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Intercom is a publication of the Iowa Grotto of the National Speleological Society, Inc., an internal organization of the National Speleological Society (NSS). The Iowa Grotto, is dedicated to the exploration, study, and conservation of caves.
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Volume 53, Number 5 (September - October 2017).
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I N T E R C O M Volume 53, Issue 5 September October 2017 Iowa Grotto P.O. Box 228 Iowa City, IA 52244 Grotto Website: Coldwater Cave Project website: 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 Dec 1st. Send material for publication, e mail, disk or hard copy to: Editor and Typist: Jenny Hackman 319 290 9282 18801 345th Ave Cresco, IA. 52136 E mail: Coordinate photographs for publication in the INTERCOM with Jenny Hackman, 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 therea b o u t s o f T r o w b r i d g e H a l l o n t h e c a m p u s o f the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. Cover Photo: Nick Schmuecker surveying in Coldwater Cave, Iowa. Cover and 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 53 Issue 5 ______________C O N T E N T S _____________ Meeting Minutes 63 Trip reports: Graves Cave 64 Mammoth Historic Entrance 64 Vulture Cave 64 Cedar Sink Shelter Cave 65 Old Timers Reunion 65 Coldwater Cave 66 Jason Isgrig Cave 66 Hidden Hollow Sink Cave 67 CRF 60th Anniversary & Survey 67 Diamond Cave 69 Kneebacker Cave 70 Van Dyke Cave 71 Two Step Cave 72 Twin Shelter 73 Drip Falls Cave 73 Three Forks Cave 73 Tumbling Creek Cave 74 Cyclone Cave 75 Mark Twain National Forest 76 Werdens Cave 78


Ozark National Scenic Riverway 78 Photo Gallery 80 __________CALENDAR___________ November Grotto Meeting Nov 22 Room 125, 7:30 pm, Trowbridge Hall No December Grotto Meeting January Grotto Meeting Jan 24 Room 125, 7:30 pm, Trowbridge Hall February Grotto Meeting Feb 28 Room 125, 7:30 pm, Trowbridge Hall Minutes of the Iowa Grotto Regular Meeting: September 27, 2017 The regular meeting was called to order by Chairman Ed Klausner at 7:40 PM. Five members were present. The business meeting was preceded by slides of a recent mapping trip to Mammoth Cave which included grotto members. The minutes of the July and August meetings were read by Lizzy Miller and approved. Treasurer John Dogeneral fund, $103.85 in the Coldwater fund, and $132 in petty cash. Trip reports: A number of members visited caves during the August Grotto picnic. A large group visited Wet Cave; Ed and Chris Beck surveyed unable to find it. Mark Jones and Chicago caver Noboru Sato took a trip in Coldwater Cave on the third weekend in the month. Mark, Mike Lace, Ed and Elizabeth spent time doing maintenance and cleaning on the building and grounds. Future Trips: : Ed is planning to cusing on new cavers and families with kids. He will try to organize one for late October or early November. Old business: Lizzy is collecting photos of Iowa cave life, focusing first on vertebrates. Her list of vertebrates includes snakes, deer mice, raccoons, trout, suckers, and tiger salamanders. Anyone who would like to contribute a picture is welcome to. New Business: Nominations for officers for the upcoming year are open. Jenny Hackman is our new grotto editor. There was discussion of subjects for special articles for upcoming Intercoms. No decisions were reached. Announcements: Loren Schutt has suggested that the NSS might have slide or view programs for upcoming meetings. Lizzy will look into this. The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 PM. Minutes of the Iowa Grotto Regular Meeting: October 25, 2017 The regular meeting was called to order by Chairman Ed Klausner at 7:30 PM. Three members were present. The business meeting was preceded by a slide presentation of recent caving activity. Secretary Lizzy Miller read the minutes of the September 23 meeting. They were approved as corrected. Trip reports: Ed visited the Historic Area of Mammoth Cave with several NPS interns at the Columbus Day Expedition. Ed and Lizzy visited Tumbling Spring Cave and Ozark Underground Laboratory in October. Ed, Lizzy, Phil LaRue, Jasen Rogers, Cadie Coder, Jenny and Jamie Hackman, 3 kids and and 4 others visited family outing and saw bats as well as a tiger salamander. Future Trips: There is a possibility for visiting Kemling Cave with Chris Beck this fall. Ed is interested in a ridge walking trip to Backbone State Forest and Joyce Spring. Bob Storlie would like Iowa cavers continue their surveying work in Mystery Cave in Minnesota. Old Business: Nominations for officers are still open. New Business: The Dubuque Herald newspaper did a telephone interview with Ed. The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 PM.


