40 years of caving


Over 40 years of caving

Over 40 years of caving

A while back my Dad gave me some slides to scan of a trip he and Mom had gone on to Timpanogos cave in Utah. One of my favorites showed my Mom holding a bundled blanket while in the cave. There I was at two months old on my first cave trip. I decided that if I ever went to Utah I had to visit Timpanogos and find the location of that photo. When I decided to attend This years NSS convention in Colorado, I figured I could drive through Utah and finally make the trip. Ric also decided to drive to the convention so we rode together. We arrived at Timpanogo’s  Nat. park in the afternoon and headed up to cascade springs where we saw some excellent examples of travertine deposits. The next morning we got an early start for the steep hike up to the cave and enjoyed a great tour of not one but three caves, connected by man made passages. Our guide, Molly was very entertaining and knew exactly where the picture of my mom was taken making it fairly easy to find the spot and then have Ric take my photo there.

From Timpanogos we were back on the road and on our way to the convention in Glenwood Springs, Colorado..

Timpanogos Alpine meadow

Timpanogos Alpine meadow

 

 

Cascade springs

Cascade springs

 

Timpanogos cave

Timpanogos cave

Speleo-Ed


Kaweah river

Kaweah river

Just a few days after returning from my travels to the Bay area and Greenville, it was time to dig out my camping gear and load up the car to head out to Sequoia National park for Speleo-Ed! We were camping at Lodgepole which is fairly high elevation and due to the strange weather this year, there was still snow up there. Matt assured us though that there were clear areas to camp.

campsite

campsite

He turned out to be correct and even though it was after dark when I arrived I had no problem finding a clear spot to pitch my tent, I did have to drive over a snow bank to park my car though.

We had some great topics for speleo-ed, the hardest part was deciding which to attend. Then after a morning of interesting lectures. We had the afternoon to enjoy the park, several of us headed up to check out Tokopah falls. A short hike from our campground, made a bit longer by all the snow drifts we had to get around, it was a very impressive waterfall since all the snow melt was keeping the water flowing at full force.

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Tokopah falls

Tokopah falls

That night we had a great dinner cooked by Kadean and Marc with their helpers, followed of course by schnapps tasting and a cheesy movie.

And we were greeted in the morning with a fair bit of snow that fell in the night.

Hungry Cavers

Hungry Cavers

Snowy Campsite

Snowy Campsite

Still, my bug made it down the mountain safely, another wonderful  weekend!

Snowy bug

Snowy bug

Gold Rush Days


 

Gunslinger

Gunslinger!

 

From pirates to Coyboys, what century is this again?  Had a great labour days weekend. The city of Sacramento rolled back the streets to the 1800’s (well sort of) They brought in tons of dirt and closed off old Sacramento to car traffic so there were only horses and horse drawn conveyances to be seen.

They even brought in some entertaining gunslingers to amuse the crowds and had calvary and canon fire demonstrations.

Cow girl

Cow girl

 

Hey she’s armed too!

Canon fire

Canon fire

 

That one rattled some windows.

waiting for a train?

waiting for a train?

 

There were several bands playing throughout the day and lots of good bbq. Fun to see old Sac looking the way we might imagine it looking years ago.

A very entertaining day and I look forward to seeing what they do next year.

Special Public Lecture: What is killing our bats?


Dear all,

on Tuesday September 28 at 7.30 pm, Peter Youngbaer will give a talk on White
Nose Syndrome at the monthly members meeting of the SFBC.

“White Nose Syndrome in Bats – A Conservation Challenge”

by Peter Youngbaer
NSS WNS Liaison

All Western Region members are cordially invited to attend this talk. Please check out the official flyer in attachment and feel free to spread the word!

Address: USGS Conference room A, building 3, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park.
http://tinyurl.com/26e6sk2

Kind regards,
Joke VansweeveltChair SFBC
http://www.caves.org/grotto/sfbc
http://www.caves.org

Undersea caves


Back at the Ventura harbor we located our next ride out to the Islands, the dive boat Spectre.

Spectre

Spectre

There was no one aboard when we arrived but we spotted someone dropping off some supplies who assured us it was OK to go aboard and pick out our bunks for the night. We met two other divers that were coming aboard to spend the night, Casey and his daughter Elise. Then we walked over to a nearby Greek restaurant for dinner. The next morning there was breakfast served on the boat and while we cruised out to Anacapa Island we had plenty of time to set up our dive gear. There were a fair number of divers, but it wasn’t a crowded boat. The diver stations on the Spectre are very convenient with plenty of room for tanks and gear. Tank fills are done in place at your station which is nice. I got my gear in place. The Spectre itself is a large steel hulled boat that used to service the oil platforms. A good boat for rough water but we didn’t experience any of that. It was nice and calm and fairly warm despite being very overcast. It was nice after the hot, blazing sunlight of the valley. I initially had trouble with my buoyancy as I had borrowed a weight belt from Dave and underestimated the lead I’d need by a couple of pounds, but the dive master on board quickly remedied that by clipping a soft weight to me. Quickly enough we were headed down toward the bottom. There were 3 dive sites that we visited, Landing cove, Cathedral cove and The Goldfish Bowl. It was a wonderful day of diving, the water was about 59 degrees, we saw lots of sheepshead, and Garibaldi, various small fish, sea hares, and the rocks are covered with colorful algae, various sea cucumbers, and anemones – a great assortment of invertebrates. We even saw some spanish shawl nudibranchs and a good specimen of California’s biggest spider crab, Loxorhynchus grandis, commonly called a sheep crab. That evening we ate dinner at a nearby seafood restaurant and were joined by Donovan and Laura two of the divers that had been aboard the Spectre with us. Donovan was originally from New Zealand and they had some great stories about traveling around doing filming and recording in interesting parts of the world as well as their home in France. After dinner we met up with Casey and Elise again who would also be joining us the next day onboard the Peace for another trip out to Anacapa.

Spanish Shawl

Spanish Shawl

Colorful Underwater

Colorful Underwater

Our second day of diving was just as good as the first though I was pleased to find that the food on the Peace was even better then the great food we had on the Spectre. The diving was similar to the previous day’s at nearly the same locations, though this time we spotted a couple of large jellyfish which I had fun photographing and we visited swim through rock, a small sea cave or arch that
is completely underwater, here I got to video a sea lion come flying through the opening and go flying past me.

Sea lion

Sea lion

Jellyfish

Jellyfish

Lobster

Lobster

During the last dive of the day Casey spotted a lobster and pointed it out so I got some pics and video of that as well. We all enjoyed a dessert of apple cobbler with ice cream on the ride back to Ventura.
After getting back to shore Dave and I headed up the coast to San Luis Obispo where we checked into a motel for the night and enjoyed a surprisingly good cajun dinner with a live jazz band. The next day we took our time driving up the coast on highway 1, we stopped to watch the elephant seals near San Simeon, and walked around point Lobos to check out the diving conditions there. All too soon though, we were back in the valley enjoying the blazing sun again. I can’t wait to visit the sea caves of the Channel Islands again and I think I may try hiking at Pinnacles again in the spring when it’s cooler.

Elephant Seals

Elephant Seals