Report by Rick Hines
Four of the five landowner 2020 trips took place October 10 and 11. The fifth trip went in the following Saturday, Oct 17. All five trips went well and hopefully furthered the CCC’s goal to expand awareness within the community of the amazing cave system below their land, that we believe needs to be protected and conserved. The trips visited Angel Pool passage, Thunder Falls, and Carroll passage.
We made some new contacts with the locals as we worked to maintain our good landowner relations. Larry Cleveland, President of Ozark Fisheries, enjoyed his first trip into Carroll and invited me to visit him and get a tour of Ozark Fisheries. Larry knows Greg Fry and the Pembertons. He informed me that Duane Pemberton died October 7. I told him I have talked with Duane’s son, Jerry and he suggested I also try to talk with the oldest son Randall. A local fireman, David Martin, liked his trip enough that he joined the CCC. On Sunday Tina and David Stokes, owners of Stokes Montreal Quick Stop, three of their kids, and two friends filled the afternoon trip. They liked the trip, but some of the young girls thought once was enough. David invited us all to stop by the Quick Stop for a free large fountain drink or coffee on our way home. Dr. Jay and I did. Our last trip included Matt Price and his wife. Matt is a personal injury attorney in Osage Beach. Let’s hope we don’t meet him in court.
There were no major problems with the first-timers on the trips, although we did have to use our safety winch to aid Terry Wayne up the ladder. Dr Jay examined and checked her pulse before letting her stand. He pronounced her tired but well. Tina Stokes was interested in a little help up the ladder but because I was not near the radio, Seth was not able to let us on the surface know. Seth started up the ladder first with Tina following so he could climb out if necessary. The winch was not necessary and Tina made it out under her own power.
I purchased two more full-body harnesses so we now have five. I also purchased three shoulder straps to convert a seat harness to a full-body harness. So now we can put eight people on the cable at a time. We cleaned and oiled the cable sleeves before use to try to eliminate hang-ups. I lowered a five-gallon bucket to collect water dripping from the shaft and Jim Cooley donated a scrub brush so climbers could clean their boots and gloves before starting up the cable to reduce mud on the cable that could interfere with the sleeves. I asked each of the climbers using our cable sleeves to let me know how well they worked going up and down. As expected, no one had a problem coming up. Most had only a few hang-ups going down and they were all near the bottom of the shaft and most were easily resolved with only a slight push on the sleeve to get it moving. When I went down the cable Sunday morning, Oct 11, I followed Mikaela. I had no problems on the first two-thirds of the cable. On the lower third we each hung-up two or three times. When Mikaela had a problem, I would then hang-up at what I judged to be the same spot. At each hang-up I would find a fairly large blob of flowstone firmly attached to the cable. I’ll try to come up with a way to clean the cable before the fifth trip on Oct 17.
Joseph Garten, lives near me in the south KC metro area and road down with me Oct 17. Joseph filled the last landowner trip to our eight-person limit. Joseph and I got an early start so I would have time to attempt to clean the cable before the trip.
During the week before the last trip I put together some simple equipment so I could dissolve the buildup on the stainless-steel cable. I added a half gallon of water to a half gallon of muriatic acid. I have used muriatic acid to free silica fossils from their limestone matrix so I knew it would dissolve the CaCO3 flowstone buildup. Our stainless-steel cable is inert and any acid reaching the base of the cable will be quickly neutralized by the block of concrete and limestone at the base of the ladder. I used a funnel connected to a flexible tube and slit the lower end of the tube so I could snap it around the cable. I taped the tube in place at the top of the cable and slowly ran the diluted muriatic down the cable. With my headlight I could see it spiraling nicely down the cable. After about 15 minutes I slowly ran several gallons of water down the cable. I repeated the acid and water rinse a second time and then poured the remainder of my 6 gallons of water down the cable and ladder as a final rinse.
All the participants arrived on time and I gave them a brief introduction, demonstrated the operation of the safety gear, and got them suited up. The first group of three rappelers started in at 10:40 AM followed by five going down on the cable.
The cable cleaning worked! The five on the trip using the cable sleeves made it in with only one hang-up on one sleeve 6’ above the bottom of the ladder. I followed the group in with my camera and had no problems with the sleeve. As I inspected the cable on my way down, I found no buildup! I climbed out before Martin and the group returned from Thunder Falls. I used the sleeve that had hung-up coming in and could not find a problem with the sleeve. It moved freely when I tested it and I climbed out without a problem. I’ll provide a summary of all the things we have tried over the years to get the cable sleeves to work this flawlessly in a separate report but the two key factors are blocking the cable out from the rungs of the ladder and cleaning the flowstone buildup.
