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January 2004 - Vol 14 _1 Jan 04 webpage


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									The Near Normal News

               Volume 14 #1 January 2004
THE NEAR NORMAL NEWS is published by the:
                                                              The Near Normal Grotto
Near Normal Grotto #363,
P.O. Box 813                                                  The Near Normal Grotto meets the second Friday of
Normal, IL 61761.                                             each month at 7 P.M. in the Community Room of

Subscription price is $10/year or free with the purchase of       National City Bank
a grotto membership (also $10/year). Issues are published         202 E. Washington
in January, March, May, July, September, and November.            Bloomington, IL.

Editors:                                                      Adverse weather, holidays, and our annual September
Editor: Jeffery Gosnell                                       picnic may affect meeting times.
Co-Editor: John Schirle                                           2004 Executive Committee:
          jds217@juno.com                                         President: Marc Tiritilli
Science Editor: John Marquart                                                  marc_tiritilli@hotmail.com
          marquart@uiuc.edu                                       Vice-President: John Schirle
ARTICLE SUBMISSION INFO                                           Secretary: Troy Simpson
  We accept most cave-related submissions. Equipment                           tsimpson@mailcity.com
reviews, scientific articles, trip reports, announcements,        Treasurer: David Carson
cartoons, artwork, and pictures are all welcome. Most                          thecarsons@trianglenet.net
submissions must be received by the last Friday of the            Member at Large: Don Kerouac
month prior to publication. Scientific submissions need                        k9nr@juno.com
extra time for review.
  Send submissions, using the guidelines below, to Jeffery     http://oldsci.eiu.edu/physics/len/grotto/nng.htm
Gosnell at gosnell@greatoakscamp.org. Submissions on
disk may be mailed to 1384 County Road 900N, Lacon, IL        The Near Normal Grotto is part of the National
61540.                                                        Speleological Society (NSS). We encourage all
  Photographic & graphic submissions should generally         persons interested in caving to join the NSS.
be in JPEG format. Query the editor if your submission        Membership is $35/year. Members receive the NSS
uses a different program. Photographs should list the cave,   News (monthly) and other caving publications.
general location (ex. Southern Illinois, or Washington Co,
IN.), names of any persons included in the photo, and             National Speleological Society
name of the photographer.                                         2813 Cave Avenue
  Written submissions may be sent as an attachment                Huntsville, AL 35810-4431
using Microsoft Works®, Microsoft Word®, or plain                 Phone: (205) 852-1300
ASCII (DOS-text), or incorporated directly into an e-mailed       www.caves.org
text message. If you are uncomfortable with your writing
ability, simply put together a basic account of the trip—
ignoring spelling, grammar, and punctuation—and request
the editor to help draft the finished product.
  Scientific and Technical articles are expected to be of a
high standard, citing evidence of statements and crediting
references, where appropriate.

                                                                       On The Cover: Grotto VP John Schirle leads
                                                                       a group through Illinois Caverns.
                                                                       Photo by: Chris Young
                                                                       Photo Courtesy of the State-Journal Register
                                        RAMBLINGS OF A TROGLODYTE                                      by Jeffery Gosnell
                                       A New Year, A New News         In This Issue
                                        Well, here it is! The first   -Marc Tiritilli writes his first column as grotto president in
                                        issue of T HE N EAR           WHERE'S MARC?
NORMAL NEWS from the new editorial team, myself and John              -John Schirle provides part one on introducing caves to school
Schirle. Computer technology, publishing software, and printer        and youth groups.
quality has improved by leaps and bounds since Jim Jacobs             -Steve Taylor and Ralph Sawyer discuss bat hibernation.
typed up the first issue eleven years ago, and I hope to carry        -Ralph Sawyer, Andrew Rasmus, and Troy Simpson give trip
on his (and Brian Braye’s) outstanding legacy by taking               reports of caving in Washington, Co. Indiana.
advantage of what is now available.                                   -Troy Simpson has provided us with an Index of articles from
  And I sincerely hope that you will take advantage of the new        the 2003 Near Normal News.
format as well. As I have written before, this is your newsletter,
and its success or failure lies in the hands of its members           Cave Softly!
providing photographs, articles, artwork, and more.                   Jeffery

2004 Executive Committee
Congratulations to the 2004 Executive Committee, President
Marc Tiritilli, VP John Schirle, Treasurer Dave Carson, Secretary
Troy Simpson and Member at Large Don Kerouac. I hear of so
much conflict in other caving organizations. I count us fortunate
to have a group that gets along so well, without the politics!

ISS Survey Project
The Illinois Speleological Survey is planning the first Shawnee
project weekend, January 31-February 1. They will be checking
springs in the area of Pine Hills and Larue swamps. Spring
cave fish have been found in the area and the springs need
checked to see if any are large enough to enter. Plans also
include starting a survey project in known caves.
  Arrangements have been made to camp at Trail of Tears State
Park for free. There is primitive camping with pit toilets. Fresh
water is available, but no showers. For more information contact
Gary Resch at garyresch@hotmail.com.                                                                             Submitted by Ralph Sawyer

