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CaverStretch



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 44
Location: Orem, Utah

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 7:49 pm    Post subject: Who Am I? Reply with quote

I would like to get to know people on this forum. Some of you I already know, some of you I don't know, and some of you I wish I didn't know but your picutre came with the frame. Smile

If you could state your name, rank and serial #.

Maybe where your from, where you cave, what grotto or grottos are you affliated with, are you an officer of your grotto, what do you like about caving, etc...etc...etc.

And you have to include something interesting about yourself. Now I don't have one of those 8 page "Get-to-know-you" emails that you receive from people that should already know about you. But atleast make it somewhat fun.

(And yes I am working on the "Who-Am-I" on what makes Robert Cranney Tick for this forum, Release date TBD)

Robert Cranney
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Deafnss



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 61
Location: Provo/Orem Utah

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds a lot like the "Caver of the Month" bio idea we've talked about. Or a Utah Spelean Spotlight type of deal...

But yeah having people give a short bio of themselves would make for interesting reading.
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tamiejensen



Joined: 16 Dec 2005
Posts: 10
Location: West Valley City, UT

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 3:29 pm    Post subject: Who am I Reply with quote

Im 35, never married, no kids unless you are like me and count the 4-legged furry version. Im goal oriented and my passion is for the outdoors. ...Wait... Scratch that. I dont think that is what you had in mind. Here goes... Im Tamie. Im in the Salt Lake Grotto. My first caving experience was at the Rocky Mountain Regional 2005. Funny thing: a friend and I thought we would crash the caving party. We showed up with our rock climbing gear and hoped we would be welcome. Ralph loaned us some helmets and we just joined in where we could. Since then, I have been lucky to have made some good friends in both the salt lake and timp grottos and see several caves. Just so you know: I have been having the time of my life. I have been caving nearly every weekend since October. I have learned a lot from those around me. I appreciate every one who has taken the time to teach me so much a long the way. It has been so exhilarating to face some of my fears and indulge my curiosity in places I knew existed but thought Id never see. Cavers Rock! -t

Last edited by tamiejensen on Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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TigerStripe40



Joined: 21 Dec 2005
Posts: 10
Location: My Own Little World

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My name is James Henry. I am 25 years old. I have never been married. But I have 3 kittie-cats. And a lovely girlfriend named Dannielle who sometimes goes caving.

I was into canyoneering alot and decided I wanted to try caving.
A friend of mine had been caving in West Virginia alot and had talked up caving. And I Felt that Caving was a next step to canyoneering. So I contacted John Halleck and asked him for more info. He directed me to the Salt Lake Grotto.

I went to my first grotto meeting in December of 2001. Jim Olsen was giving a lecture on in cave digital photography.
I started talking to Hazel at the end of the meeting, and went to Juniors with Jim, Hazel, and Andy Howe.

We chatted for a whiles, and I got invited to go on a mapping trip to the Amazon mine up in Logan Canyon, and I loved it. The next weekend we went out to candlelight cave to do some photography. And the next weekend after THAT we went out to Nutty Putty for some mapping when I met Ralphie.

The rest as they say, is history.

My and Dannielle's first date was a trip to Boomerang cave.

I've made some great friends caving and wish to make some more.
I;d like to get into some of the more strenuous caves, such as Main Drain, Nielsons, and Neffs, however, I need to work on my stamina on rope.
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Deafnss



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 61
Location: Provo/Orem Utah

