty foot wide shelter. I found Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat and some flies ( Diptera sp.) in the crawl. It took ten minutes to investigate this find. After this trip Scott House informed me that this cave had been found in surveyed. Another reason to return to Johnny Hollow! Johnny Hollow Cave (SHN334) Shannon County, Missouri By Mark Jones A hundred feet around the bluff from Another Cave I joined Allison Young and Richard Young to inventory Johnny Hollow Cave (SHN334). Allison and Richard conducted a cultural inventory and I searched for cave fauna. From a twelve foot diameter entrance the passage funneled down to a hands and knees crawl before ending in a breakdown room. This cave had the most formations of any cave we visited today. My biological survey revealed ten pipistrelle or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ), half a dozen orb weavers ( Meta ovalis ), a few camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) and numerous flies ( Diptera sp.) as well as some Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) middens and scat and a bit of raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) scat. Thirty minutes were spent here. Unfortunately we were unable to get to Dripping Bluff Cave (SHN336) and Little Tunnel Cave (SHN333) due to an approaching winter storm. Overall we finished with twelve caves inventoried for the Missouri cave files, a good day. Allie Spring Cave Pulaski County, Missouri January 22, 2016 By Mark Jones Before taking a trip out to sunny southern California I was invited by Dennis Novicky to survey Allie Spring get into the cave since it had broke out in 2015 and was excited to have an opportunity to see more of the cave. I met Dennis and Brenda Goodnight at Rolla to pick up last minute supplies before heading to the cabin. With temperatures in the twenties it took a while to warm up the cabin but eventually the cold was driven out. to hit the ground running in the morning, slipping into our wetsuits and getting out the door at 8:00 a.m. and down to the cave gate by 9:00 a.m. After the recent flooding in Misbe stymied in the watercrawl. On the contrary we found the 850 foot crawl roomier with the floor scoured clean
15 wriggled out of our wetsuit tops the mud slopes known as spanky banks. The bathtub ring left by the flooding indicated that the water had risen eight feet above stream level in the canyon passage. In spite of the past over the spanky banks. Thirty minutes later we split off to the left of the rise pool passage in a slightly smaller canyon. Less than a hundred feet later we entered a thirty foot diameter room with sixteen foot high mud walls. A high crawl intersected the lower canyon which is where we began our survey. I climbed up the muddy bank on the left while Dennis ascended on the right. Starting at station EA8 we took a shot across the room to our first station EB1 with Dennis on point and reading backsights and me reading foresights and keeping book. The next eighty feet was in a dry, wide, sandy crawl that morphed into a red clay otter slide that extended another hundred feet to a small mud window. While I was sketching Dennis poked around to find a tight bellycrawl off to the right that bypassed the window. On the other side the passage opened up to an easy stoopwalk for twenty feet but then terminated at a mud shelf. Here we found initials carved in the mud indicating that someone beat us to the punch. Sliding up on the ledge we found the route taken by the previous visitor. We enjoyed the intimate surroundings of a low bellycrawl for seventy five feet before it suddenly broke into the lower Bear Bed Passage. Dennis had predicted but had missed that prognostication by a hundred feet. To close the loop with the mainstream we turned right down the Bear Bed Passage in an easy walk for a hundred feet to finish at station FA8. The biggest surprise of the day was looking at the sketch and finding that after winding around we station. Satisfied with our surveying accomplishments we packed it in for the day and retreated back over the spanky banks. At the start of the tops back on and wallowed down to the entrance. We exited the gate at 5:15 p.m., the end to a great day. Addendum: On this trip we noted twenty five pipistrelle or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ), two larval salamanders ( Eurycea sp.), a pickerel frog ( Rana palustris ) and numerous flies ( Diptera sp.) . Kartchner Caverns Cochise County, Arizona January 26, 2016 By Mark Jones As I drove across the desert southwest on my way to southern California to drop off a car for my nephew I had stopped at the White Sands Missile Range to visit the rocket museum and discovered that I was only a couple hours away from Kartchner Cave. I arrived at 3:00 p.m. in time to take the last Big Room Tour. The Arizona State Park website describes the tour as follows: Big Room Tour Length: Â½ mile. Time: 1Â¾ hours. This tour has been open since 2003. Tours are available from mid October to mid April and are scheduled throughout the day. It is half of a mile long and takes an hour and 45 minutes to complete, one hour of which is underground. The Kartchner Cavern story is about amazing discoveries past, present and future. Marvel at the many strange and colorful formations. Learn about the cave fauna, both living and ancient. Exdiscovery and learn about new scientific research and discoveries as ongoing studies continue. The $7.00 park entrance fee and the $23.00 ticket for the tour caught my attention but with all of the positive comments I thought that it would be worth the price. While waiting for the tour I wandered through the well -