Near Normal Grotto Business
MINUTES FROM November 14, 2003                 OLD BUSINESS:                                   this time.
Called to order at 7:18pm by President         • The NNN has formally joined the KCI.      •   Wild Country in Normal has used wet
Troy Simpson. Present: Troy S., Jim            • Troy S. will bring paper plates and           suits for sale.
Jacobs, Marc Tiritilli, Ralph Sawyer,            organize the Christmas party by email.
Jeffery Gosnell, Bill Morrow, David              Jim J. will bring sodas.                  UPCOMING TRIPS:
Carson, Amy Simpson, Larry Bird.                                                           • Cave River Valley (Jeffery Gosnell),
Guests: Frank Zimmerman, Alice
                                               • The ballot for election of officers in
                                                 December is set.                            December 13 & 14.
Fredericks, John S. Moritz, Rick L. Deley,
Cory L. Droe.                                  • Larry Bird introduced his guest, Alice    • Sullivan Cave (Ralph Sawyer) perhaps
                                                 Fredericks, who owns the land where         February.
BOARD REPORTS:                                   we held our annual picnic the last two
                                                 years. We gave her a round of applause    Adjourned to have Tobin’s.
• The minutes of the October meeting                                                       Respectfully submitted
  were approved as published.                    and thanked her for her generosity.
                                                                                           Jim Jacobs, Secretary
• The Treasurer (Dave Carson) reports          NEW BUSINESS:
  that we expended $75 to join the Karst
  Conservancy of Illinois, dues for 2004
                                               • There was discussion about possibly
  are now payable. We have $255.45 in            raising dues or changing the family
  our account. Approved.                         membership structure. No changes at

                                                                               THE NEAR NORMAL NEWS, January 2004 p. 3
 WHERE'S MARC?                                                                                                By Marc Tiritilli

“Where’s Marc?” That’s the question my           If there are any questions or concerns,
wonderful wife Tracy is often asked while        please e-mail me personally at
I am caving. The usual response is that,         marc_tiritilli@hotmail.com.
“He’s in a hole somewhere,” but I have              On the trip to Cave River Valley last
decided to expand the phrase’s meaning           month, there was some discussion as to
to include what I’ve been doing and              where we might be heading as a grotto.
thinking. To begin with, welcome to 2004!        Topics that came up were planning of           and comfort. This will in turn attract new
I am very much looking forward to the            trips, boosting membership, community          members and encourage timid landowners
upcoming year. A big thank you to the            outreach, etc.                                 of currently unknown caves to throw
grotto for endorsing me as president. I             We have had some recent                     open their doors and welcome us onto
am honored. Thanks also to those who             deliberations over membership dues.            their property. The resulting flurry of
have gone before me to set an example—           After much consideration I believe I have      groundbreaking exploration and
especially Troy who fulfilled his campaign       arrived at an equitable solution: As my        discovery will propel the NNG to
promise to sell all of the cougar print casts.   first presidential act, I am issuing an        forefront of the scientific community as
Well done!                                       executive order to raise dues to $25,000       well. Rescue operations will be
   On a serious note, I am concerned that        per person per year, effective immediately.    transformed as hypothermic patients are
some people might be left out of the loop        This will allow for the purchase of a grotto   revived and comforted by rapidly
on trip planning due to lack of contact          RV complete with kitchenette, hot-tub,         dispatched Jacuzzi therapy.
information. I encourage everyone to             chauffeur, trailer, and off-road vehicle. By      Be sure to attend the January meeting
make sure that we have your current e-           next year we should be able to make our        on the 9th as we will be selecting paint
mail on file since it is the most effective      down-payments on the helicopter and            and fabric colors. Bring your bathing suit
method for trip organization. Plans are in       GulfStream jet. These measures should          and a friend. See you there!
the works for trips to Wayne’s, Sullivan’s,      establish the Near Normal Grotto as the
Ava, and TAG over the next few months.           premier caving society in terms of style       —Marc

Near Normal Grotto Business
MINUTES FROM December 12, 2003                    tentatively scheduled.                        ELECTION OF OFFICERS:
Called to order at 7:24pm by President           •Jim J. reported that he still has green T-    The following slate of officers proposed
Troy R. Simpson                                   shirts with the grotto logo for sale.         by the Board of Directors was approved
                                                                                                by the membership:
Present: Troy & Amy Simpson, Jim &               NEW BUSINESS:                                  - Marc Tiritilli, President
Marty Jacobs, Dave & Angie Carson                •Troy stated that he will again provide        - John Schirle, Vice President
(Matthew and Justin), Bill and Liz Morrow,         membership cards for the grotto.             - Troy Simpson, Secretary
Brian Braye, Brett & Angi Bennett, (Annie                                                       - David Carson, Treasurer
Bennett), Marc & Tracy Tiritilli, Steve
                                                 •Marc T announced that there will be a
Taylor, JoAnn Jacoby, Don Kerouac,                 Cave research and rescue workshop at         The contested seat for Board Member at-
Kevin Rasmus, Jeffery Gosnell, Ralph               Illinois Caverns on December 20th. They      Large was won by Don Kerouac over
Sawyer.                                            will be experimenting with cave radios.      Jeffery Gosnell in a close vote.
                                                 TRIPS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS:                       Congratulations to all! (And thanks to
OFFICER REPORTS:                                 •Steve Taylor has been caving all over         Jeff for volunteering to be the Editor-in-
The minutes of the November meeting                the place.                                   chief of the Near Normal News.)
were approved as read by Secretary Jim           •Brian Braye took a youth group to Illinois
Jacobs.                                            Caverns. He reports that all individuals     Adjourned.
The Treasurer’s report was read by                 in groups must now sign waivers.
Treasurer Dave Carson and approved.                Minors must bring signed permission          The Christmas party was great fun!
                                                   from their parent or guardian.               Happy New Year to all!
OLD BUSINESS:                                    •Jeffery G. and a large group are heading
•Ralph Sawyer discussed possible dates             for Cave River Valley tomorrow (Dec 13).     Respectfully submitted,
 for a February trip to Sullivan Cave. The                                                      Jim Jacobs
 weekend of the 21 st and 22 nd was                                                             Outgoing Secretary