Graves Cave Mammoth Cave National Park Edmonson County, Kentucky September 2, 2017 By: Mark Jones I had invited Michael Lofthouse to the Labor Day expedition of the Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) at Mammoth Cave National Park earlier in the summer and he was able to join us for the holiday weekend. Since he day on Saturday Bill Copeland and I waited for him at the Hamilton Valley Research Center to do some small cave work. By noon we were hiking along the rim of Hunt Sink toward our first objective, Graves Cave. With a good GPS location we walked directly to the three foot square entrance. For this survey Michael was on point and read backsights and I kept book and read foresights. Meanwhile Bill was going to wander Hunt Sink in search of other leads. It only took three shots for a total of twenty five feet to finish off this small cave. It dropped down ten feet, leveled off and terminated in a pancake room. Not much to see at this cave but we did see a dozen cave crickets ( Ceuthophilus sp.), a fishing spider ( Dolomedes sp.), two orb weavers ( Meta ovalis )and a couple of terrestrial snails ( Inflectarius sp.). In addition we found two interesting historic clear bottles. Total cave time was ninety minutes. Will the recent rain Bill was unable to address his concerns so that will have to wait until a later date. Mammoth Cave Historic Entrance Edmonson County, Kentucky September 2, 2017 By: Mark Jones With plenty of daylight remaining Michael Lofthouse and I drove over to the Mammoth Cave Visitor Center to get a ticket for the Discovery Tour. At only five dollars it is a great deal to get an introduction to Mammoth Cave. We were able to see the Rotunda, Audubon Avenue, Rafinesque Hall and Bunker Hill. Michael only scratched the surface. Total cave time was forty five minutes. Vulture Cave Edmonson County, Kentucky September 3, 2017 By: Mark Jones I was assigned to more small cave work for the Labor Day expedition of the Cave Research Foundation (C.R.F.) at Mammoth Cave National Park along with Bill Copeland, Hillary Sadoff and Dave West. Bill and Dave would work on the Cedar Sink Shelter Cave while Hillary and I would attack Vulture and Amphitheater Caves. Bill led us down the stairway of Cedar Sink Trail and over to Vulture Cave where we began our survey. This talus cave is off to the right of Smith Valley Cave a bit above the bottom of the sink. Hillary set stations and read backsights and I kept book and read foresights. Starting with a twenty foot shot we angled northwest over to a twelve foot vertical drop down to a pancake room. The next two shots doubled back to a lower entrance directly under the first station. Off to the east we heard a waterfall that beckoned me to brave a muddy bellycrawl that dropped down to a six foot high, twenty foot diameter room. A small stream emanated from a tiny crack, trickled over a beautiful flowstone mound and disappeared down through an insignificant drain. We ended in this room with exactly 100.0 feet! This was a surprisingly interesting small cave in the park. Cave fauna observed included a pickerel frog ( Rana palustris ), dozens of cave crickets ( Ceuthophilus sp.), a fishing spider ( Dolomedes sp.), a couple of orb weavers ( Meta ovalis ), some terrestrial snails ( Inflectarius sp.), a terrestrial millipeded and oodles of greenhouse millipedes.


parts arrived and we spent the better part of the day putting the pool up. We also set up our shelter and screen house. Unfortunately on Sunday Brad lost the crown on his front tooth. There was nothing the med tent could do for him. Sunday night was the mandatory safety meeting. Monday we spent the better part of the morning looking for a dentist in town who could give him a temporary fix. We did find one and the fix lasted long enough for us to get home. One new item at OTR this year was the event tent. Various people gave talks and there was an update meeting on Convention 2020 which will be held on site. I sat on a history of OTR, as well as a dig on a piece of property owned by a caver. Brad attended the Root (Real Original Old Timer 40 year or more) and Toots (Totally Original Old Timer 60 years or more) meeting at the event tent (He has 42 OTRs and I only have 34 so he is a Root and I am only a Coot Certified Original Old Timer 20 years or more). Another new thing is that the sauna is closed from 4:00 a. to 10:00 am This is because it has been impossible to find people to go on duty in those wee hours of the morning and the sauna gets cleaned every morning at 9:00. Brad entered some contests sleeping bag, cave pack, lantern and obstacle course. We do not know if he won anything because were have duty at the sauna from 6 9 PM when the awards are announced. We were supposed to go on a trip with SCUM Ridge to Sinks of Gandy but we had other things to do and it was cold and windy that day. Also there had been a lot of rain that summer in the area so it would have been most uncomfortable even it we had been able to go. At the SCUM meeting we learned apparently this was not the best circumstances for others. The theme for this year was Christmas. There was their share of Bad Santas in camp and a Chanukah decoration as well. The Dooh Dah parade was hekd at night while we were on duty in the Sauna. Usually it has been on For the next half hour we wandered about Cedar Sink in search of an eluBill will determine the next step in locating this cave. Cedar Sink Shelter Cave Edmonson County, Kentucky September 3, 2017 By: Mark Jones Having addressed our two caves Hillary and I returned to the Cedar Sink Trail and followed it around to a flight of stairs that led directly to Cedar Sink Shelter Cave. Dave was deep in thought sketching the massive entrance to this shallow cave so we joined Bill in conducting the biologi c a l s u r v e y . W e f o u n d a s u r p r i s i n g l y wide range of cave fauna including a cave salamander ( Eurycea lucifuga ), cave crickets ( Ceuthophilus sp.), a fishing spider ( Dolomedes sp.), an orb weaver ( Meta ovalis ), a harvestman ( Leiobunum sp.), a couple of aquatic isopod, a heliomyzid fly, numerous greenhouse millipedes and a glowworm larva along with a four foot rat snake and a wayward bird near the entrance. Numerous ferns were found scattered around the entrance area. With an entrance spanning nearly two hundred feet it took Dave another ninety minutes to capture the essence of the cave. Several hikers stopped by to visit and Hillary tactfully answered their many questions. Old Timers Reunion Randolph County, West Virginia September 2 3, 2017 By: Liz Robinson Our drive to OTR was uneventful and we arrive Friday afternoon and checked in. We set up our sleeping tent and then checked in with the sauna people. Saturday morning we started the set up of the cool pool, cleaning off the pool way and putting the basket in place. We prepared the ground for the pool, but were delayed by the need for parts. Sunday the


