The Month's Guano

Sept 1999
Kansas City Area Grotto
Volume 13, Issue 8

August Minutes
Need More Money?
What A Mess!
Money Management
Nylon Highway
Motel Six
Have We Gone Bat Crazy?
Dig Report

August Minutes

Minutes will appear in October's Newsletter.

Sorry for the Inconvenience

Need More Money????
By John McGuire

Hi Bryon. I'm going to miss the meetings! Here is the quote from the silk screeners:


quantity 75 to 149 - 3 color = $4.39, or 4 color = $4.59
quantity 150 to 299 - 3 color = $3.99, or 4 color = $4.19
quantity 75 - 149 3 color = $4.50, or 4 color = $4.70
quantity 150 - 299 3 color = $4.10, or 4 color = $4.30
screens are $15.00 per color (includes art and setup) tax not included.
*note: the 50/50 blend is a longer lasting shirt and doesn't fray in the wash as much. Also, I looked at our web site for the artwork. It doesn't show the colors. I can give the silkscreeners one of my patches (same artwork) and have them use it for the artwork. Or, even better, you may want to have a vote on what artwork to put on the shirts. Quite honestly, a lot of people would rather have a nice cave scene or bats and salamanders than some other grotto's insignia on their shirt. I don't know if there is enough time to suggest a contest to have some members submit their art next meeting, and then vote on whose to use. Winner gets two free t-shirts.

Talk to ya soon.

What A Mess!!!
By Richard Cindric

"The cave digging sucked. When we turned around two years ago, the passage was mucky with a little bit of water. The water rose a couple of inches since then so I had to dig with part of my face in the water all the time. It especially sucked because it was cold (even with a wetsuit) plus the water kept splashing over my face. I'm sure most of the raccoons in northwest Arkansas had crapped in that water. That plus the grit from the stirred up mud made for some really tasty digging. Also, the cave is just downhill from the campsite shower. I can only guess what kinds of creatures are growing within me now."

Richard Keith asked me about my trip to dig in a cave near Beaver Lake last weekend - August 21 - and this was the report (quite factual) to him.

This is a cave that Mike Hartley found some years ago. He and his son dug in there then and opened up the beginning passage quite nicely. It was two years ago that Regan Youngman, Terry DeFraties and I went with Mike and Todd (Mike's friend) to work some more on it. This last trip found Mike, his wife Carolyn and myself there. While I was digging in the far end, Mike was working to make the beginning of the crawl more enjoyable.

During the dig two years ago, the removed material turned from dirt with some rocks to muck, with water seeping into the passage that we dug out. I anticipated that and wore a wetsuit this last time but I wasn't prepared for so much water. Two years ago, I could see a solid floor at least 20' ahead but now it looked just like a pond - wall to wall water. That's quite perplexing to me because our dig two years ago was in June (normally a little wet) but this last go-around was in August, and it had been dry for a long time. I wonder if we might have dammed up the normal outlet a couple of years ago.

I'm tempted to say to hell with this cave but there is a lot of air coming out of there! A really skinny person might be able to get through without digging (Bryon Carmoney - are you listening?). It's about 8" tall before digging and about 10" to 11" after. If we go again, Mike Hartley said we could use his boat's bilge pump to remove the water. It would be pretty easy to use a 2-wheel dolly to get the battery there. We'll see if we can generate any excitement for this next summer.

Mike and Carolyn took me out on the lake for a boat ride on Saturday night. The weather was great and the water was warm when we went swimming - a great ending to a nasty dig.

Richard Cindric

Editor's Note: Count me in. Just don't forget the rope to tie around my feet.


Cavers, Please be aware of this terrible accident. Hopefully, by tomorrow (Wed.) night, we will have more details and can discuss what we can do Prayers for Steve.

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jonathan Breckenridge Beard
To: ...
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 16:51:05 -0500
Subject: Fwd: Steve Kaub
Message-ID: (


Yesterday afternoon, between Jasper and Harrison on highway 7, Steve was in a head on wreck. Apparently, some young lady heading the other way crossed the center line and hit Steve. Even though he had on his seat belt and the air bag went off, he still went through the wind shield. He is in the hospital in Harrison, and Wayne went down to see him today and get all of his stuff. Unfortunately, the girl that hit him did not survive. Details are pretty sketchy and we will probably learn more when Wayne gets back later today. For now, would you please send this to the whole e-mail list.