                                                                                   THE NEAR NORMAL NEWS, January 2004 p. 4
  Caving & Kids                        Part 1—The Classroom Presentation by John Schirle

OK, it’s finally happened. Your sixth grade     nothing happens, and talk about
nephew, in the midst of a boring lecture        why.
on earth science, suddenly remembers               Other,      more      involved
that you, his FAVORITE uncle, seems to          experiments and activities are
be always talking about caves and rocks.        available on the websites and
His confused adolescent brain thinks            resources listed on page 9 of this
“Caves and rocks … that’s earth science         newsletter. With an experiment
… what if uncle comes to talk to class          that takes several days to
…not boring …. I get extra credit …             complete (like ones illustrating the
everyone thinks I’m really cool.” That          growth of speleothems), you can
night you get the call — could you please       give the outline to the teacher in
come talk NEXT TUESDAY for a whole              advance. They can start it a few
HOUR?                                           days before you come, and then
   So what, if anything, can you say for        you can build on it in your                   Illinois Caverns trip led by John Schirle
an hour to a bunch of sixth graders about       presentation.                                          Photo by: Chris Young
caves that will be:                                Check the NSS’s book Project
                                                Underground (I have a copy to loan) for         issues of the NSS news that have pictures
—Entertaining (keeping the kids happy)
                                                a variety of classroom activities, tailored     which illustrate what you’re talking
—Educational (making the teacher happy)
                                                to various age levels and learning              about. The articles may be way over their
—Cool (so your nephew looks good)
                                                objectives.                                     heads, but the pictures are always great.
Before you panic, there are a lot of ideas         3) Give them “Web-Work.” With most
                                                students having access to the internet,         Be Anecdotal
and resources available to help. In the
                                                either at home or school, you can give          Tell stories. Include incidents from your
Near Normal Grotto several of us have
                                                them an assignment which has to be              own caving experiences that (if possible)
done presentations on caves and caving
                                                completed by accessing various caving           have something to do with what you’re
for school, youth and community groups.
                                                web sites. I’ve developed a “Web Work”          talking about. Even if you just start with
In this article I want to present some ideas
                                                handout appropriate for 5th-6th graders.        a story about why you love caving, or
I’ve used, in the hope that they will be
                                                It lists the addresses of some good,            your first caving trip, you’ll grab their
helpful to others.
                                                educational, age-appropriate caving web         attention. They’ll see that your excitement
Be Active                                       sites, plus a series of questions that can      for the topic is based not just on book
Get the students involved in DOING              be answered from those sites.                   knowledge, but also on real experience.
something rather than just listening.              The handout can be given after your
                                                presentation, as a take-home follow-up.         Be Educational
Some possibilities:
                                                Or, if you have the teacher assign it to        Communicate in advance with the teacher
    1) Have a simple, printed “fill-in-the-
                                                them in advance, they’ll come having            to find out his or her educational
blank” outline of what you’re going to
                                                already done some research that you can         objectives in inviting you to come speak.
cover. Students fill in the answers as you
                                                build on in your presentation.                  Then tailor your presentation
go along.
                                                   Check with the classroom teacher in          accordingly. The classroom focus may be
    2) Do an experiment or illustrative
                                                advance to be sure it’s OK to give the          geology, biology, history, or ecology/
activity. Whenever I talk to students
                                                students an out-of-class assignment.            conservation. Or perhaps they’ll have
about cave formation, I always bring some
                                                Some teachers may have all their                covered all the scientific aspects in class,
little clear plastic cups, a bag of limestone
                                                homework planned out, and don’t want            and they just want you to make the topic
chips, and a bottle of white vinegar.
                                                to overload the students with something         come alive with personal experiences.
Everyone gets a chip in a cup. We talk
                                                extra. And others may want to use this as          There are several excellent ‘kid-
about the effects of carbonic acid on
                                                a gradable assignment, and may have             friendly’ caving videos available that
limestone. Then we pour some vinegar
                                                specific objectives to incorporate.             cover various educational topics. Use a
on the limestone, and watch (and listen
                                                   Before giving out the handout, be sure       video, and then supplement with
to) what happens. As a contrast, we might
                                                all the web site addresses still function.      questions & answers and your own
also put a piece of granite in vinegar - or
limestone in plain water — and note that
                                                Be Visual                                       Next article: Part 2 — Planning &
John Schirle is Program Director for            Pictures, slides or video help                  Leading The Youth
Camp One Way, a residential youth               tremendously. If you don’t have slides,         Caving Trip
camp near Decatur, IL. He frequently            bring a booklet or two of your best caving
introduces young people to caves and
caving at Illinois Caverns.                     pictures to pass around. Or bring some