Saturday morning at 10:00. Next year the theme is Steam Punk. As usual I worked Registration. We were down slightly from last year, mist likely related to the weather prediction which was from a lot of rain. The gas prices went up by about 50 cents after Harvey hit and I would presume that this may have had some influence. We still had reasonably good attendance and I saw some people I had not seen in many years, however there were others whom I did not see. Brad and I have the last of the original cherry wood picnic tales from when the site opened in 1986. We offered it to the OTR Museum but it was too large. Brad took the table apart and we took it home for major restoration where we would have more time and electricity to get the work done. Coming down the pike there will be new facilities at the sauna including new buildings and new pools as well as a bigger and better changing area. The goal is to have everything done by the 2020 convention. I do not know all the details for the changes of 2018 and 2019 but the goal is to convert to natural gas to run the saunas and hot tub and confine the use of wood to the bonfire. The new buildings and pools will be moved away from the river and the stage and other recreational facilities will be moved to where the pools and saunas are now. The goal is to make set up and operational less labor intensive and easier as we are all getting older. Coldwater Cave Winneshiek County, Iowa September 16, 2017 By: Mark Jones Mike Lace and I arrived early for the September Coldwater weekend to knock down weeds and prune back the overgrown trees in the lane to the cave shack. On Friday I used the Brushhog mower to make quick work of the weeds and Mike attacked the trees with a vengeance. Mid afternoon Ed Klaunser, Elizabeth Miller and Gary Engh arrived to assist us in our work. We finished up by torching the woodpile to clean up the area before the snow flows in December. Noboru Sakabe was the only caver that arrived on Saturday morning so it was just him and me dropping down to enjoy Coldwater Cave. With the droughty conditions in northeastern the stream level at a clear, comforta b l e 0 . 6 0 . T h i s i s a g o o d i n d i c a t i o n that the upstream sumps could be open in the cave for a couple years we toured downstream to Cascade Passage where we detoured up this side passage another quarter mile before doubling back. It should be noted that much of Cascade has been scoured clean of siltation resulting in a passage with very little crawling and a lot of bobbing. Back at the platform we continued upstream to North Snake for a quick peek before a jaunt up to the Crinoid Beds and Jumping Off Point. We spent three hours wandering about seeing the mainstream. The only fauna seen were six unidentified fish. Jason Isgrig Cave Crawford County, Missouri September 22, 2017 By: Mark Jones Having missed over two decades of MVORs I had the opportunity to reconnect in Crawford County, Missouri for the Fall 2017 program. I was assigned to lead trips to Jason Isgrig Cave on both Friday and Saturday. On Friday Gary Gilula, Jason Hanewinkel and Ioana Herte joined me at 10:00 a.m. for the hour drive from the campground headquarters. Since Kirsten Alvey and I had flagged the route on Wednesday it was an easy hike from the parking area up a slight slope to an inconlubricated the lock and exercised the gate so in no time the group had wiggled through to a roomy canyon. The cave is nearly two thousand feet long


trunk passage running east/west and a bellycrawl going north/south. Our goal today was to see the trunk passage. Immediately a fresh Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) nest was spied on a ledge on the right. Although no woodrats were seen, a host of cave salamanders ( Eurycea lucifuga ) and a lone Western slimy salamander ( Plethodon albagula or glutinosus ) inhabited the greenery. We followed a trail of woodrat and raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) scat down a mud packed slope thirty feet to a flowstone choke where a ten foot downclimb dropped to a gravelly floor in a thirty foot canyon. Before too long we were back at the ceiling in an easy hands and knees crawl that opened back into the canyon passage. Dozens of larval salamanders ( Eurycea sp.) filled a shallow rimstone pool. On top of a stalactite mound a pickerel frog ( Rana palustris ) sat in judgment of our little group. An explosion of formations filled the passage soda straws, stalactites, drapery, flowstone, rimstone dams, popcorn, aragonite crystals and stalagmites. In addition the mud coated wall told the story of some of the cave visitors the obvious names and dates of past cavers scrawled in the mud and the more subtle claw marks gouged by animals. Although it is almost impossible to date the scratches Jason nocovered part of the grooves from a long extinct short faced bear species ( Arctodus simus ) the largest bear species on the Earth (about 6 feet tall at the shoulder and weighing been a long time. A thousand feet in the canyon closed down to a crawl that eventually pinches down to a wall of breakdown collapse. We spent two hours exploring this wonderful cave. September 23, 2017 On the second day I returned to Jason Isgrig Cave with a team of six other cavers. (Nick Anderson, Justin Finkelstein, Hannah Sanders and Mark same route as yesterday there was a change in the cave fauna. There were less adult salamanders noted but we added a pipistrelle or tri colored bat ( Perimyotis subflavus ) and a spring peeper tree frog ( Pseudacris crucifer ). In addition Justin, Hannah and I took a short detour down the Again we spent two hours enjoying the refreshing cool environment before exiting to the surface. Hidden Hollow Sink Cave Crawford County, Missouri September 23, 2017 By: Mark Jones With plenty of afternoon remaining Nick Anderson, Justin Clark, Jason Finkelstein, Hannah Sanders, Mark Whentley and I stopped by to catch a peek of Hidden Hollow Sink Cave. An obvious thirty five foot wide mouth sloped down a breakdown pile to a thirty foot diameter foyer with long dead columns with an easy hands and knees crawl in the back. Although the width of the room expanded to over thirty feet the passage remained a crawl along the right wall with a foot high ledge on the left. Oodles of vandalized formations filled much of this area. Twenty feet later we popped into a nice walking tube with nice flowstone walls. Many of these mounds had old graffiti covering them. In a hundred feet the flowstone pinched the room down to a hands and knees crawl that continued seventy feet to a terminal choke. Two pipistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) were observed during our half hour trip. Mammoth Cave, Kentucky October 7 8, 2017 By: Ed Klausner The 60 th anniversary of the Cave Re-


search Foundation was held at Mammoth Cave over the regular October expedition. There were many of the founders and early members who were able to attend. On Friday evening, Diamond Caverns hosted a reception. There were some non survey trips on Saturday and then a banquet on Saturday night at the CRF facility at Hamilton Valley. Roger Brucker, a founder of CRF, gave the keynote talk and Superintendent Barclay Trimble presented a framed copy of a map presented to the park by the early CRF surveyors and cartographers. Since it was also a regular expedition, there were two days of survey trips. On the first day, I took Rick Olson and two interns (Katie Gorman fix the map and look for a possible passage through the breakdown. The map was annotated and then we headed to Williams Dome by going back through the restrooms at Great Relief the Valley of Humility where we left the tour trail and headed to Wilsurveyed and we spent the rest of the short day doing that. It was a short day because we wanted to get back for the banquet. On Sunday, Elizabeth Winkler, Tim Green, and Elizabeth Copelin joined me for a trip to the Ruins of Karnak where a canyon seemed to be unsurveyed. This is just off the tour trail. We spent quite a bit of time trying to find a tie station while Eli rigged a rope for the pit in the canyon. We surveyed the small dome to the southeast and then surveyed into the canyon. There is still passage above but it will require a second rope (we only had one) and then possibly an extension ladder to reach a visible lead about 15 feet up. This will have to wait for another expedition. Finally, we headed towards Williams Dome to look at a lead just before the dome. It led to a small hole (less than a foot high) and then to a ledge. We surveyed this and were able to take a long shot to the other side of Williams Dome to a station that we had established the previous day. All in all, it was a great trip with 250 feet of new survey. This added to the 412 miles of survey an-