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Batty My name is Ralph and I'm... I'm a caver. I'm 44 and never been married (glad I'm not the ONLY one Rolling Eyes ).
I've been caving off and on for nearly 30 years. The last 16 of those years have been in the great caving state of Utah. I first got started in another caving state which is Tennessee.
My first cave was a hydrodynamic cave very similar to Little Brush, it is called Snail Shell Cave. It is wet (an active river runs through it), cold, very muddy and miserable. I loved it from the moment we stepped back out in the sunshine and been caving ever since. I was 15 going on 16 at the time.
I have evolved from being a spelunker to a caver. I first started out with a helmet with no chin-strap and no head-lamp and one of those big hand-held lanterns.
Utah is where I learned my vertical caving. The fine gentlemen that made up the UCSR team back when I started here I've referred to often as my mentors/teachers. Mike Gomm, Neil Shurtleff, Dave Shurtz, Clair Call to name a few.
I now take time out from serious caving to help others learn the "how-to's" of vertical so that they too can enjoy what we *ahem* old-timers enjoy. My way of "paying it forward" so to speak.
I've had the pleasure of getting to know dozens if not hundreds of people that have come and gone (and some stayed) in the Utah Grottos. I also am pleased in having a hand in the formation of the Bear River Grotto, which is doing very well.
It's difficult to say which caves are a "favorite" as each has shown me their particular charms. But I can say that nearly all but two caves among my personal favorites are vertical. Neilsens and Jim Pecks rank high among those.
Thanks to Rob Cranney I've done a fair share of mine-exploring but don't really consider that part of my caving adventures. That's a whole different animal altogether.
I've done ice-climbing, rock-climbing, canyoneering and plain ole' cross-country back-packing (we call it ridgewalking Razz ).
I too have made many friends during my time here in Utah. Shared many adventures and *ahem* misadventures. I've probably been nominated/won the (Timpanogos Grotto's) Spelunker Of The Month award more times than anyone. A factoid that I'm not at all ashamed of. Very Happy
I look forward to many more years of caving and will probably die a caver.
One of my goals is to try and get more deaf people to cave. My old and best friend Eric Malm (who is profoundly deaf) used to go out with me often ... but then he got married and had kids and then (years later) injured his back so now his caving is severely limited. As of late I've been training another one of my best (deaf) friends Caralee Crye and her son Byron and while they don't get out as often as I'd like them to they've been bitten by the caving bug as well. They have their own full set of vertical gear and have done caves such as Candlelight and Spanish Moss and Red Barron. They are expecting to do Blowhole and Boomerang soon.
I'd still want to find more because I've seen that they (deaf people) do very well in almost every caving situation/activity except surveying (where verbal communication is a must).

By the way James you (and everyone else who hasn't done so) should drop the mine-shaft the next time you're at Candlelight... that'll give you a good idea of what long drops are like and to help you gauge where your stamina is. Very Happy
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CaverStretch



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 44
Location: Orem, Utah

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My name is Robert James Cranney. I am 32. I have never been married and I live in a van down by the river. I worked at a Boy Scout camp when I was 15 and heard about some mines across the canyon. So one saturday a co-worker and I decided to hike over and try to find them. Within 30 minutes we had found the main mine. We slowly worked our way into the dark tunnel. There was water and mud almost a foot deep, and it was getting deeper and deeper. We ventured into the mine until we could venture no more. As we returned to the surface I remember thinking, in the great words of the wise Beavis, "I'm there dude."

So thus started my Mine Exploring Adventures. However. This is a caving site. So where does the caving come into the story? It doesn't...get over it. Laughing

Ok. I will admit it. I was in high school, the 11th grade to be excact. My friend Jason told me about a cave that he had heard of that went under utah lake. Ok. Let's think about this. You want me to go into a cave that goes under a lake? Hmmm. "I'm there dude.". So, Nutty Putty it was. My first wild caving trip.

That summer we were hiking in Rock Canyon and noticed a trail that went up the hillside. Hmmm. Wonder where that goes? Let's see. So we hike up it. And there is a group of people going into a metal box in the ground. How odd. They were entering a cave called Spanish Moss that was covered by a metal box in the ground. You don't see that every day. He told us about the Timp Grotto and gave us Clair Calls phone #. I called Clair and went to our first caving meeting in 1990. I have been a member (put not a paid member) of the Timp Grotto since 1990, and had some affiliation with the Bear River Grotto in Logan Utah.

The rest is history...