See You,
From: ...
To: ...
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 23:38:52 EDT
Subject: Re: Steve Kaub-auto accident
Message-ID: (

Steve Kaub is ok and released from the Hospital as of 6:30 PM today. One arm broken, stitches in the other, a lot of bruising, and general whininess. I doubt he'll be underground for a while but is otherwise okay.


Editor's Note: Steve has moved to the Kansas City area and has been in contact with me several times. It is unfortunate that he was involved in this accident. I am glad to see that he is recovering though. Steve my prayers are with you and your family. Get well soon and I hope your schedule will allow you to come to our meeting this September 8, 1999

Money Management
Submitted by Richard Cindric

Bryon -- The main reason I'm passing this on to you is because of Dave Taylor's 5th paragraph. I've always been concerned that the KCAG practice of charging people for using our helmets and lights (even though it's nominal) puts us in an undesirable liability situation. I know we're trying to increase our income now but I think this is an income we should do without. Maybe we can talk about it at the next meeting.


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, August 12, 1999 12:32 PM
Subject: Little Bear

Dear Mr. Starr

A couple of people have forwarded your posting concerning the possible purchase of Little Bear. For identification, I'm a former chairman of the MOLES Grotto (which has managed the cave for the last three owners) and a member of the NSS Board of Governors. I understand from the grapevine that the price may have been jacked up again (the property was first said to be for sale for $36K, but when we tried to buy it quickly went $50K--$120K--$135K . . . ) Good luck.

With regard to some of your questions and comments:

A lodge on the property could destroy the cave. I understand that there may be more than the original 36 acres involved, but the cave lies directly under all of the original acreage. There is no place on the property that could serve as a building site that could avoid having a septic system directly over the cave. If the property has been extended to the east, as we have suggested to the owner, there could be a suitable site on the far east end, but that is just upstream from Big Bear Cave, which may still serve as a water supply. I'd be most interested to know how many acres are now involved.

The present gate has withstood much, but it does require monitoring and infrequent repair. It is under a degree of local observation. There is no substitute for a full-time caretaker, if one can be afforded.

Speaking as a (retired) lawyer, I'd caution against conducting tours for people who are not experienced cavers and whose safety would therefore be in your hands. If there is any form of admission charge, you would definitely be liable for any injury or death. Arkansas does have good landowner protection laws so long as the owner does not charge any form of admission or otherwise assume liability for licensees on the premises.

I am most happy that you would keep the cave accessible to cavers, and I can assure you that the organized cavers of the State would be most happy to help you in any possible way.

The MOLES have hosted an annual Little Bear weekend each summer, the next coming up August 28. We would be delighted to meet you if possible. Should you purchase the cave prior to that time, please let me know, and we will of course abide by your desires.

Dave Taylor

Editor's Note: This is a subject matter that will be discussed at out next meeting on September 8,1999. Please plan on attending if you can. This is a subject matter that I feel needs all of our attention. Bryon

Nylon Highway

From: ...
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 19:16:45 EDT
Subject: Nylon Highway
To: ...

The Vertical Section, an Internal Organization of the National Speleological Society now has a new format for its regular publication, the Nylon Highway. As the new Editor of the Nylon Highway please allow me to attempt an explanation of this new format.

The decision was made by the Board of the Vertical Section at their meeting during the '99 NSS Convention to distribute the Nylon Highway in both an electronic format and as paper copies. The electronic format will be password accessible on the web site to electronic subscribers. A complete volume consisting of all articles submitted during the year will be printed, and sent to those preferring a paper journal at the end of the year. To ensure the timeliness of the information submitted, each article will be posted on the web site as soon as possible. Along with the posting to the web site, the articles will be available for downloading in a pleasing format and layout as a PDF document. Using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader one will be able to view, save and print the Nylon Highway in the magazine/newsletter format with all photos, diagrams, etc. The electronic version will remain archived on the web site indefinitely.