nounced this weekend for the length of Mammoth Cave. Diamond Cave Newton County, Arkansas October 7, 2017 By: Mark Jones After a day of gulaging for Scott Dankof and Mike Lace in northwestern Arkansas I was excited to drive down to Diamond Cave in Newton County for the continuation of our cave restoration project. The beautification of this former show cave has been a high Local recruits included Lex Pruitt, Cynthia and Chaz Angle, Mark Miller and Mike Nelson (a former Iowa caver). Out of state cavers included Chris Beck, Scott Dankof, Mike Lace and myself. At 9:15 a.m. we hiked up the old tourist trail past the old ticket office to the gated entrance. From here we descended 113 steps down to the main level where Chris and I continue all the way past the duckwalk to just beyond the Calcite Pool. Chris began his day cleaning a flowstone slope on the right while I crawled over to work in an alcove on the left. In April Dennis Novicky and I had cleaned this room and found numerous broken speleothems. My task today was to match up as many as I could, mark them for later work and photo document the process. It stands to reason that most cave vandals I began by looking for obvious matches around the pieces of stalagmites. The diameter of the broken stalagmites in this area ranged from two to six inches. Four chunks were found in a shallow pool with many more scattime I had aligned six fragments with each other. A scan of the floor reonce supported these pieces. Along the wall another pair of two foot stalagmites were reassembled, flagged and photographed. In the middle of the room fourteen pieces were reunited to build six formations. Everything fell in place as I moved around the room working several 3 D puzzles simultaneously. After three hours all but a couple pieces were matched and marked for repair. When this room is finished it will regain some of its former glory. Crawling back into the main passage I noted how Chris had transformed the flowstone slope from a dingy ashen gray back to a more natural white. His method of scrubbing, sponging and rinsing got results without compromising a sensitive rimstone pool downstream. In addition he had cleaned up the pool by removing half a dozen broken speleothems that were obviously thrown into the water after they were vandalized. Chris would carry on cleaning this area for the rest of the day. Seeing that he was progressing well I moved over to The Graffiti Columns by the Calcite Pool to continue the restoration of the row of massive columns and associated flowstone slopes. These formations were coated in a thick layer of brown mud from past visitors who had penciled their names on the flowstone. Once again before and after pictures were taken to document the change. Rather than for the more direct method of scouring the rock and pouring on the water. It was fortuitous that there was a vast supply of water in two pools on either side of columns. For the next four hours I scrubbed and washed to reveal the hidden beauty covered by decades of abuse. By quitting time we were ready to head toward the entrance. Since there were still pieces of rotting lumber near the duckwalk we each grabbed a section to take on out. The others had a productive day doing all sorts of cleaning and hauling. We clocked out at 4:15 p.m. and celebrated a job well done with pizza in Jasper. October 8, 2017 For the second day of cave restoration at Diamond Cave Chris Beck, Scott Dankof, Mike Lace, Mike Nelson and me assembled at 9:00 a.m. with


big plans. Yesterday Mike had identified and matched several vandalized speleothems along the tourist trail past the duckwalk that would be the gradually working up to the behemoth formations we began with a monster two hundred pound section of stalagmite on a steep slope. Chris mixed up a batch of epoxy and soon we had lugged the piece into position and had it back in its rightful place. Scott capped it off with the top piece resulting in an impressive six foot stalactite in place of an ugly two foot stump. Since we were on a roll Mike led us down to an even larger piece of stalagmite that we hoisted back home. With the two biggies out of the way we left Chris and Mike L. to their epoxying of more manageable pieces for the rest of the day while Scott shot pictures and Mike N. and I continued cleaning up. (The highpoint of the day for Chris was when he matched nine pieces to assemble a four foot stalagmite.) so much debris left to be picked up after all the previous trips but it never seemed to stop. Once again most of the trash consisted of broken light bulbs but there was plenty of miscellaneous litter to be found. When I got bored I picked up the ten pound magnet and swept the trail for wire and nails. (This method works well for ferrous metals but I still had to bend down to get the copper wire.) With each day of restoration balance. We ended the day with another seven hours of cave restoration under our belts. October 9, 2017 For the last day at the Diamond Cave restoration it was down to Chris Beck, Mike Nelson and me. Chris spent a majority of his time using the merous pools along the trail. Meanwhile Mike cleaned up the staging are a s a n d h a u l e d o u t d e b r i s . I r e t u r n e d to The Graffiti Columns to continue scrubbing formations for an hour before picking up the magnet to collect more wire along the trail. Eventually the wire will be gone but it seems to magically appear each time I walk the trail. On my way toward the entrance all the gear and buckets of debris were collected and brought out. Near the entrance we swept the passage and were surprised to find a dozen light bulbs as well as other large pieces of junk that had been bypassed. As Chris had commented at the end of the waxing and the tediousness of the have another group of eager cavers returning to Diamond Cave very soon. Addendum: The cave fauna observed during the past three days at Diamond included three pipistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) and three cave salamanders ( Eurycea lucifuga ). Kneebacker Cave Newton County, Arkansas October 12, 2017 By: Mark Jones An eager group of five cavers (Derek Bristol, Jim Harmon, Kayla myself) set out at 9:00 a.m. to survey Kneebacker Cave in the Buffalo National River of the National Park Service. The sketchy information that we had mentioned a thousand feet of wet passage but not the appropriate gear so we hoped for the best and nute hike on the Buffalo River Trail brought us to a hillside that we climbed up to the mouth of the eighty five foot wide by twenty foot high entrance. Unfortunately the entrance area funneled down quickly to a cobbly watercrawl. With five people we split into two groups Kayla, Jim and Bear would start at the dripline and survey in while Derek and I would crawl to the back and survey out. Two hundred feet into the crawl the ceiling


