CANCELLED- Beginner Cave Trip December 15, 2012

***Due to the poor weather forecast for Saturday, this trip is cancelled.  We will reschedule at our January meeting.***

For anyone interested, we are hosting a beginner/kid friendly cave trip on Saturday, December 15, 2012.  For more information, contact

To Eternity and Back

Dec 1, 2012 – Trip Report

Erin Thomas and Phillip Ellison were joined by Chris Doerhoff, Joe Nicolussi, Joe “little man” Nicolussi, Josh Seaman, and Vicki Peters at the Park-et Restaurant in Perryville at 8:00 am. Shortly after our meal we began our joy ride into Crevice Cave, entering the Pipistrell entrance at 9:45. As we proceeded through the cave, we pointed out the bat fossil and the side passages to those in the group new to this cave. The group was surprised at how quickly the size of the cave had opened up.

After an hour and forty-five minutes we arrived at the reputable Paradise Room. Our group was amazed by the brilliant colors throughout the formations. It is typical to rest in the paradise room so Joe busted out his portable kitchen and whipped up some hot water to hydra

te lunches, brewed some coffee, and we enjoyed our packed in meals. With our bellies full, we progressed across the break down pile for some photos beside the grand pillar that makes this area so special. Chris was our photographer and he managed to get a good group photo before we fogged up the cave to much.

With our photo shoot complete we were back on our feet and moving down the large Eternity Passage towards the mighty Eternity Room. Throughout most of the passage, water levels were very low, but the pools were as deep as ever. As we made our way through these deeper pools of water Phillip managed to show everyone the deepest paths while Erin showed the better route. With water depths ranging from knee to chest deep the cold water was breath taking and conjured many laughable reactions as we entered. As cold as they were, the pools of water were much more enjoyable than the knee deep mud pockets we trekked through. The mud sinks will suck the energy right out of you. We finally arrived at the well named Eternity Room and most of us rested on the highest area of the room and gazed at its substantial size. While we rested and looked in admiration, Chris took Josh for a little tour of the lower area.

Once rested, our journey back to the surface began. Taking minimal breaks we moved swiftly through the cave and exited at 5:30 pm. All in all, the group was great and so was the trip.

-Phillip Ellison

Crevice Cave in the News

Story here.

Oct. 30, 2012 – Grotto Sculpin Public Hearing

The US Fish and Wildlife is  having a  public hearing Tuesday  Oct 30th from 5~8 pm at the Perryville Higher Education Center in Perryville, MO.  The topic of discussion is a proposal to put the Grotto Sculpin on the Federal Endangered Species List. This will (dramatically) affect caving in Perry County. There are lots of concerns here. Please try to attend if possible.  Your input could be invaluable.

Cave Diving Seminar – Oct. 25, 2012

The Department of Geology at SIU-C will present an excellent cave diving seminar by Stephanie Schwabe on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 4:00 P.M. in the Parkinson Laboratory building room number 110. Stephanie Schwabe is a widely renowned and respected cave diver and scientist.  Please join us for an exciting talk.

Stephanie Schwabe is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London. She was named a NASA fellow in exo-biology for her discovery of a unique life system found only in the black fresh water holes in the Bahamas, and was featured in the book titled Women of Discovery: A Celebration of Intrepid Women Who Explored the World. In 2004, Schwabe was given the "Women of Discovery Courage Award" by Wings WorldQuest.

Mystery Cave 10-6-12 Trip Report

Our day started early as we planned to depart from the Parkette at 8:30 in the morning.  Al Quaman, Ian and Skyler Ellison, Erick Christy with nieces Alyx and Sammi Williford, Phillip and Ashlyn Ellison, Erin Thomas, Dan Ellison and Brandon dsc05496Wilson met for a group breakfast.

The morning was quite cool with the temperature in the low 30’s when we arrived.  It wasn’t much better when we finished eating and began our trip to the cave entrance.  All in all the preparations were all good with the exception of a pair of overlooked boots still sitting in southern Illinois.  A quick side trip to the local Walmart and a new pair of our favorite cave boots were in hand and the trip was ready to begin.

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Proposed Recruitment Poster for LEG – comments requested

Members:  LEG will soon be hanging posters for new recruitment.  Please submit your comments to this poster!  Thanks!

Mystery Cave October 6, 2012

On Saturday, October 6, 2012 the Grotto will be taking a group of young cavers on a tour or the upper north, fossil and perhaps a few other areas of Mystery Cave in Perry County, Missouri.  We expect a group of about a dozen persons to attend with a few first time cavers present in the group.  A trip report/interview by the Grotto editor will be forth coming with maybe a few photos 😉

It is our pleasure to introduce our sport new cavers so that we don’t become a society of “crusty cavers”.

LEG “76” Camp Out – Nov. 9-11, 2012

The LEG annual campout will be held from the Friday evening of Nov. 9 through Sunday 11th.  We will be camping just up the road from the 76 Conservation Area near Perryville, MO.  Plan for a weekend of camping, caving, and campfires!  Saturday night there will be a monster pot of chili for all!  If you plan to join us, please let me know in order to make it easier to plan the meal etc!

The campout is a great time and a good excuse to get away for the weekend.  This will be a kid friendly weekend with multiple small caving trips.  If you have any further questions, just let us know.  Hope to see everybody there!