I do want to thank our trip leaders, Nathan Taylor, Seth Colston, and Martin Carmichael. Nathan and Seth did two back to back trips each! Also, thanks to Dr. Jay for keeping us safe. And thanks to all the cavers that assisted our guests. And most importantly, thanks to our local guest for their interest in learning more about Carroll Cave and the CCC.
Nathan arrived first Friday afternoon and Dr Jay and I arrived a little after dark. Nathan said the longhorns did not want to move as he drove in and he had to honk before they slowly moved out of the way. The peaceful longhorns were as curious as ever, checking out the new vehicles and tents. When we covered the lumber from the schoolhouse with some tarps, one of the big guys came over and carefully used his horns to raise the tarp and peek under. So far, we are all getting along without a fence. Rusty Clark, the owner of the land around ours and the owner of the longhorns let me know before the last trip that he moved the cattle so we could leave the gate open during the day. Thanks, Rusty! Rusty and JoAnne came by on the 17th to visit and I gave them a quick tour of the silo.
Our gate has been moved farther off the road and I was able to get off the road with my truck and trailer while Jay opened the gate. The gate now swings into the field. It’s much safer with traffic coming over the hill and a great improvement!
I built a fire Saturday night. My goal was to test locating the fire against the back wall of the windbreak to see if that would reduce the amount of smoke in your face compared to people setting against the windbreak with the fire in front. Smoke was not a problem Saturday night but it was not a fair test since there was little or no wind most of the time. We did have a little excitement when someone returning from the sky crapper noticed that we had more fire behind the windbreak than in front. There was a stack of old plastic roof shingles stacked against the metal windbreak and the glowing red metal set them a blaze.
The participants on the trips are shown below. Photos provided by Seth Colston, Matthew Hernandez, Rick Hines, Tyler Skaggs, Victor Munsen, Kayla Heady, and Joseph Garten are available on Dropbox with the following link,
Landowner Trip Rosters
|Saturday Morning, Oct 10|
Permit # 2010-01a
Dr Jay Kennedy
|Saturday Afternoon, Oct 10|
Permit # 2010-01b
Dr Jay Kennedy
|First caver in: 9:20 AM Last caver out: 1:09 PM||CCC # or guest||First caver in: 2:20 PM Last caver out: 5:10 PM||CCC # or guest|
|Nathan Taylor (Trip Leader)||CCC 439||Nathan Taylor (Trip Leader)||CCC 439|
|Larry Cleveland||President, Ozark Fisheries||Nathan Burton||CCC 619, owner, Old Spanish Cave|
|Jenn Bell||KCAG||Zachary Burton||CCC 621|
|Jennifer Gleason||KCAG||Jacob Burton||CCC 622|
|Joseph Porter||Local logger||Chris Jones||Jim Harmon son-in-law|
|Tray Emmer||Works for Porter|
|Sunday Morning, Oct 11|
Permit # 2010-01c
Dr Jay Kennedy
|Sunday Afternoon, Oct 11|
Permit # 2010-01d
Dr Jay Kennedy
|First caver in: 9:50 AM Last caver out: 1:43PM||CCC # or guest||First caver in: 2:05 PM Last caver out: 4:50 PM||CCC # or guest|
|Seth Colston (Trip Leader)||CCC 583||Seth Colston (Trip Leader)||CCC 583|
|Jason White||SoCal Grotto||Tina Stokes||Owner, Stokes Quick Stop, Montreal|
|Matthew Hernandez||CCC 623||David Stokes||Owner, Stokes Quick Stop, Montreal|
|Joe Wynne||KCAG||Emma Stokes||Local guest|
|Terry Wynne||KCAG||Trinity Stokes||Local guest|
|Mikaela Wynne||KCAG||Branda Bishop||Local guest|
|Rick Hines||CCC 1||Tanner Roger||Local guest|
|Ashton Stokes||Local guest|
|Saturday Morning, Oct 17|
Permit # 2010-01d
|First caver in: 10:40 AM Last caver out: 2:10 PM||CCC # or guest|
|Martin Carmichael (Trip Leader)||CCC 593|
|Matt Price||Local guest|
|Erin Price||Local guest|
|Price’s friend||Local guest|
|Price’s friend||Local guest|
|Victor Munsen||CCC 617|
|Kayla Heady (Assistant Leader)||CCC 624|
|Joseph Garten||New KCAG|