dropped down to within eight inches of the water which would require us to be partially submerge. Rather than risk an extended crawl in energy sapping water we opted to set a bomb proof station (Station B1) and survey back toward the entrance. Derek kept book and read the Disto X and I set stations and read backsights. In tie into the other group. During our lunch break Kayla decided that we should push beyond station B1 to continue the survey. Although I was not excited about the prospect of wallowing in the watercrawl I was on lead. Although five of us entered Jim and Bear retreated before the chest dunk leaving Kayla, Derek and me. From station B1 the passage took a sharp right turn and ran a hundred feet of watercrawl to an easy ear dip pinch that continued in a gravelly bellycrawl for thirty feet before gradually opening up. I was very surprised when I popped into a formation rich stoopwalking passage that extended off to the left. Realizing we tied off in the middle of the stoopwalk (Station C1) and surveyed out. For this section Kayla sketched and recorded information, Derek shot foresights with the Disto X and I read backsights. While admiring the formations we discovered five different salamander species the cave salamander, the Oklahoma salamander, the Western slimy salamander, the dark sided sala m a n d e r a n d t h e O z a r k z i g z a g s a l a m a nder. This area was soon aptly named the Salamander Room. Several other critters, both trogolobitic and epigean, were found indicating there is a nearby surface connection. The Disto X made short work of the bellycrawl, ear dip pinch and the long watercrawl that tied into Station B1. We exited the cave in short order and broke into the entrance foyer at 3:00 p.m. with a total of 560.3 feet of survey. One more trip with two teams should make short work of the back of this cave provided that they are suitably dressed. I would recommend neoprene socks and gloves as well as a wetsuit bib with a dry top for beyond the ear dip. Cave fauna records included raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) scat, scads of flies ( Diptera sp.), some aquatic isopods ( Caecidotea ancyla), two dozen orb weavers ( Meta ovalis ), a dozen cave crickets ( Ceuthophilus sp.), a dozen cave salamanders ( Eurycea lucifuga ), six Oklahoma salamanders ( Eurycea tynerensis ), three Western slimy sala m a n d e r s ( Plethodon albagula or glutinosus ),a dark sided salamander ( Eurycea longicauda melanopleura ), a Ozark zigzag salamander ( Plethodon angusticlavius ) and a pipistrelle or tri colored bat ( Perimyotis subflavus ). Van Dyke Annex Cave Newton County, Arkansas October 13, 2017 By: Mark Jones Dave West wanted to get back to Van Dyke Cave in Cecil Cove after being denied last winter so Matthew Snyder, Julie Turhune, Karen Willmes and me accompanied him on his quest. While Dave, Julie and Karen would continue that survey Matthew and I would slip over to nearby Van Dyke Annex Cave to finish work on it. The obvious sixteen foot wide by six foot high bluff face entrance is evident from Cecil Creek. A dry, silty floor angled up into an easy hands and knees crawl. Krista Bartel had begun the survey last year but had run out of time so we would simply tie into her last station and survey on from there. Matt would be on point and reading backsights and I would be sketching and reading foresights with the Disto X. Our first shot took us along the back wall into a narrow hands and knees crawlway. A shot to the left and two to the right was all it took to finish off this cave. Total cave time was an hour. Cave fauna observed included an Ozark zigzag salamander ( Plethodon angusticlavius ), camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ), fishing


spiders ( Dolomedes sp.), orb weavers ( Meta ovalis ) and terrestrial snails ( Inflectarius sp.). Van Dyke Cave Following lunch with the others at the entrance of Van Dyke Cave Dave had Matthew and I start surveying the mucky stream section with the Disto X while they continued mopping up the dryer crawlways near the entrance. The plan was for his survey to connect to ours. With little rain this hough my boots still sank six inches into the mud. In addition the floor was covered in tree limbs gnawed and hauled in by industrious beavers ( Castor Canadensis ) . Obviously this is now the Beaver Sticks Room. Before we even took our first shot Julie (who had wandered over from the other party) caught a glimpse of a banded sculpin ( Cottus carolinae ) in four more of these little fellas. Slopping around the mixture of mud, rotting wood and organic debris raised a stench that wafted about for the remainder of the trip. Using the survey designation of BC we wrapped around the left wall in a room with an eight foot ceiling to a floor level hands and knees crawl that trended south. Twelve feet later we were standing up with a boxy canyon continuing south and a narrow canyon going west. Matt reconnoitered both and determined that each ran another thirty feet. One more shot was taken to the south before Dave recalled us to tie into Station VD12. Evidently there was a lot of want to leave a hanging survey. Retreating to the Beaver Sticks Room we surveyed north fifty feet to Station VD12. Back at BC1 we followed the right wall to the southwest where the stream disappears under a low ledge in a twelve inch waterwetsuits so this lead will have to remain unexplored for now. It should be noted that the water reappears in the anteroom thirty feet away that was surveyed in November of 2016. Two more shots defined the Beaver Sticks Room and connected to our earlier survey with very nice loop closure. The BC Survey netted 166 feet of survey. Total cave time was four hours. Additional cave fauna spotted on our survey included pipistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ), a pickerel frog ( Rana palustris ), dark sided salamanders ( Eurycea longicauda melanopleura ) and a Western slimy salamander ( Plethodon albagula or glutinosus ). bio inventory for the cave. Two Step Cave Newton County, Arkansas October 14, 2017 By: Mark Jones It was down to Matt Baumgartner and me for the final day of caving in the Buffalo National River. Kayla Sapkota had a list of a cluster of small caves that needed to be surveyed and inventoried that we would attempt to address. On a previous ridgewalking trip these caves had been located and GPSed making our work much easier. After a half mile hike along the Buffalo River we walked right up to the first objective which was Two Step would be on point and shooting backsights while I would be reading foresights with the Disto X and keeping book. This cave is at the base of the bluff with an obvious five foot wide by thirteen foot high entrance. Just inside the entrance is a trickling five foot waterfall on the right. As I was poking around the mud I spied a fishing spider ( Dolomedes sp.) on the wall but was more surprised when I saw a four inch ringneck snake ( Diadophis punctatus ) tucked into a nearby crack. Just below him was Western slimy salamander ( Plethodon albagula or glutinosus ) climbing up the waterfall. Overhead were the remains of several organ pipe mud daub-


