Saturday, January 25, 2020

The First Couple of the Central Ohio Grotto

The election results are in and lo and behold, COG has its first husband and wife pair for Chair and Vice Chair!  I thought it would be nice to get to know our new power couple!

COG:  How did you two meet? 
Kim:   We met in college (Case Western Reserve University). We lived in the same dorm freshmen year, but we didn't start dating until our sophomore year when we lived in different suites on the same floor. I was hanging out in his suite one night and read a little bit of a paper he had due the next day. It...needed work... So I stayed up with him until 5am helping him to revise the paper. That started off a friendship that turned into dating a few weeks later.

COG:  How did you each individually start caving?
Kim:  We started caving together, actually!  I found out Mammoth Cave offered wild cave tours so I planned a trip there to celebrate our 5 year dating anniversary. I assumed Aaron would use the opportunity to propose so I wanted to make the trip special and memorable. The first day of our trip was the wild cave tour and at one point we entered a room which the guide said was called Cathedral Domes. He then said, "This is a popular room for men to propose to their girlfriends...any takers?" Aaron then....did nothing. And waited two more years to propose.

COG:  What do you guys do for a living?
Kim:   Outdoor Adventure Programmer at Columbus Metro Parks
Aaron: Software engineer at Battelle.

COG:  What are your favorite caves?
Kim:   Pine Hill
Aaron: Pine Hill and Roppel

COG:  What are your plans for the grotto?
Kim:   Not break anything. Seriously though, I believe the past chairs have set us in a good direction and I'd like to continue that. I'd love to see more people taking on leadership roles.
Aaron: Come up with engaging and interactive programs.

COG:  What other hobbies or fun things are you guys into?
Kim:   Hiking, backpacking, fishing, kayaking, hanging out with my birds.
Aaron: Soccer and frisbee.

COG:  Do you plan to change the bylaws of the grotto to make it so only married couples can be chair and vice chair?
Kim:   No, however I would like to explore the possibility of making Patrick Gibson Grotto King which would eliminate any need for a democracy

Sunday, January 5, 2020

REMINDER! 2020 GSP Camping Passes

The GSP annual camping passes for 2020 are available for Grotto members. Individual passes are $40 and Family passes are $60. If you visit the Preserve more than five or six weekends a year it is a worthwhile investment and eliminates the chore of remembering to put nightly camping donations in the pay pipe. 

The regular camping donation request is $6/night/ person. Electric sites are an additional $6/night/site, which includes the lower mondo. Remember that use of electric is not included with the camping pass. 

Camping passes are always available whenever you see me. Barring that, the next best method is to purchase by mail or on the GSP website: Use the donation button and make sure you specify “for camping pass” in the comment section. If paying by mail, make checks out to: Great Saltpetre Preserve. (Not to your Grotto or to Rockcastle Karst Conservancy) and put a note in the memo line – “for camping pass”. Remember camping passes are only available to current members of the supporting Grottos: GCG, BGG, DUG, and COG. Membership will be verified before issuing a pass. Renewal time is at hand for many Grotto members, so if you have not renewed your membership, please do. 

My mailing address is: GSP c/o Werner Jud 1044 Vacationland Dr. Cincinnati, Ohio 45231. Once the donation has been received you will be sent a card for your wallet. 

Thank you for supporting the Great Saltpetre Cave Preserve. 
Werner G. Jud GSP Treasurer Jan 2020 

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Big Newt Cave - Wayne County KY - 12/31/2019

Big Newt Cave
Wayne County, Kentucky 

    Around 12:30 pm, Chad Leeder, Brian Devine, and I entered the cave via the recently “Bob-ified” entrance. It only took us a few minutes to get to the terminus, which appeared to have additional passage beyond. We just needed to get rid of the rock blocking our way, but we had a nice array of widening tools to help out with that! We also had proximity to the surface in our favor. It was very tight and “contortion-y” in there, so for about two hours, we decided to move as many of the rocks out of the way as possible from the previous dig to make more wiggle room for us to work. With the help of a plastic bucket and our own strength, we did a not-too-shabby job of rolling, pulling, and stuffing some massive rocks into various nooks and crannies. Next up, a few more hours of widening followed by moving even more massive rocks! Our widening efforts revealed that there’s potentially even more passage to explore!

Some time around 5:00 pm, we decided to wrap things up and head back to the hideout to ring in the new year. Until next time and happy New Year!

Bethany Widmayer