This is my lot in life. It's not allot, but it's my life.
_________________
"That he's mad, 'tis true, 'tis true 'tis pity, And pity 'tis 'tis true."
NSS 39585


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deb



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My name is Deb. I'm 28, and also single, no kids.

I’m a Colorado girl (go Broncos!!!). Born in Denver area and raised in Montrose -- extra points for any one who knows where that is.

I am living in Salt Lake and am a member of Wasatch Grotto. I’d like to get involved with SLC Grotto too, but unfortunately I work just about every Tuesday night, so making the meetings is kinda tough.

I’ve been caving since I was a kid (my parents moved to Salt Lake when I was a pre-teen, and the Kemps introduced us all to caving. my parents Janis and Jim are also Wasatchers, and it looks like my 3-year-old nephew was born to cave.) My first cave trip was to Goshute and Whipple caves.

However, up until recently I had an eight-year hiatus -- that time was taken up by college in Boulder, where I didn't cave much but bagged some 14ers (peaks over 14,000 ft), skied alot, rioted a bit, oh and studied.

Then, I moved to Jackson, Miss., where there are no caves, but there is plenty of mud and tall trees. In fact the closest thing I did to caving in MS was climbing a really tall tree in the local grotto’s backyard. Oh yeah, I took a trip to Mammoth while I was down south ...

I’ve been back in Utah for almost two years and am starting to get back into caving, though not as often as I’d like. My most recent cave was Candlelight in Nov.

In addition to caving I like just about everything outdoors (yep i'm as granola as it gets) and am having fun getting reaquainted with this white stuff they call ‘snow’ and those hard things they call ‘rocks’, neither of which seem to exist anywhere in mississippi. ...

-deb
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observeram



Joined: 21 Dec 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aaron, nice to meet you all! You guessed it 31 and still single! I grew up with a love of nature! I hike as much as possible and love every minute of it. In 1993 I went to Utah State University and walked into one of the most densely populated cave areas in the United States! I didn't know it at the time but I loved hiking in Logan Canyon. I got into photography and have had a blast taking pictures in the Canyon. Well, you know if you really pay attention as you drive you will see some cave entrances! That got me to thinking one day and started doing some research. Well, I came upon a geological research paper, which really caught my interest! I decided with my hiking and photography, why not add another deminsion to it! I've been caving ever since! Most of you probably don't know who I am but I know Ralph, Robert, Jake, Dave Shurtz, Peter Hartley, Vern Bowden, Thomas Haskett, Daniel Francom, Scott Kines, James Crowley, Ryan and Rose McBride, and have met a lot of other nice people just can't remember their names. I'm a paying member of the Bear River Grotto. I currently live in Montana but that doesn't stop me from caving in Utah. I just finished my data base for this past year tonight and I went to 24 caves this past year in Utah even though I live here in Montana. I consider that a great year for the distance I live away from the caves. I exceeded my expecations this year and hope to have another great year in 2006 Smile It would be great if I could get to know more of you better! I'm always willing to go caving with anyone, we just have to plan out times and dates! I had heard about this forum and finally checked it out today since I been thinking about caving today! The forum looks good but I do enjoy the e-mails better. Anything else you need to know about me or to contact me, e-mail me at observeram@yahoo.com! Talk to you all soon. Aaron
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clitchford



Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:46 pm    Post subject: who am I Reply with quote

Rob sent me a friendly little e-mail convincing me to tell y'all about myself.

My name is Cami Litchford, I am 24 and single (I feel like I am writing a singles ad, lol).

I enjoy caving, rock climbing, hiking, camping, scuba diving, karate, traveling, and adventure in general. I just graduated from UVSC (yippee!) with a degree in Earth Science and Business management.

I got into cave exploring nearly 3 years ago, when Brandon Kowallis invited me to go to Oak City. He then invited me to Goshute cave. I thought that Brandon was the coolest ever for introducing me to cave exploring. After that, I did not do much, because I did not have vertical gear, but a year later, I finally spent the money and bought my frog system. After that, I met Peter Hartley, who felt bad for me because I was klutz and no one wanted to take me caving (I am not kidding when I said I was klutzy). He taught me everything I know about cave exploring and I have been forever grateful for it. Since then, I have been addicted, and now cave exploring is all that I want to do. Vertical caves are my favorite.