er ( Trypoxylon politum) nests. Meanwhile Matt had ascended into a narrow canyon where he encountered two raccoons ( Procyon lotor ) sitting above him on a ledge! In all my years of caving I had yet to spot a live raccoon in a cave let alone two. All possibly their bones. They appeared to be less than interested in us so we decided to continue the survey. The walls in this area were covered with camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) and silverfish ( Thysanurans sp.). In twelve feet the canyon narrowed to four inches precluding us from continuing although a strong cool breeze indicated that there was passage beyond. A cave salamander ( Eurycea lucifuga ) and Oklahoma salamander ( Eurycea tynerensis ) were found in this area. At only 38.1 feet t his turned out to be a very faunal rich cave. Twin Shelter Newton County, Arkansas October 14, 2017 By: Mark Jones Downstream two hundred feet from Two Step Cave we climbed up a steep slope to Twin Shelter. This interesting karst feature consists of two shelters under the same dripline sepa r a t e d b y a f r a c t u r e d w a l l . T h e northern shelter entrance measured twenty feet wide by nine foot high while the southern shelter was nearly fifty feet wide and nine foot high. Both shelters had a horizontal depth of twenty feet. Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) scat and the remains of organ pipe mud dauber ( Trypoxylon politum) nests were t he only signs of cave faunal usage. It took an hour to put this one into the records. Drip Falls Cave Newton County, Arkansas October 14, 2017 By: Mark Jones Further down the Buffalo was the last cave of the day, Drip Falls Cave. A roomy nine foot wide by twelve foot high entrance sloped up steeply twenty one feet to pinch out at the ceiling in terminal breakdown. this cave other than the presence of abandoned eastern phoebe ( Sayornis phoebe ) and organ pipe mud dauber ( Trypoxylon politum) nests. Total cave time was thirty minutes. All in all a very nice way to finish up the weekend in Arkansas. Three Forks Cave Adair County, Oklahoma October 16, 2017 By: Mark Jones Jonathan Beard and I drove over to Oklahoma to meet with Clayton and Cynthia Russell for the continuing survey of Three Forks Cave. At over hoping to add another thousand feet to the books over the next couple days. Using the Washtub Entrance we scooted over past Grand Junction to the Waterfall Junction where we broke survey Cynthia searched for cave critters, Jon was on point and read backsights with the Disto X, Clay took foresights with the Disto X and I kept book and sketched the map. Tying into Station T24 we set off to the southwest in easy stoopwalking passage. After eighty feet we turned 90° to the northwest for another eighty feet before settling on a westerly course for sixty feet to a left we soon popped into the Second Parachute Room, a thirty foot alcove on the left. Several nice dripstone draperies lined the walls of this room. Clay told us of the extinct short faced bear ( Arctodus simus ) in this area. Some of these remains are now housed in the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. From the Second Parachute Room we


wound around clockwise through a bellycrawl pinch into a hands and knees gravel crawl. We surveyed another tersection. A couple of paleo bear beds were noted along the way with claw marks etched deep in the limestone above one of them. An unsurveyed crawlway remains northwest of the Second Parachute Room. In six hours 497.9 feet of passage was inventoried. Cave fauna observed during this trip included two pipistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ), five cave salamanders ( Eurycea lucifuga ), a few fishing spiders ( Dolomedes sp.), some orb weavers ( Meta ovalis ), several camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) and a cave webworm ( Macrocera nobilis ). Plenty of raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) scat was also noted. October 17, 2017 The second day of survey at Three Forks Cave had Jonathan Beard, Clayton Russell and me trekking out past the Muddy Maze to define the western extent of this passage and perhaps find a more civilized route out to the Octopus Room rather than slogging through the infamous never ending Guad. From the Washtub Entrance it was less than twenty minutes out to our starting point at Station M44. Again Jon was on point and read backsights with the Disto X, Clay took foresights with the Disto X and I kept book and sketched the map. Using the N designation we trended southwest fifty feet in a formation laden crawl to a 90° jog to the northwest for another forty feet of crawling before opening up. At this point (Station N4) the passage continued northwest another twenty feet over a stalactiflat floor but we were able to bypass impacting this area by going around to a room on the left. Several odd formations were found in this stretch including a double stalactiflat, a reattached stalactiflat and a rock fin with soda straw columns. All of the formations in this room are coated in a deep brown mud giving it the name the Chocolate Room. This thirty foot diameter room may also be the way past the Guad. Along the walls the mud floor seems to have sloughed away leaving a narrow slit that drops down eight feet to the unknown. After plotting the passage a preliminary dig trip would give us a better idea of connecting to the Octopus Room. The passage opened up to a stoopwalk for the next eighty feet to the northwest before abruptly ending in a narrow canyon. Resigned to the fact that our best chance to the Octopus Room was back in the last room we retreated to Station N4 to continue surveying the remainder of this area. Turning to the north we pushed a hands and knees crawl forty feet to its terminus. Our final lead to the northeast ended at a flowstone choke in a tall, narrow canyon or so it seemed. Clay wallowed down in the mud to find a squeeze that returned to canyon passage. Intrigued with the possibilities Jon pushed Clay aside to have a look for himself. Soon he was on the other side with the hopes of more booty. Alas thirty feet beyond another flowstone choke prevented any further exploration. of this area we set a casual pace for our exit trip. feet for a running total of 920.8 feet. Cave fauna included three pipistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ) and four cave salamanders ( Eurycea lucifuga ). Once again p lenty of raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) scat was noted. Tumbling Creek Cave Protem, Missouri October 18, 2017 By: Ed Klausner As part of the National Cave and Karst Management Symposium in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, there were several field trips. Elizabeth and I signed