                                                                                 THE NEAR NORMAL NEWS,
                                                                                                                       January 2004 p. 5
Lamplighter's & Endless Caves                                                      by Ralph Sawyer
Our visit to Lamplighter’s Cave on             widely as they could. My Petzl Zoom with        in Endless, most of them larger and
Saturday, December 13, began as an             its small halogen bulb casts feeble light       darker—almost black—than the solitary
extended search for the entrance. It is        in comparison. (Okay, yes, my eyes are          little bats I have been used to seeing.
hard on an old Boy Scout leader such as        getting older, too.)                            Some of these bats hung singly, but most
myself to watch adults scatter out into             Another pondering: maybe I should          were clustered very tightly in groups of
the woods with no plan of how long they        not be the last caver in the group. I like      up to fifty or sixty.
will search before returning, how they will    being the last caver, but I now realize I             Eric’s enthusiasm as a newer caver
communicate, and how they will find each       may be the slowest caver in the Grotto,         was contagious and I followed him as he
other when they have found, or not found,      and slow cavers are safer up near the front     explored a long, tight crawl way that kept
the entrance. Fortunately the search went      of a group, not in the rear. I enjoyed the      trending slightly upward, teasing us with
smoothly, although I propose this as a         Lamplighter’s through trip—it is not            thoughts of another entrance. The crawl
topic for discussion at a future meeting.      often that we get to go in one entrance         way eventually pinched down too much.
       As it turned out, the entrance to       and out another—but I am afraid I spent         I was happy that I had followed Eric
Lamplighter’s was temporarily occupied         most of the trip concentrating on where I       farther than I would have gone myself.
by a dense cluster of Boy Scouts from          was putting my feet instead of looking                My guess, from looking at a map
Evansville. These hardy winter campers         up and around me.                               afterwards, is that we visited about 2000
were destined to return to cold tents after         The trip was over too soon. We             feet of Endless Cave before turning
their cave adventure; we were fortunate        emerged to temperatures in the low thirties     around.
to have accommodations at the heated           with a pretty good breeze blowing some                Before leaving Cave River Valley we
cabins of Wonder Valley Camp nearby.           snow around. Marc and Jeffery checked           looked at the entrance to River Cave. We
After the Scouts cleared, we eventually        out a small cave nearby which turned out        frolicked up to our waists in the stream
began our journey into Lamplighter’s, but      to have way too much organic matter in          that pours from the cave, unmindful of
only after the Troy Simpson party popped       the tight entrance. We changed into dry         the snow and chill temperatures. Again I
out—they had begun their trip at the           clothes in front of some disappointed-          wonder about the adrenaline thing. At
opposite end of the cave.                      looking cows.                                   home I dread taking out the trash,
       I stayed at the back of the group,           Lamplighter’s cavers were Jeffery          enduring just a few minutes of cold. Why
intending to just enjoy the caving, so I       Gosnell, Marc Tiritilli, Kevin Rasmus,          is it pleasurable for me to slosh around in
never consulted a map, and by the time I       Andy Rasmus, Bill Morrow, Eric                  cold water, in cold wet clothes during the
arrived at a room or feature, the group        Biederman, John Schirle, Ralph Sawyer,          winter? The entrance to River Cave was
was almost done discussing it. So this is      Troy Simpson, Nathan Marcier, and Mike          enticing, and we talked of rubber rafts or
a trip report without much to report, except   Worthey.                                        the combining of wetsuits and life jackets
for some impressions and ponderings.                Sunday morning found Bill, Jeffery,        to gain entry through the deep water.
       My main impression of Lamplighter’s     Eric, and me trudging through six inches              Satisfied with the weekend of caving,
is that it is mostly walking passage. Why      of fresh snow to the entrance of Endless        we headed home. Thanks go to Jeffery
is it, then, that my fondest memory of the     Cave in Cave River Valley. I had just           Gosnell for arranging the trip and the
trip is the Combat Crawl—about 300' of         discovered that I had somehow lost my           comfortable accommodations at Wonder
wet crawl way with water deep enough to        cave pack. I might as well confess openly       Valley Camp. Despite the loss of my pack
float my pack? If you ask me to lay in cold    that I severely compromised my safety           (I will be more careful from now on) and
water up to my arm pits on a hot summer        rules by entering Endless Cave with only        the fact that someone lifted the radio from
day at home, I won’t do it. In fact, I would   one source of light, relying on my fellow       my car while it was parked in Mahomet, I
say that I would be unable to force myself     cavers for backup.                              had a great time in some interesting caves
to do it. There must be some rush of                 Endless would be a great cave for         with my good friends from the Near
adrenaline when I am caving that allows        photography, with lots of walking or            Normal Grotto.
me to do it and enjoy it. That and the fact    sloshing passage. I have not taken my
that I don’t want to get left behind. The      new digital camera caving yet (glad I did
other good thing about the Combat Crawl        not take it on this trip!), but I would love
is that the caver is eventually rewarded       to return to Endless to take photos lit only
with more walking passage, not just more       by flashlight, no flash. Most of the
crawl way or stoopway.                         passage is ankle deep water, with
       On the Lamplighter’s trip I began to    occasional climbs over breakdown. The
ponder the purchase of an LED headlamp         ceiling in Endless is high for the most part,
for myself, even if only in self defense.      with evidence of previous commercial
With so many other cavers now brightly         use: small bits of rotten lumber, attached        L-R: Bill Morrow, Jeffery Gosnell, Ralph
illuminating cavern walls with LEDs, I         to the ceiling, remain here and there.           Sawyer, and Eric Biederman stand in 4" of
suspect my pupils are not opening as                We saw numerous bats hibernating            snow at Cave River Valley. December 2003
                                                                                                          Photo by Bill Morrow