The Board feels that this will be a great cost savings for the Vertical Section as well as allowing for a much quicker flow of current information to the membership. Seeing that one of the official goals of the Vertical Section is to encourage the development of safe vertical caving techniques and their application, new information and research in the areas of safety and techniques should be in the hands of the end user as soon as possible. We hope these changes will produce a superior Nylon Highway, one that is on the cutting edge of the Information Age.

I am earnestly seeking submission of suitable material for publication in the new Nylon Highway. What better location to publish your research, present your new idea, share your latest discovery and demonstrate that newly refined technique? The Nylon Highway is the ideal medium to introduce new vertical procedures, display refined rigging methods or offer your insight on systems used for vertical work. With the new Nylon Highway, we are giving you the avenue to express your ideas, questions and concerns. The "soap box" is yours! You now have the ears of one of the largest I/O's in the NSS waiting to hear what you have to say. Submit your material now and in the feature. With your help, we can continue to make the Nylon Highway the leading publication in the vertical caving field.

For more information and membership see the Vertical Section's web site at:

Send submissions for publication to:

Tim White, Editor Nylon Highway

Former editor, Wm Shrewsbury has Nylon Highway issues #43 and #44 ready for mailing. Expect these, along with a letter explaining the new membership plans in early September.

Motel Six
By Jo Schaper

I don't listen to commercial radio until I am tooling down I-44, usually going to or from the park, and usually trying to stay awake. Imagine my surprise the other night to hear Tom Bodett (Mr. Motel 6--"we'll leave the light on for you") suddenly announce, "It doesn't do any good to leave the light on for blind cave salamanders. They can't see. " His schtick went on to explain how said salamanders were white, living in dark damp places, and wouldn't know you had a light on them, and how Motel 6 was a vastly superior place to stay if you weren't and didn't want to become a cave salamander.

I know I didn't hallucinate this, though, a commercial for a budget motel featuring cave salamanders might cause one to wonder what they put in the beer can, *this* time!

Jo Schaper*

Have We Gone Bat Crazy?

From: "Laws, Joel "
Subject: Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water....

Now it's Bat's turn to be shown in a bad light (No Pun Intended) I got this off of CaveTex, which got it off of TagNet. Joel Laws

------Original Message-----
From: Geary Schindel
Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 1999 7:44 AM
To: 'CaveTex'
Cc: 'Kennedy Jim'
Subject: CaveTex: BAT FLICK

Bat Flick

I picked this up from TAG-NET and thought I would pass it on. Geary Schindel Message is from Jay Reeves. Looks like our little friends are the subject of a major motion picture.

It's called "Bats", and I am not too pleased, as probably and hopefully you will too. Their web site URL is The synopsis of the movie reads: "When the small Texas town of Gallup experiences a series of inexplicable bat attacks on local residents, the government calls upon eminent wildlife zoologist Dr. Sheila Casper (Dina Meyer) to investigate. Although usually a harmless and rather gentle animal, swarms of bats have suddenly become vicious, making Gallup a very dangerous place after the sun goes down. Sheila teams up with town sheriff Emmett Kimsey (Lou Diamond Phillips) to discover why these nocturnal mammals have changed their behavior. As the attacks escalate, Sheila and Kimsey must locate and destroy the swarm's cave before the killing spreads." Great! Just what we need. Even though it does say "usually harmless and rather gentle", I feel people will latch onto how the movie is going to portray the bats and strengthen their already preconceived notion that bats are bad, horrible little creatures. This might ought to be passed on to other retailers, grotto newsletters and the such. I think we really need to voice our concern on how this movie could negatively affect our little friends. I wonder if BCI (Bat Conservation International) knows about this flick


Dear Sir,

I am sending you this article from MOCaves email newsletter. It is very alarming to me and was wonder if you folks there at BCI were in fact aware of this. Is there anything I or my Grotto can do about this?

Bryon Carmoney

Thank you for your email and your concern. We have been in contact with the line producer of the movie --- "BATS" and requested a Public Service Announcement, she said that it was possible, but has not returned my calls or letters in weeks!