up for the trip to the Ozark Underground Laboratory run by Tom Aley. Tom and his wife bought the cave (Tumbling Creek Cave) about 60 years ago to protect it. They also bought the recharge area as well. The cave is home to two endangered species and one threatened species. The cave is used as a research laboratory and a learning environment for school groups. Tom and Mike Slay (The Nature Conservancy) let the trip through the cave. With flooding due to a Corps of Engineers dam, crayfish have been invading the cave and eating the endangered snails. There are two methods in place to remove the crayfish. First, there is a barrier on the bottom of the bat gate to prevent their entry when there is flooding. Second, there are traps baited with hot dogs to tram and remove the crayfish. There are also emergency tanks with cave water to be used if there is flood that has toxic chemicals washing into the cave. Hopefully, there would be time to collect some of the cave biota and put them in these You can find out more about the Ozark Underground Laboratory at Cyclone Cave (MDDXXX) McDonald County, Missouri October 20, 2017 By: Mark Jones Returning from Oklahoma I was invited to join Bob Lerch, Ben Miller and Drew Thompson survey Cyclone Cave in McDonald County in southwestern Missouri. According to records the cave length is estimated to be four hundred feet. The large shelter entrance was located at the base of a


bluff on a steep slope north of Big Sugar Creek. This survey found Ben and Bob sharing sketching duties while Drew would set stations and I would use the Disto X for compass and inclinometer readings. Just under the dripline a twenty foot long stoopwalking passage connected the shelter entrance with a ten foot tall, thirty foot diameter foyer with three options. The first was a ceiling level crawl that extended another twenty feet but soon pinched down to a critter crawl. The second and third were related, with a balcony crawl situated directly above a stream level passage. Exploring the balcony crawl we found that it split into a twenty foot dead end on the right and an overlook of the stream on the left. Retreating to the foyer we soon found that the stream passage also split with an unattractive gravel bellycrawl on the right and a more spacious breakdown stoopwalk on the left. We went left. Within fifty feet the stream passage was filled with a maze of breakdown. Etched on the wall was the ominous warning M. A continuation of the balcony was accessible by an easy climb with the sinuous crawl mirroring the lower level. Four shots were taken before reverting to the breakdown crawl below. Another four reading were garnered before I bowed out at 6:00 p.m. to make the hour drive to meet Jon Beard and Scott House over in Barry County. When I departed I estimate that the survey of known cave was 50% completed. Cave fauna included six pipistrelles or tri colored bats ( Perimyotis subflavus ), a cave salamander ( Eurycea lucifuga ), a larval salamander ( Eurycea sp.), some camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ), a few heliomyzid flies and a harvestman ( Leiobunum sp.). Eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) scat was also noted. Mark Twain National Forest Barry County, Missouri October 21,2017 By: Mark Jones Howling Cave (BRY202) Following a day caving over in McDonald County I met up with Jonathan Beard and Scott House to survey and monitor a number of caves in the Mark Twain National Forest in Barry County, Missouri. Our goal was to visit caves south of Roaring River State Park previously found by Brandon Van Dalsem. Parking along a ridgetop we hike south down a steep embankment to a rock outcropping by a wet weather waterfall where we began was on book, Jon was on point and recorded cave fauna and I shot the Disto X. Less than impressed with our first find we took two shots to finish off this seventeen foot cave. Rather disappointed we glanced over see a more promising lead under the dry waterfall. Realizing that the GPS information was erroneous we reset to survey this much longer cave. A twenty foot wide hands and knees section with both arms extending seventeen feet. At 76 feet this would be the longest cave that we saw on veyed the short karst feature we christened this Howling Cave Annex. Cave fauna observed included a cave salamander ( Eurycea lucifuga ), two fishing spiders ( Dolomedes sp.), eight orb weavers ( Meta ovalis ) with two egg sacs, fifteen camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ) and numerous flies ( Diptera sp.) Cobblestrewn Cave (BRY203) South of Howling Cave in an adjacent hollow was our second cave of the day, Cobblestrewn Cave. The stone. Two more splay shots ended in narrow canyons that brought the cave total to 54 feet.


Cave fauna observed included a gravid cave salamander ( Eurycea lucifuga ), two orb weavers ( Meta ovalis ), some camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ), numerous flies ( Diptera sp.) and a millipede. Wet Foot Cave (BRY197) Up the hollow from Cobblestrewn Cave was Wet Foot Cave, the most biologically significant cave of the day. A rocky bellycrawl stream passage ran westerly for only 39 feet before abruptly ending in a wall of rock and soil. Cave fauna observed included a green frog ( Rana clamitans ), a Western slimy salamander ( Plethodon albagula or glutinosus ), three Ozark zigzag salamanders ( Plethodon angusticlavius ), three fishing spiders ( Dolomedes sp.), a harvestman ( Leiobunum sp.), a terrestrial snail ( Inflectarius sp.), beetles and a dozen troglomorphic amphipods ( Stygobromus sp.). A n eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) midden and associated scat were also noted. Tilting Tree Cave (BRY148) Hiking up a draw over a ridge south from Wet Foot Cave we dropped down on the other side of the hill to the base of a bluff where we found Tilting Tree Cave. An impressive leaning oak tree near the entrance is the obvious reason for the cave name. Located on the north side of the slope this twenty foot cave terminated in a rock wall. Cave fauna observed included a fishing spider ( Dolomedes sp.) and numerous flies ( Diptera sp.). Descending Ceiling Cave (BRY204) Continuing down the hollow we trekked another quarter mile south across a nice limestone glade and back up another hollow to our fifth cave, Descending Ceiling Cave. High up on a south slope the obvious forty foot wide by twelve foot high entrance pinched down in thirty three feet. F ifty heliomyzid flies were the only c ave fauna seen but e astern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) scat and some nest organ pipe mud dauber ( Trypoxylon politum) nests were also found. Loop Canyon Cave (BRY208) Fifty feet up the hollow from Descending Ceiling Cave we tied into Loop Canyon Cave. At only sixty feet this was the most challenging cave of the day. A narrow canyon crawl wrapped clockwise around through a bellycrawl to a forty foot wide by extent of this cave. Cave fauna observed included two fishing spiders ( Dolomedes sp.) with e astern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) scat and some nest organ pipe mud dauber ( Trypoxylon politum) nests present. Squeeze Cave (BRY199) The last cave we visited was north across the hollow from Loop Canyon Cave. A twenty foot bellycrawl squeeze to the west pinched down to a critter crawl but a light connection was made to the back of a forty foot wide by ten foot high entrance from the south for a total of forty five feet. Signs of cave fauna included an old eastern phoebe ( Sayornis phoebe ) and some nest organ pipe mud dauber ( Trypoxylon politum) nests. After weaving up and down hollows all day in unseasonably warm weather (over 80° F) we headed west to hit the highway and trek another mile back to the parking area. It was a very productive day in the Mark Twain National Forest. Mark Twain National Forest Barry County, Missouri October 22, 2017 By: Mark Jones Left Turn Cave (BRY215) A cold front settled into Barry County bringing an overnight rain after many days of unseasonably warm temperatures. Waiting for the weather to settle down we waited until