                                                                                  THE NEAR NORMAL NEWS, January 2004 p. 6
Cave River Valley Trip by Andrew Rasmus                         A December Trip to Cave River Valley
                                                                By Troy J. Simpson
The trip started off leaving Bloomington at 5:30 a.m. After a
five hour drive, we [Kevin Rasmus, John Schirle, Marc           It is rapidly becoming a little tradition for me to take part in a
Tiritilli, and myself] met up with fellow NNG members [Bill     little Christmas Holiday caving trip. This year, like the
Morrow, Ralph Sawyer, and Jeffery Gosnell] at Wonder            previous four, I would venture down to the Cave River Valley
Valley Christian Camp. We talked, planned, eventually got       area to join up with fellow grotto members to explore the
dressed, and finally set out to find the cave (and Troy         underworld. Last year, we had the privilege of detour into
Simpson, who said he was going to meet us at the entrance).     Neyman, Saltpeter, and the Caves of Henderson Park. This
Trouble was, we were two hours later in meeting than we         year, there was the desire to return to Cave River Valley, the
said we would be and we had yet to get permission to leave      fire stoked by one Jeffery Gosnell.
by the Hoggatt entrance.                                           Jeffery had talked about further exploring the caves that
    Slightly disoriented, we stopped at a house and Jeffery     dotted the Cave River Valley region ever since we first
asked where the Hoggatt entrance was. The owner was             stepped into the likes of Endless Cave. He yearned to taste
happy to give us directions and also informed us that the       the thrill of a through-trip of Lamplighter’s and I yearned for
Lamplighter entrance (which we planned to go in) was on         a look into Frozen Waterfall, the last known cave that I had
his property rather than Cave River Valley property and,        yet to step foot into.
furthermore, we could cut across his land to get to it. We         When the December grotto meeting had hit, the group
also got permission from the Hoggatt entrance owner to          had been pretty much finalized. Jeffery was point-man joined
use his exit as well as park our cars on his land. We finally   by a now familiar-looking crew of John Schirle, Marc Tiritilli,
left a note on Troy’s car telling him where we planned to be.   Ralph Sawyer, Bill Morrow, Kevin and Andrew Rasmus,
    Finding the Lamplighter entrance that the owner             Nathan Marcier, and of course, myself. Also, joining in on
described as being “just past that field” turned out to be      the fun was Bill’s friend from Chicago, Eric, and a buddy of
more troublesome than planned. After searching for about        mine, Mike. Our group was a sizable group, but with the
an hour, we found the entrance by spotting a small scout        variety that is available at CRV, there was plenty of fun to go
group trying to enter it. While waiting for the scouts to get   around. Jeffery was heading down with a few people to
inside, part of our NNG group entered Frozen Waterfall Cave.    camp outside of Salem, while others would drive down early
Getting cold and snowed on, the others entered Lamplighter      Saturday morning. Jeffery was making arrangements for the
cave to wait for them to exit and regroup. Upon entering we     group to do a through-trip of Lamplighter’s Cave and it would
happened to find Troy and friends on their way out of the       involve using the Hoggatt entrance. There was also talk of
cave so he could move his car before he was snowed in on        other entrances as well. By the time the party ended, there
the steep Cave River Valley roads (Did I mention it was         was still some thought of where to start, but for my part, I felt
snowing and 23 degrees?).                                       there was excitement in the air and I was looking forward to
    After spending three or so hours getting dressed, getting   getting underground! I suggest that Nathan, Mike, and I
permission, finding the cave, and getting everyone together,    would meet everybody at CRV in order to save some time
we finally started the through trip from Lamplighter to         getting ready to go caving for us and give us a few much
Hoggatt. The cave itself was moderately interesting with        needed extra winks of sleep. At this point, the story branches,
wavy passages and the cold/wet Combat Crawl. We moved           and will not re-merge until 17 hours later.
through the cave really well as a group and ended up exiting       Typical with just about all of my caving trips, I dragged
the cave quite quickly (in under two hours).                    myself up at 4:00 a.m. and started my day going through my
    The Hoggatt entrance owner had told us about another        checklist of caving gear. Within the hour I was on my way to
cave on his property. We decided to go to the other cave,       picking up my brother-in-law, Nathan. He was excited to go
since it was so close by. As we maneuvered ourselves            on his second caving trip, having cut his teeth on the likes of
through electric fences (while soaking wet), we got to the      Sullivan and Buddha Caves in February. He was also excited
other cave to find it extremely tight and filled with fungus    to try out his new helmet and CamelBak that he got as early
that resembled Don King’s hair. After briefly exploring it,     Christmas gifts! Our next stop would be to pick up Mike. He
Marc decided it was a no go when he turned his head and         was the videographer at Amy and I’s wedding, and as
was presented with a large swarm of spiders.                    payment for his services, all he asked for was for me to take
    Reluctantly, we got dressed (in 23 degree weather,          him on a caving trip. I thought that this would be a perfect
blowing snow and with an audience of curious cows) and          opportunity and with the blessing of the rest of the group,
called it a day. The snow had really built up on the roads by   he would be joining.
this time and we skated back to the camp. The next day, part    We made our way through the rolling hills of Southern
of the group went straight home, and the rest of the group      Indiana, with stops for breakfast and Wal-Mart to pick up
did a trip to ENDLESS CAVE before heading home.                 some lunch supplies. Soon, we were upon Cave River Valley.
    It was an all around good weekend and                       I checked my watch, and noticed that it was about 15 past
a great opportunity to know my fellow NNG                       10:00 a.m. Central time. I thought, “not bad, only a few minutes
members better.                                                                                             Continued Next Page