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jonjasper



Joined: 09 Dec 2005
Posts: 54
Location: St. George, UT

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:50 pm    Post subject: I am the one your parents warned you about Reply with quote

I have this long ridicously detailed cave history that I wrote about a year ago at Chuck Acklin's request to nominate me for a NSS fellowship. It should tell you all more than you would ever want to know about me.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

My humble caving origins are from when I was very young. My fascination with caves began with family trips to Mammoth Cave. As I young boy (6-7 years old, 1978-1979) I was very amused by the guide’s torch throwing. When I was 12 years old (8th grade, 1984) my first wild cave trip was to the very popular Buckner’s Cave in Indiana with a volunteer Cincinnati Zoo’s SEEDS (Student Environmental Education Discovery) group. However, I really didn’t start caving until I started going with my high school buddy, Mike Mays. His high school Geology teacher took him caving regularly. When I started driving, (16 Yrs Old, 1988) we started caving - caving all of the time.

I went caving with whoever I could and spend almost all of my free time researching to find more caves to go to. I attended many Greater Cincinnati Grotto meetings, searched through libraries, and asked cavers for interesting caves to go to. For the first 3 years, I was caving 3 out for 4 weekends. Being only 16 to 19 years old, I was not taken too seriously by other grotto cavers, but I still was able to find hundreds of caves surrounding Cincinnati.

I first started college at Miami University in Oxford, OH where I stumbled upon the forming Oxford University Nongrotto – a grotto set up to avoid the politics. This group led me to my first experiences with project caving. Teamed with Hilary Hopper, Derek Bristol, and Kirk Bristol, we mapped and explored caves to help stop the expansion of the landfill near Sloan’s Valley Cave.

After I graduated from with a BS from University of Cincinnati (1994), I started a master degree program at Western Kentucky University. The experience emphasized applied cave science. I used dye tracing techniques, microgravity, ground penetrating radar, groundwater mapping, GPS, and land surveying techniques in class projects and working for Dr Nicholas Crawford, at Crawford and Associates.

In graduate school, I had many teaching related tasks. One of particular interesting was teaching the course “The World of Caves” to gifted 4th through 6th graders (1995-1996). In this course, I would give the students an overview of caves and basic cave formation. Then for the end of the course we would go 3 field trips: one to Mammoth Cave, a wild cave trip, and then a trip to Lost River Cave to look at surface karst features. I also was a teaching assistant where I taught Introduction to Geology Lab.

Teamed with several other cave emphasis graduate students allowed me see to lots of caves. From Bowling Green, Kentucky we would hit caves from all over Kentucky and Tennessee and eventually I found myself hooked in by endless passages of Mammoth Cave. Alan Glennon and I set out to discover I significant cave. We first searched many areas near Fisher Ridge Cave and ended up discovering a cave near the isolated Whigpistle Cave. After the first season (Summer of 1996) after discovering Martin Ridge, we had mapped over 4 miles and connected to Whigpistle Cave and Jackpot Cave. The length of new system was 32.5 miles long – at the time the 9th longest cave in the United States!

To be close to the exploration of Martin Ridge Cave, I took a seasonal position as a cave guide at Mammoth Cave (Summers of 1996-1997). I started writing my graduate paper “Geomorphic History of Martin Ridge Cave” (1997-2000, maybe nice to hide who long it took) which involved several dye traces and hours of geologic mapping. I changed my path from hydrology focus of chasing after toxic ooze to working for National Park Service. I was soon working as the Acting Cave Specialist at Great Basin National Park, home of Lehman Caves.