10:00 a.m. to return to the Mark Twain National Forest south of Roaring River State Park. In spite of our efforts to avoid the rain it fell off and on throughout the entire trip. Our goal for the day was to survey and inventory three more caves discovered by Brandon Van Dalsem back in 2016. Parking on the ridgetop we trudged north and climbed down a steep slope into a hollow where we found the entrance to Left Turn Cave. The twenty five foot wide by ten foot high opening quickly funneled down to a cobbly hands and knees crawl that took a sharp turn to the left (hence the name). The passage continued another sixty feet in a two foot diameter tube that pinched down to a critter crawl. Cave fauna observed included a cave salamander ( Eurycea lucifuga ), an Ozark zigzag salamander ( Plethodon angusticlavius ), a dipluran ( Campodeid dipluran ) and numerous flies ( Diptera sp.). An eastern phoebe ( Sayornis phoebe ) nest, organ pipe mud dauber ( Trypoxylon politum) nests and eastern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) scat were also noted. Slab Spring Cave (BRY217) More than half a mile to the east (and thirty minutes) from Left Turn Cave at the base of the Pierson limestone was the impressive thirty five foot wide by ten foot high entrance of the second cave of the day, Slab Spring Cave. Tucked in above the Chattanooga shale this cave extends nearly thirty feet in a thin, wide crawl confined by breakdown collapse. A trickling spring emanated from under the breakdown blocks meandering down to a small pool at the dripline. This was the most biologically significant cave of the day with a couple of heliomyzid flies, scads of other flies ( Diptera sp.), half a dozen troglomorphic amphipods ( Stygobromus sp.), a few aquatic isopods ( Lirceus sp.) and a springtail ( Collembola , sp.) . Raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) and e astern woodrat ( Neotoma floridana ) scat were also noted. Little Cave (BRY215) The final cave of the trip was just up the hollow from Slab Spring Cave and the least interesting of the weekend. A twenty foot wide by ten foot high entrance quickly pinched down to a twenty foot long crawl over breakdown blocks. We concluded the trip with a hike up the ridgetop and a ¾ mile walk back to the vehicle. The only fauna seen under the dripline was a lone, green katydid, not a common cave visitor, but a cave visitor none the less. Werdens Cave Jackson County, Iowa October 22, 2017 By: Ed Klausner Several people had been asking seemed like a perfect time to get some new cavers involved (Sam Fast, Jace Werderitsch, Sawyer Goetz and Jacob Thompson) plus get some kids caving again (José Paxtian, Jackson and Julia Rogers.) We met in a light rain at Eden Valley Nature Center and then headed over to the cave. Phil LaRue has been taking scouts to the cave for years and was a great guide for the new cavers and those before (Jen Hackman and Jamie Hackman.) The cave has 960 feet of passage with many tight squeezes. We spent a few hours exploring the cave before heading back to the vehicles. The rain had stopped and the sun was have to do more of these trips as it was very enjoyable to get underground in Iowa. Ozark National Scenic Riverways Carter County, Missouri October 26, 2017 By: Mark Jones Big Spring Anastomosis Cave (CTR024) and Big Spring Well (CTR001) After a meeting in Van Buren with Kim Houf of the National Park Service


I drove down to Big Spring to evaluate Big Spring Well following the massive flooding of the Current River last spring. The best case scenario would be if a little bit of touch up would fix any problems with the two foot square entrance. Driving up to the parking lot it was immediately apparent that although Big Spring had returned to normal the raging river in April had scoured the floodplain, rearranged gravelbars and changed the watercourse. Sauntering along the base of the bluff on the concrete sidewalk I walked behind the spring to Big Spring Anastomosis Cave, a thirty foot cave visited by nearly everyone who stops see Big Spring. Newly etched graffiti at the entrance is a testimonial to this fact. Jon Beard should have no trouble removing these unsightly blemishes. I observed a few camel crickets ( Ceuthophilus gracilipes ), a lone orb weaver ( Meta ovalis ) and some flies ( Diptera sp.) in the cave. From here it was just a short climb up to the Big Spring Well entrance. While Big Spring normally gushes out an impressive 286 million gallons daily the additional April rainfall put enough pressure on the watershed that water shot out thirty feet above the spring resurgence through Big Spring Well carrying away the conglomerated breakdown and quadrupling the opening that the gate once protected. The cave closed sign was still prominently posted in front of the gate. Realizing that an entirely new gate would need to be designed I contacted Kim to set the wheels in motion to address the issue. Lost Man Cave (CTR007) For the afternoon I drove down to Lost Man Cave to determine how to repair a breach that Ken Grush and I had discovered in late February. It was a beautiful day for a hike in the the rocky outcrop entrance to the cave. Chimneying down twelve feet I found a two hundred pound rock wedged against the gate bar, evidently rolled there by the ne'er do wells who had broken in previously. No apparent further attempts were made to the rope found last winter. Measurements were taken to prefabricate as many of the bars as possible. Hopethis off the to do list. Cave fauna hanging out at the entrance included three cave salamanders ( Eurycea lucifuga ), a fishing spider ( Dolomedes sp.) and some flies ( Diptera sp.).


Photo Gallery Tumbling Creek Cave. Photos by: Ed Klausner


Top: Jenny Hackman in Werdens Cave. Bottom: Stopping for a snack. Photos by: Ed Klausner


Top: José Paxton looks closely at a tiger salamander. Botom: Jackson and Julia Rogers explore Werdens Cave. Photos by: Ed Klausner


Top: Bob Storlie at the Ozark Underground Laboratory. Bottom: Tom Aley at the bat gate of Tumbling Creek Cave Photos by: Ed Klausner


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