                                                                         THE NEAR NORMAL NEWS, January 2004 p. 7
A December Trip to Cave River Valley
late and hopefully the others hadn’t been     Mike know what was down here and then          trying to find the entrances to
waiting too long.” As we drove down           guided them carefully around the fragile       Lamplighter’s and Frozen Waterfall Caves.
into the valley, I notice a few vehicles      formations. I knew that this would be the      I must keep the conversations short
parked alongside the Clifty Creek. I didn’t   last time we see them, as three-dozen Boy      though, for it had begun to snow and I
recognize any of them. We pulled in next      Scouts would make their way into the           feared that the mini-van would not make
to a group of Boy Scouts from Evansville      cave later on. After the crawlway we had       it up the hill if we got much more snow. I
and I started some small talk with their      a choice of going towards the Hoggatt          inform Jeffery and the others that it we
leaders and found out that no one else        Entrance or the “Loop Passage.” After          would not make the through-trip with
was there yet. We continued to talk as        discussing with Nathan and Mike, we            them and we’d head back to the car for a
Nathan, Mike, and I got geared up. I          decide to head to the “Loop Passage”           late lunch and then explore Frozen
figured while we wait for the others, the     and then return and head to the Combat         Waterfall. We would try to meet up with
three of us would sneak a peak at River       Crawl and meet up with the rest of the         them at Wonder Valley afterwards. The
and Endless Caves. At the entrance of         group if they were coming from the             story once again diverges for the final
River Cave, bear in mind we did not           opposite direction.                            time.
actually go into the cave, Mike kept just     The stream passage that leads to “The          Nathan, Mike, and I head back to the mini-
uttering, “this is so awesome!” All I could   Loop” is a colorful section with dozens        van and drive it up the hill to prevent any
do was smile and reassure him that the        of bacon strip draperies hanging from the      chance of us getting stranded in the
day was still early and we hadn’t even        ceiling. This was only an appetizer as we      valley by snow and ice. I fire up my camp
begun to see the neat stuff. Then it was      neared the “Loop Passage.” In fact, we         stove and portable heater and we fix a
off to take a gander at Endless Cave. The     didn’t realize that we were in the “Loop       lunch of canned Beef-O-Roni, Slim Jims,
impressive, large entrance caused Mike        Passage” until we completed it. We had         Fruit Roll-Ups, and hot apple cider. It was
to take out his digital video camera and      followed the stream passage to a               lightly snowing, but we decided that we
begin recording everything. We made it        crawlway that was filled with bacon strips     could probably still squeak in Frozen
to the long bore hole passage that sunk       clinging to the ceiling. As we squeezed        Waterfall Cave. We hiked back and the
deep into the limestone matrix. Nathan        and squirmed our way through the               time was now about 3:00 p.m. Based on
shined his powerful halogen beam down         passage we did not realize that we were        what I had read, I figured we would see
the dark concourse and the reality of the     actually climbing. All of a sudden we          lots of formations and be in and out within
size came to bear. It was almost too much     came to a drop off that we quickly realized    2 hours. I rigged my web-ladder and we
for Mike as I could just tell he was just     is the place we had begun the crawl. I         descended into the 20-foot crevice
itching to go further beyond the twilight     had visions of M.C. Escher crossing my         entrance to Frozen Waterfall. Mike had
and into the darkness. Once again I           mind with endless staircases leading up        decided this would be the cave to get
smiled and said we can come back here,        to bottomless pits. All the while we were      complete footage on his video camera.
but I wanted to catch up with the others.     enjoying this, Mike was continuing about       We took our time, taking in everything
We hiked back to the cars, gathered the       how this is some of the neatest stuff he       around us. Unfortunately, our bodies were
vertical gear and checked the time. It was    has ever done. This is coming from a guy       releasing “steam” and it became difficult
nearly 11:30 a.m. Central and decision time   that is an accomplished climber, goes to       to photograph many of the awesome
was upon us. No one else had arrived. I       places in the Canadian Wilderness that         formations that lie within the confines of
left a note saying we were on our way to      bears and moose are the only population,       the cave. We eventually make it to the far
Frozen Waterfall and we would meet up         and builds his own canoes. Needless to         reaches of “the crevice” passage, beyond
with them at Lamplighter’s. I figured at      say his video camera has documented            the natural bridge. At this point our
least we could see Frozen Waterfall while     most everything we have seen.                  thoughts turn to what it may be like
we waited for everyone to make to the         We make our way towards the entrance           outside. Perhaps it was time for us to
Valley.                                       and hear the sound of voices. It is the        head to the surface. We can always return
When we arrived at Frozen Waterfall, the      Boy Scouts, they have entered                  another day.
Boy Scout troop was rigging for descent,      Lamplighter’s. I once again talk with their    We poke our head out, pull ourselves out
so once again I made another executive        leaders and learn that the rest of the group   of the crevice entrance and into a
decision and we hiked across the stream       has finally arrived at Cave River Valley.      darkened by night, snow filled
to Lamplighter’s Cave. Noticing the ice       Nathan, Mike, and I get ready to head          wonderland. During our time in Frozen
around the entrance, I rigged a safety        out when I encounter Jeffery in the            Waterfall, another inch had accumulated
hand-line to assist us in getting down or     entrance. He yells to the surface “Troy        on the ground and daylight had faded.
back out. We did a light check and soon       Simpson is down here!” with excitement.        We were now thankful for our decision to
I was making my way into the cave. I          The branches of the story have merged          move the mini-van earlier. After a quick
climbed down into the crawlway and was        back together again.                           de-rigging, we were hiking our way
halted by the beauty of icicles delicately    I soon learn that the other group had          through the snow, with headlamps
connecting the ceiling to the floor. I took   gotten off to a delayed start and they
                                                                                                                   Continued Next Page
a couple of photos and let Nathan and         have been searching for nearly 20 minutes

                                                                                THE NEAR NORMAL NEWS, January 2004 p. 8
A December Trip to Cave River Valley
piercing the darkness. The snow               long as these two facts
continued to fall, as the wooded valley       hold true, my Christmas
took on a surreal appearance. We soaked       Holiday caving trip will
in the ambience, but knew that we could       continue to tradition I
not stay long. A quick change at the          look forward to.
vehicle and a quick call to Marc to let him
know we were out. Six hours later we
were home and another trip to Cave River        Nathan Marcier and Mike
                                                   Worthey heading to
Valley was in the books. Every trip brings
                                                  the Loop Passage of
new discovery and new experiences. As              Lamplighter’s Cave
                                                 Photo by Troy Simpson

 Caving & Kids                      Resources for Classroom Presentation
 Video Resources
 The NSS maintains an excellent library of video and slide programs which members can borrow for the cost of shipping and
 a refundable deposit. Go to www.caves.org, and click on “Audio/Visual Library” to view the catalog. Of the ones which I have
 used (and also own, so you’re welcome to borrow), I can recommend the following as “kid-friendly:"

 Brainstorm: Caves (NSS catalog #V940) 23 minutes. Covers cave formations, history, biology and the discovery & development
 of Kartchner Caverns. Fast-paced and good for children.