16 conceived cave dioramas. In addition I went to the theater to catch the fifteen minute video about the discovery of the cave. At 3:30 our tour guide assembled our small group to board the tram for the short ride to the airlock. This is truly the most comprehensive system yet devised to retain the natural atmosphere of a commercial cave. Not only did we walk through an airlock but we were even sprayed with a mist of water to reduce the contamination from our clothes and bodies. The guide did a nice job of explaining the (short) human history of the cave as well as describing some of the outstanding formations along the trail. We finished in a bat maternity colony area before finishing up the tour. A thumbs up for a thumbs up cave. Mammoth Cave, Kentucky February 13 th , 2016 By Ed Klausner This was the first time Iowa Grotto member Mark Jones led an expedition at Mammoth Cave and he did really well. There were eleven cave trips the first day. This turned out to be the only day of caving for a two day expedition because a storm was moving into the area. The expedition was called off early and everyone headed home with varying degrees of snow and ice on the route. I took Eli Winkler and Jacqueline there in a few years and forgot how over 2 hours not including a stop in is a fixed rope used to get to the bottom of the dome. Eli had recently been there to check a lead and found that the old sketch did not match the cave. She resketched that dome and started a survey of a canyon going south. Eli, Jacqueline and I went through that dome and then up another fixed rope to the second dome. We put find all of the old stations. I sketched while Eli and Jacqueline looked at the next dome and the leads listed for the area. This second dome had nice cave pearls in a wet section of the dome. We found several additional domes in the second and third dome. For the remainder of the day, we decided to continue surveying the canyon to the south as Eli started this and wanted to see where it went. We put in 10 stations in this tight canyon with a few inches of water on the floor continue this on another expedition. Coldwater Cave Winneshiek County, Iowa February 20, 2016 By Mark Jones For the February Coldwater Cave trip there were several people interested in seeing the cave. Along with regular Coldwater cavers Scott Dankof, Matt Frana, Jordan Kjome, Nick and Sara Schmuecker, Larry Welch and myself were a couple of new guys Andrew Pearson and Jake Cammack from Wisconsin and Simon Klemish and K.J. Passaro from Iowa. Normally the February trip offers the greatest possibilities for exploring beyond the sumps due to the drop in temperature and water level. Sadly the recent warm weather had melted a lot of snow resulting in a surge in the water level in the cave. On Friday night Andrew and Jake went down to the platform to find the water level an unseasonably level records for the past eight years at the shack we discovered no higher level recorded at any time. Since the flooding sealed the sumps our trip would be confined to the mainstream. On Saturday Larry, Nick and Jake, opted out of caving for various reasons. Scott would be leading Sara, Jordan and K.J. upstream for a photography trip later in the day. Andrew, Matt, Simon and I dropped the shaft at 9:45 Saturday morn to
17 find the water level had dropped a murky during our entire time in the cave. Wading upstream we climbed over the massive ceiling breakdown blocks littering the floor. The roiling water had produced several large foam formations along the route, with one of them even spinning around in the current. We popped into North Snake for a short excursion before returning to the mainstream. At the Crinoid Beds Matt and I shot some photos of these beautiful fossils. I also pointed out the bat bones perched on a nearby ledge that indicates there was (is) a natural surface connection to the cave. Above Jumping Off Point I showed the group the crack where the rock layer was offset by eight inches which may have allowed the water to percolate through the limestone to create the passage. From Jumping Off Point we dropped down to an easy oval stoopwalk another hundred feet before turning back. A detour up the crawl in South Snake gave everyone an idea of the majority of sidepassages in Coldwater. Just above the platform we passed way up to The Rock River Formation. Continuing downstream we waded down to The Gallery where Big Bertha and other formations were covered in a sheet of water. Several waterfalls were gushing forth from numerous cracks and crevices that normally were inactive. In spite of the high water the Mortar and Pestle in the floor were still not covered. Carefully shuffling through the stream we worked our way down to Pothole Country where various modes were used to navigate to the Iron Reducing Bacteria Formation. This perched pool formation marked the end of our mainstream tour since the route became more arduous due to the flooding. We spent over two hours on this trip. Spook Cave 2016 Bat Count Feb. 21, 2016 By Michael Bounk Anne Ballmann (United States Geological Survey), Julie Blanc Hania (Iowa State University), Kelly Poole (Iowa Department of Natural Resources), Patrick Grau, Dee Suda, Jeff Dorale, Gary Siegwarth, Ray Widder, Stone Widder, and Michael Bounk We entered the cave at about 11:30 AM. The water was unusually high and muddy, due to snow melt. We were accompanied by three White Nose Syndrome researchers, Anne Ballmann, Julie Blanc Hania, and Kelly Poole. They collected samples from living bats to be checked for White Nose. They will get us the results, as soon as they have them. They will also test some dead bats that were found outside the cave. We found a total of 106 live bats in the cave. This is down from last February's count of 461 bats. We also found 12 dead bats. Most of these were found in a passage on the right side of the main passage which had not been checked in previous years. In past years, the most dead bats were two that were found last year. At least four of the dead, were in the main passage, where dead bats were found in previous years. We continued beyond the tourist route, and some of us who were wearing wetsuits made it to just short of the sump room. It was not advisable to go through the constriction to the sump room, during a runoff event. The water in the back of the cave was noticeably colder and and higher than normal.
18 Photo Gallery Surfside cave entrance in the Caribbean. Photo by Mike Lace . Natural bridge in the Caribbean. Photo by Mike Lace.