2016 Convention - Ely NV-Wm - CA (1)

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Ted Kayes 2016 Convention Trip Report
  2016 Convention Trip Report – Ely, Nevada Ted & Cheryl Kayes We departed Richmond and took about six days to drive to Salt Lake City following the route that the pioneers travelled en route to Oregon, California and tah! he !S! #ark Service issuesguides so that interested people can follow the pioneer trails in cars! We visited some great museums in Council $luffs, %&, Omaha, '( and the best of them was in Casper, W)! We did stop at Chimney Rock in Wyoming, which virtually every pioneer, who kept a *ournal on the trip west, mentioned! Oh yes, nearly all of the pioneers walked all of the way! )ou may haveenvisioned them riding on the seat of the wagon or inside the wagon! he horses and, far more often, oxen had all they could do to pull the wagon! #eople rode when they were driving the wagon or were sick or very young! We arrived in (ly, 'evada late on the + th  -Saturday afternoon!. Sunday , +/ 0uly he geological field trip was fully booked ahead of time, so % could not  participate! hose that were on the trip said that it was very good! Cheri worked registration at the school all day, as 1argot had gone on the field trip! Cheri also sold something over 23,444 in 23 dollar bills to those coming in to register! he 23 bills are intended to let the town5s merchants and leaders know that the 'ational Speleological Society members are there in great numbers! Later, we heard some merchants were reluctant to accept them, but we found others were interested and asked about 6that caving group7 he vendors who were set up opened for business! % don5t know that they get much in the way of sales on Sunday, but many friends and ac8uaintances from previous Conventions came by and there was a lot to talk about! he R&SS contingent was relatively small this year9 the $arns, the :eislers, the ;ayes, the Wagners he Convention staff arranged to have breakfast and lunch available in the school5s cafeteria this week! he meals were fairly priced and it was great that you did not have to leave the school to get something to eat! %t appeared that the cafeteria did a good amount of business throughout theweek, so the school was likely pleased! he school facilities were very good and most suitable for the Convention!%n the evening we drove out to the Convention camp ground! %t was on the back nine of the golf course! he Convention committee arranged to rent the back nine and they paid the greens fees on the back half for the days that the 'SS would use the course! he campsite was only about half a mile from our motel, but we 8uickly decided that the road was way too dusty to want to walk to the <owdy #arty or the $an8uet! Wind and dust around the campsite were a problem for some and a number of cavers bailed and took motel rooms in town! Monday , += 0uly he 1onday morning #rogram included the Opening Ceremony, :eology > :eography Session, Communications > (lectronics Session, 'evada? reasures of the Silver State, @ideo Section 1eeting, $oard of :overnors 1eeting and the @ertical Climbing Contests! 1  Cheri returned to Registration, sold the remainder of the 23 bills and visited the vendors! She had planned to attend the reasures of the Silver State but the room was completely filled with no standing room available! his was a ma*or disappointment! % skipped the opening Ceremonyand spent the morning at the meeting of the $oard of :overnors -$O:.! he unusual aspect of the $O: was that five of the Airectors had *ust been elected! $oth 1argot and $ob $arns were there as Airectors, 1argot for her fifth year and $ob for his first! 'ormally Airectors have 8uestions for each of the officers as they give their reports and this morning there were no 8uestions for the #resident, very unusual! he #resident, Wm Shrewsbury, worked his way through the agenda expeditiously and by noon they had covered most of the items! & particularly useful &ct was the creation of a Convention Binancial Officer! Convention finances have often seemed to be on track until the end of the Convention and then things fall apart and this has happened for a number of reasons!&t this point they ad*ourned for a closed session, during which they reelected the three current vicepresidents? O@#? Aave <aun, &@#? ;atherine Crispin, and (@#? ;urt <arler! he evening5s <owdy #arty was one of the best! ongueincheek, the convention renamed this the 6Aonner #arty <owdy #arty7! 'ormally they start serving about #1 when the sun is  blasting down on the attendees waiting in line! his day they began serving at /#1, which was an improvement! here were two very large tents and for the first time in many years everyone could be seated at tables! %t was nice not to have to balance a plate of food on your lap! he  portions served were 8uite skimpy, likely because they ordered meals for =44 and there were more than +,444 in attendance9 but you could go back for seconds and many people did! he arrival of the beer truck was a little delayed! he hit of the evening was having the 'ew Christie 1instrels perform! Some of the srcinal  performers from +D+ were there and others who had been with the group in times past! here was a nice assortment of beers available! Some of the members danced! & very good evening! Cheri thought it was the most en*oyable <owdy #arty of the two doEen or so which she had attended! Cheri and % actually danced in public! Tuesday , +D 0uly he uesday morning #rogram included !S! (xploration, Speleophilatelic Section meeting, 'CRC #resentation, Speleo&rt Workshop, Rebelay Workshop,and the @ertical Climbing Contest continued! % stopped at !S! (xploration for a while and had informal meetings with some of the attendees! he luminary series is a relatively 6new7 tradition that provides cavers a way to connect and rediscover the older generation of cavers who built the traditions and reputation of the 'SS! he sessions are always well attended so come early to get your seat! he sessions are taped by &lex Sproul and are available to the general membership! he first of the u!inary Series  was scheduled for lunch time and featured #enelope 0! $oston -'SS FFF/=. 