 Just Kiddin’ Around: Caves (NSS catalog #V943) 27 minutes. This video follows a group of Jr Highers as they explore a cave.
 Focuses on cave history, mapping and bats, as well as conservation.

 Mysteries of the Caverns (NSS catalog #V113) 24 minutes. Good overview of cave formation, biology and conservation. Not
 specifically geared to kids, but fairly easy to understand.

 Mysteries Underground (NSS catalog #V924) 55 minutes. A National Geographic production, covering the exploration of
 Lechuguilla, history of Mammoth, and the story of Floyd Collins. Appropriate for high school and older groups.

 A Scouting Approach to Wild Caves (NSS catalog # V112) 200 minutes. An introduction to caving by a scout troop. Though
 a bit long, it is broken into well-defined 10-minute sections. So you can pick and choose. I’ve used the sections on gear and
 how to move safely through a cave.

 Web Resources
 There are MANY caving websites. Here are a few I’ve recommended, and which were active as I wrote this article.

 Exploring Caves — Lesson plans for teachers and information for elementary students.

 Fantastic Caverns introduction to caves and caving, including study questions.

 Living Labyrinths — Intro to caves from the Illinois State Geological Survey.

 Journey Into Amazing Caves — Educational guide to accompany the IMAX film.

 Website to accompany the PBS video “Mysterious Life of Caves.” Includes a teacher’s guide and student information.
 Check the links, and especially the cool Flash presentation on how various kinds of caves form: www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/

 Kentucky Caverns page on cave ecology. Check the links for a teachers guide and student activities.

                                                                           THE NEAR NORMAL NEWS, January 2004 p. 9
Disturbing Bats in Hibernation
Editor's Note: The following is              done. Of course I realize that as a     year, fall/winter comes early, and
excerpts from an e-mail                      responsible caver I must not arouse     there are few insects (thus the bats'
discussion between grotto                    them, and maybe new cavers are          fat reserves are not built up as far
members Ralph Sawyer and                     more careful if they think arousal      as they’d like), then there is a long
Steve Taylor on the effect of                is a death sentence.                    winter — this would be a bad year
disturbing bats in hibernation.                                                      to disturb bats. Some of them might
Ralph's questions are in italics,            At least some species of bats (not      even die without the disturbance.
with Steve's response in plain               all of them have been closely              In short, if you go in a cave once
text.                                        studied, and it isn’t wise to           in the winter, and see colonial bats,
                                             generalize to all species from one)     and are very quite and don’t shine
Hi Steve, I’m working on a trip report       will, as you noted rouse themselves     your lights on them or talk around
for NN News — visits to                      to get a drink of water occasionally    them, AND you are SURE that no
Lamplighter's Cave and Endless               during the winter. During these         one else is visiting the cave over
Cave near Campbellsburg IN. In               times, their metabolic rate is          the winter, that one visit is likely to
Lamplighter's we saw plenty of               elevated, and they are therefore        not have a negative effect on the
solitary hibernating bats, I think the       using up their fat stores at a much     survival of the bats.
kind I am used to seeing — I think           faster rate than when they are             Multiple visits from late through
same kind I have seen in Sullivan.           “asleep.” It makes biological sense     early spring to caves that have
But in Endless Cave we saw a                 that they would rouse themselves        hibernating bats are likely to be
slightly larger bat, much darker,            as often as they need to — and are      detrimental to the long-term survival
almost black, including the skin on          ABLE to —make it through the            of these animals. Keep in mind that
the wings. Some were hibernating             winter. If they stayed awake too        the bats have long lives and low
singly but many were packed tightly          much, they’d run out of energy          reproductive rates - very UNLIKE
into clusters. What bats are we              before spring, and starve to death      mice, more like elephants. Maybe
most likely to encounter in Indiana          because of lack of food (flying         your visit (as one of several causing
caves?                                       insects) or freeze to death looking     cumulative stress to the bats) isn’t
                                             for the food.                           enough to kill the bats, but uses up
Common ones are pipistrelles, big               Now, suppose one group of            stored energy to the point that the
browns, little browns, and                   cavers comes through the bats’          female bats don’t have the
sometimes Indiana bats. A few                cave. It seems reasonable from a        energetic resources to successfully
others also occur in Indiana caves           biological perspective that one         reproduce that year. Therefore
- I still find it a challenge to tell them   disturbance, especially if kept to a    they loose a full year of
all apart with confidence. If the            minimum of noise and lights, would      reproductive life.
clusters were very close to the              only rouse the bats a little bit and       That’s my take on it. Basically,
entrance, exposed to occasional              briefly. Probably they can deal with    any time we visit the caves, we have
colder weather (colder than the              this one-time disturbance. The          direct negative impacts. But there
constant conditions deeper in the            problem with well-known caves,          can also be positive impacts
cave), the might be big brown bats.          such as Endless, is that MULTIPLE       (education about resources,
If they are back further in the cave,        groups of cavers are coming             groundwater protection, etc.). I’m
it is quite possible that they are           through in the winter - and you         not advocating NOT visiting caves,
Indiana bats (which typically form           don’t really have any idea if you are   just be careful
clusters) - but other bats also form         the first or the 15th group that year   and considerate
clusters at times.                           (counting those who come without        of the critters
                                             permission). In that case, the effect   that live there.
We were careful not to disturb the           of the multiple visitations is
bats, trying not to admire them              cumulative — each time there is a                    Steve Taylor, Ph.D. holds degrees in biology
closely for very long, which brings          disturbance, the bats use up more                        and Zoology. He is Associate Editor of
my final question: is awakening or           of their food reserves. Perhaps in                           Life Sciences for the Journal of Cave
arousing a bat during hibernation            a year where there were lots of                                & Karst Studies, former Executive
                                                                                                            Secretary of the Biospeleology
an automatic death sentence? I               bugs in the fall and the next spring                           Section of the NSS, Technical
thought it was not unusual for bats          warm-up comes early, it could be (I                            subcommittee chair of the U.S. Fish
and other hibernating animals to             don’t really know) that three                                & Wildlife Karst Invertebrate
                                                                                                        Recovery Team, and member of the U.S.
rouse themselves for brief periods           disturbances by cavers will not                          Fish & Wildlife Illinois Cave Amphipod
during hibernation with no harm              harm the bats. But perhaps the next                   Recovery Team.