I was originally hired in Oct and Nov 1998 as a seasonal at Great Basin National Park to inventory caves. For 2 months, we walked about inventorying the park’s caves. I later returned taking position to help rehab the tourist trail through Lehman Caves (1999). We installed nonslip trail surfaces, stainless-steel handrails, and fiberglass stairs throughout the cave’s trail. I also helped design and install cave gates, lead restoration projects such as Lint Camps and removing old trail debris (wood, asphalt, cement, old light cable) and establish the beginning of the park’s GIS program through receiving ESRI software grants. After 3 years (July 1999 – Aug 2001) at Great Basin National Park, I then crossed over the border to Timpanogos Cave National Monument.

Even though the change to Timpanogos Cave National Monument was a lateral move, I went from being the Acting Cave Management Specialist to the Acting Chief of Science and Resource Management. I didn’t increase pay, but I did increase my responsibility. I had to expand my focus to include surface resources as well as cave resources.

At Timpanogos Cave National Monument, we started doing similar projects to Great Basin National Park, however with much less manpower and funding. I was able to get funding to start replacing the caves’ gates and handrails. In 2001, I established GIS program incorporating the detail cave map layers. I funded and started many monitoring projects (temperture/rH, water quality, airflow, drip rates, photomonitoring (Werkers installation 2000-2002), invertebrates (Dr. Riley Nelson 2003-2004), microbes (Megan Porter 2003-2004), and visitation). From our success, Timpanogos Cave National Monument has the largest seasonal staff in the National Park Service working to complete these projects.

At Timpanogos Cave National Monument, I have also become very active in their local caving scene. We have branched out from the monument to help BLM gate Crystal Cave (Nov 2004) and as Chairman of a Committee to help the School State Trust Lands gate and manage the highest visitation wild cave in the state, Nutty Putty Cave (2004-2005). We helped the University of Utah Museum create a caving exhibit (2004-2005) and helping Utah Division of Wildlife create Utah Bat Research Cooperative (2005). We have helped Chuck Acklin in creating a Cave Safely program for youth groups (2004). And Kyle Voyles and I successfully tackled one of the largest cave restoration projects in the state by removing graffiti from Bloomington Cave using Ray Keeler’s sandblasting equipment (Jan 2005). And I am project coordinator for the Tony Grove Project (2003-2004) in which last year Ryan Shurtz made a breakthrough in Main Drain Cave leading to the exploration of the state’s new deepest cave and the US 9th deepest.

So there is it - my long detailed cave history. I presently am still actively pursuing many complex and interesting projects. The needs, ideas, and interests seems to keep expanding as I keep exploring the depths and the disciplines of caving.
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Cavinbum



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Provo, UT

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:59 pm    Post subject: Who am I Reply with quote

I'm breaking the mold... I'm 24 and married Shocked ! I went to nutty putty back in 1993 with my older brother. I don't quite remember this but I am told that I harrassed my parents until they found the grotto. There I met Ralph and Dan Clyde. Sadly I didn't know Dan for very long. I became a genuine cave fanatic until the end of 2000. Caves then dropped behind a few things on my priority list(please don't egg me!)
I caved on and off from 03 to the present, and well... Brittany and I are looking to get under ground a little more often. FYI, anything said by Ralph or Rob about me is to be considered of "questionable validity" Twisted Evil
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Deafnss



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 61
Location: Provo/Orem Utah

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only validity that can be questioned Jake is your plausable deniability.

Rest assurred folks... ANYTHING that Rob or I say about Jake will be factual and sustained by his father (whenever he joins this group). You can run Jacob... but you can't hide.
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jasonbx



Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 60
Location: SLC, Utah

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My name is Jason Baxter, and I am noticing a disturbing trend. Caver=single. I will see you all again in a couple years...... LOL
I don't even have a pet to talk about.

I started caving long ago. My dad took me through nutty putty, some lava tubes somewhere, and a couple other small caves when I was young. I then took a many year break from the sport. I actually met Rob in Logan at one point several years ago, but never made it to a Grotto meeting up there. I have spent many years hiking, canyoneering, and taking pictures of everything. If you want to see some of the recent pictures, visit my website. (shameless plug....)