We will write a response in our magazine and on our web site, and may do a press release in conjunction with the release of the movie, but I'm afraid we'll have to rely largely on people wanting to learn more after seeing this fictious blunder.

Thanks again, Bob Benson, PR Manager

Dig Report 35
Aug. 21 and 22, 1999
Submitted by Bryon Carmoney

Diggers: Bryon Carmoney, Jeff Andrews, Rick Hines,Gerry Gatenbey, Robert Gatenbey, Andy Isbell, Andy Free, Greg Fry, Mike Farley, Tim McClain, Steve Atteberry (visited Saturday night). Sunday Arrivals: Wayne Burnett, Ron Lather, and neighbor Bruce.

When Rick and I first arrived at around 8:45am no one was at the dig site. This was rather alarming. We headed back into town to give Eddie Simmons a call and see if anyone was coming down that he might know of. While we were there Andy Isbell drove by so we headed back to the site. After a short discussion of what we should do we decided to go ahead and give it a try. A few of us had to go see the void space made on the last dig and went in to see it. There is quite a bit of loose breakdown and quite a few large rocks. This made me a little nervous, but that is why we were there to help shore up the rock bank and make it safe to continue. While we were down there, Andy Free and Greg Fry arrived so everything was starting to take shape so the dig could continue.

Rick, Jeff (my future Brother-in-law), and I stayed in the hole for most of the day. Gerry and Andy Isbell cut four pieces of steel. The first was a mistake but it turned out rather well. We used it to shore up the back wall. The other pieces were used to form sort of a tunnel over the hole that leads down into the new cave passage.

We had to do a lot of digging to make the pieces fit right and this took a great deal of time. There is very little room to work with the steel in place so digging was rather difficult. We enlarged the hole that leads into the cave and also pushed all the dirt into the cave. This brought on a rather lengthy discussion but we all decided that it was the best thing to do for the moment.

Sunday morning Rick took us on a grand tour of the place. We got to see the natural entrance to Carroll Cave and he also showed us all the other pits and homeowners he spoke with while researching the current site. We were waiting for an air meter to measure the flow of the air so we would know where to dig next, but it never arrived.

By noon Sunday we finished the shoring job and started picking up. Right before we left Greg Fry and his neighbor Bruce came down to visit and see how we were doing. Ron Lather also showed up with Muddy and we just passed the time until about three o'clock in the afternoon. We said our good-byes and then headed home.

I must say that for my first dig I really enjoyed myself. The site has a great deal of room for many campsites and a great big fire ring. If you can make the time to see the dig and help out I would strongly encourage you to do it.

Submitted by Bryon Carmoney

Addition by Rick Hines -- Progress this month consisted of shoring the horizontal passage that leads from the 6-foot diameter vertical shaft to the entrance of the small cave. Corrugated steel now arches from the left side of the horizontal passage and leans against the bedrock on he right. The steel and bedrock form a 6-foot tall 8-foot long passage.

Digs are scheduled the third weekend of each month.

Dig 36 Sept. 18 and 19
Dig 37 Oct. 16 and 17

Contact Rick Hines
Street Tunnel by Bryon Carmoney

September 1999 Vol. 13 Issue 9
The Month's Guano is published on the second Wednesday. Twelve issues annually.
Submit articles to editor at least 10 days prior to publication date. Guano Subscription rate for nonmenbers:$6.00 anually.

President: Byron Carmoney
Vice President: Regan Youngman
Treasurer: Regan Youngman
Secretary: Kathy Sumner
Editor:Byron Carmoney
Asst. ED:Kate Johnson
            Wayne A. Burnett
E-mail adress:

Kansas City Area Grotto is affiliated witht he National Speleological Society, The Misouri Speleological Survey, and a Founding Member of Misouri Caves & Karst Conservancy.

Meetings helf every second Wednesday at 7p.m. (alternate site in May), Magg Hall, behind Spencer Laboratories, Volker Blvd. & Cherry, Kansas City, Misouri. Annual Dues: $10 for Full Members (3 caving trips with KCAG, nonmination and vote of membership required.)

NCRC Callout number Emergency use only

Central Region 502-564-7815. This number may be used for cave rescue emergencies in the states of, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Misouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.