6Brom %nner Space to Outer Space? he Role of (arth5s Subsurface in Our Search for Life in the Solar System and $eyond7! Ar! #enny $oston is a charismatic and engaging speaker and % heartily recommend seeing her presentation which will be available from the 'SS 2  Office! Ar! $oston came into caving in a uni8ue wayG from outer space! Working for '&S& researching for possible life on 1ars, she heard about Lechuguilla Cave and its high sulfur content in a closed environment! <er con*ecture that 1ars organisms may have retreated to subsoil environments! When she saw some photomicrographs of substrates from the cave, she was hooked! With no prior caving experiences, see was trained by Cunningham and #ate for three hours and off she went for a H day caving experience in Lechuguilla! #retty great for your first wild caveI Cave biology is her passion !Ar! $oston specialiEes in extremophiles, those biotawhich inhabit high sulfur, exceedingly acid and low oxygen caves in hopes of finding organism which inhabit environments close to extraterrestrial conditions!Cheryl spent the day in the !S!(xploration Session! #resentations featured Lava $eds 'ational 1onument, caves in the ;lamath 1ountains in Oregon, caves of the :ran Canyon, Sea caves of California, Colorado caves and 0ewel Cave, South Aakota! &ttending the S sessions gives me a chance to learn about and appreciate the diversity of caves in &merica! he opportunity is there to experience what % shall never have an opportunity to actually do! he virtual caving  presentation was fascinating! % had no idea the technology was so advanced but did not truly relate to an actual cave presentation! hey opened Registration for the 34+/ Convention -near &lbu8uer8ue. and Cheri immediately signed us up for it! he ;ayes are officially number H and  for next year in &lbu8uer8ue!! %n the late afternoon the Bellows'ew 1embers reception was held at the train station! %t was very well attended and the finger food was better than what might be expected! Once again the ma*ority of the participants were Bellows with only a few new members! % wish the meeting had  been better advertised so that more new members would come! he train station was pictures8ue,an srcinal depot which is a 'ational <istoric Landmark! he sounds of the :host train tour returning marked the J point of the meeting! & recurring complaint at the BellowsKnew members meeting is that tables are provided for attendees? in order to encourage mingling, it would be better if we all had to stand up and mingle! %t was really neat to see and hear the old trains and e8uipment! he museum is really worth visiting and everyone gave very positive reports on the train rides! ednesday , 34 0ulyOn the Wednesday morning #rogram were %nternational (xploration, $iospeleology, 'ational Speleological Boundation meeting, he second of the u!inary Series  was schedule for lunch time and featured Borrest 1! Wilson-'SS ++. -B(. 6Where 'o 1an <as :one $efore7Borrest Wilson5s caving began on his first visit as a child to a commercial cave shortly after World War %%! <is father was a med student at ulane niversity and the young Wilson had attended a seminar which showed photographs of unusual fish! So Wilson borrowed some scuba gear and went diving in a nearby lake beginning a life long fascination with diving! Ary caving episodes occurred but his two hobbies remained separate until he was hired to set up a new  planetarium at the Smithsonian %nstitute! <ere he met #aul Stevens, who mentioned that there 3  was a sump at Organ Cave and maybe Wilson should take a look! <ere is the genesis of the cave diving section! Wilson, described as an 6enthusiastic cave diver with a knack for tools7, developed many solutions for the problems in underwater caving, including an early rebreather! <is adventure are many and span F decades of cave diving! he /4 year old Wilson still is an active caver and is exploring what is described as the longest underwater cave in &labama! <is Eest for adventure, innovative solutions and intrepid spirit make Borrest Wilson the Senior Statesman of Cave Aiving in &merican! he international session was well attended and included presentations about caves in the Caribbean, Cuba, the #hilippines, China, and of course 1exico! % particularly en*oyed the  presentation by 0ohn 1ylroie who explained the he did 6old man caving7 in the Cayman %slands! his was a particularly busy day for ed! he Boundation5s %nvestment Committee met and took nearly the whole morning! %n addition to the normal investment matters, two of the rustees made substantive proposals that needed to be heard and discussed! & vote on their proposals was deferred until the afternoon rustees meeting! he Boundation rustees5 meeting began at 3#1 and there were about +4 visitors, once they found the right room! here was much to discuss and vote on including the matters from the %nvestment Committee meeting, a realignment of committees and a possible loan to the 'SS to enable them to pay off the mortgage on the 'SS Office!Bollowing the meeting the rustees hosted #resident and 1rs! Shrewsbury at dinner at the #rospector Casino!Concurrent with the Boundation5s meeting, the Congress of :rottos met! his is not a very  popular session! %t can be boring and often feature wrangling about minutia and takes up the whole afternoon!! $ut it a very important part of the 'SS and every convention! his is the representative body of all of the grottos and section and provides an important forum for member expression he session was presided over by $ill Stringfellow, the vice chair as $lake 0ordan the chairman was absent with other duties! Cheri was the only R&SS representative! 'o sub*ectswere carried over from the preceding year and the only new matter was a motion M hat the 'SS not borrow money from the Life 1embers Bund to pay off the mortgage!7 he #resident, Wm Shrewsbury, took the podium to describe the financial situation! he following is a nonverbatim summary of Wm5s comments! The current NSS office in Huntsville was purchased almost five years ago and the Society has been paying more than $10,000 per month on the mortgage. The mortgage, on which is owed $1,00,000, must be refinanced before the 1!th of ecember. # long time member and entuc%y caver, &oger Sper%a '()*+, left a beuest to the Society of something more than $!00,000 and the -/ intends to use that to reduce the amount remaining on the mortgage. #n anonymous donor has agreed to gift the sum of $)00,000 in stoc%s to the Society to further reduce the mortgage balance. Those two gifts will reduce the outstanding mortgage balance to about $)00,000. 4
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