My little sister took me to Goshute a year or two ago, and I remembered how much fun caves were. I decided there had to be some caves that were closer, so I tracked down a meeting time/place for Wasatch Grotto. Brandon Kowallis was there and mentioned a trip up to Tony Grove. I tagged along and had an abrupt introduction to the world of vertical caving. I had done a bit of rock climbing in high school. I distinctly remember someone asking me if l had ever rappelled before. I said yes, and started asking why. Not long afterward I was in the bottom of a great big hole, called Thundershower cave, with people reassuring me that ascending was easy. One crash course later Cami's frog system got me out alive. And left her shivering in the entrance pit.
Smile
And I have been averaging a couple caves a month ever since.


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dmccully



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 81
Location: West Valley City, Utah

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started caving in 1992 when a friend of mine and I ran across Big Brush Creek Cave. Our early explorations were true spelunker style with no helmets and Coleman lanterns. Interestingly enough, this was some of the funnest caving I've ever done. We then discovered REI and Kirkhams and improved our equipment. We did these sort of trips for two years.

In May of 1994 I joined the NSS and, in the following July, went to my first Salt Lake Grotto meeting. Mine and Holly's first grotto trip was to Neff's Cave down to the first rope drop. Boy was that a different style of caving then we had become accustomed to in BBCC. As we noticed that the majority of caving was vertical, we asked Hal and Lou Smith to give us some training. They took us to Pink Lime Pit and to Indian Burial Cave to get us started. We went on a few more trips in 1994 but I felt like we were really having trouble cracking the caving social system.

In January 1995, on the advice of Mike Gomm, I went to my first Timpanogos Grotto meeting where I met Dan Clyde. From friendships I made by attending the Timpanogos Grotto meetings, I went on over seventy trips in 1995, including the bottom of both Neffs and Nielsens Caves. During this time I also joined the Utah Cave Search & Rescue. I had caving on the brain and went to three caving meetings a month consistently. Even though I didn't realize it at the time, the friendships were more important than the caving and most of them endure to this day.

In April 1996 my friend Dan Clyde died in a motorcycle accident. This tragedy affected me enormously and had the effect of dampening my enthusiasm for caving. Despite this, I still got out quite a bit and ended up going to NCRC weeklong with Shay Lelegren in October 1996. Caving has been an excuse to travel all over the western United States, see a lot of things, and meet a lot of people. We went to many NCA and Rocky Mountain Regionals and a couple of Caver Classics as well. As time went on, however, I guess I did a little too much caving and started to burn out on it. Eventually, I ended up pursuing mountaineering and didn't really cave a lot for about five years.

In 2004, I went to a Salt Lake Grotto meeting and found the situation there to be quite agreeable. Ever since then my involvement in caving has increased steadily. I am now serving as the chairman of the Salt Lake Grotto and am continuously developing the SLG website. I switched from a double-bungee ascending system a few years ago to a frog and continue to improve my skills on it. For the most part, I don't have much use for the politics that can be associated with caving as I find that it mostly has little to do with cave conservation.

Well that''s the brief caving history. Hope to see you underground.
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knotty



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Pocatello Idaho

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greatings all
My name is Jeff Wilson and I'm a 46 year old married man with no kids(sorta) and a newb to the caving community. I live in pocatello Idaho and I've crawled around the lava fields for 25 years. Last year I went through darby cave and I have found a renewed passion for caves. I joined the nss the first of january and have been buying vertical equepment and I'm itchin to use it in a cave or 30. It's been a long winter for me as I really want to go caving bad but the ones I know are closed for the winter and I really don't know that many caversin my area. I'm hoping that I will meet some soon that would be willing to take me on some of there trips.
I am a camp counsler and I love to share my knowladge of outdoor adventures with kids and love to see the fire in there eyes when they discover God's creation. I've been wanting to get to a gratto meeting but it hasnt worked out yet (march is looking good). Wink I hope to meet ya'll soon and can't wait to do some caving with ya.


Last edited by knotty on Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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