                                                                        THE NEAR NORMAL NEWS, January 2004 p. 10
INDEX       OF      2003 NEAR NORMAL NEWS ARTICLES                                                           Provided by Troy J. Simpson
Issue                        Author                 Title                                                  Subject
Jan., 2003; Vol. 13 #1       Jacobs, Jim            “From a Hole in the Ground”                            General Interest - Column
Jan., 2003; Vol. 13 #1       Osborne, Jeff          “Top 6 lies Told by Cavers”                            General Interest - Humor
Jan., 2003; Vol. 13 #1       Sawyer, Ralph          “Annual Grotto Picnic”                                 Trip Report - Illinois
Jan., 2003; Vol. 13 #1       Sawyer, Ralph          “My First Vertical”                                    Trip Report - Illinois
Jan., 2003; Vol. 13 #1       Simpson, Troy J.       “Troy’s Ego cave, Indiana”                             Trip Report - Indiana
Jan., 2003; Vol. 13 #1       Simpson, Troy J.       “In the Twilight Zone”                                 General Interst - Column
Jan., 2003; Vol. 13 #1       Simpson, Troy J.       “Near Normal News Index 2002”                          Index

March, 2003; Vol. 13, #2 Gosnell, Jeffery           “Caves in Washington County, Indiana”                  Trip Report - Indiana
March, 2003; Vol. 13, #2 Gosnell, Jeffery           “Sullivan’s and Buddha Caves”                          Trip Report - Indiana
March, 2003; Vol. 13, #2 Jacobs, Jim                “From a Hole in the Ground”                            General Interest - Column
March, 2003; Vol. 13, #2 Morrow, Bill               “Another Buckner’s Trip Report”                        Trip Report - Indiana
March, 2003; Vol. 13, #2 Roebuck, Brian             “Dr. Beaner”                                           General Interest
March, 2003; Vol. 13, #2 Simpson, Troy J.           “In the Twilight Zone”                                 General Interest - Column

May, 2003; Vol. 13, #3       Jacobs, Jim            “From a Hole in the Ground”                            General Interest - Column
May, 2003; Vol. 13, #3       Simpson, Troy J.       “Troy Gets Yet Another Toy”                            Gear Review
May, 2003; Vol. 13, #3       Simpson, Troy J.       “In the Twilight Zone”                                 General Interest - Column
May, 2003; Vol. 13, #3       Elder, Robert K.       "Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave”                              Trip Report Special -Kentucky

July, 2003; Vol. 13, #4      N/A                    No Issue Released

Sept. 2003, Vol. 13, #4/5 Gosnell, Jeffery          “Ramblings of a Trogloxene”                            General Interest - Column
Sept. 2003, Vol. 13, #4/5 Gosnell, Jeffery          “Near Normal Neighbors - Jim Jacobs”                   General Interest
Sept. 2003, Vol. 13, #4/5 Jacobs, Jim               “From a Hole in the Ground”                            General Interest - Column
Sept. 2003, Vol. 13, #4/5 Reinke, Beth              “Julie and Beth Finally Go Caving”                     Trip Report - Kentucky
Sept. 2003, Vol. 13, #4/5 Simpson, Troy J.          “In the Twilight Zone”                                 General Interest - Column

Nov., 2003, Vol. 13, #6      Gosnell, Jeffery       “Near Normal Neighbors - Brian Braye”                  General Interest
Nov., 2003, Vol. 13, #6      Gosnell, Jeffery       “Ramblings of a Troglodyte”                            General Interest - Column
Nov., 2003, Vol. 13, #6      Kerouac, Don           “Pautler Cave Survey Trip Two”                         Trip Report - Illinois
Nov., 2003, Vol. 13, #6      Simpson, Troy J.       “In the Twilight Zone”                                 General Interest - Column

         Waterfall in the Main Passage of Illinois Caverns                                      Cave Salamander in Illinois Caverns
                       Photo by: Chris Young                                                          Photo by: Chris Young

                                                Photos Courtesy of the State-Journal Register

                                                                                  THE NEAR NORMAL NEWS, January 2004 p. 11
    Mike Worthey crawls under bacon strips in the   L-R: Eric Biederman, Marc Tiritilli, Jeffery Gosnell, John Schirle,
        Loop Passage of Lamplighter's Cave             Ralph Sawyer, Kevin & Andrew Rasmus exit Lamplighter's
              Photo by Troy Simpson                                       into a heavy snow.
                                                                         Photo by Bill Morrow

P.O. BOX 813
NORMAL, IL 61761

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