Western Region Speleo-Ed in the Mojave Desert!

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Western Region Speleo-Ed in the Mojave Desert!

Postby Mattboy » Feb 10, 2009 4:49 am

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The Western Region of the National Speleological Society is pleased to present Speleo-Ed 2009 at Rainbow Basin near Barstow, California from March 20 to 22. This year's offerings explore the extreme environment of the Mojave Desert in all its diversity. With many new speakers and lots of field trips, this seminar should offer something for everyone.
We hope you can join us!


Sessions include:
The Caves of Death Valley
Titus Canyon & Devil's Hole II Caves
Recognizing Cave Arthropods
The Endangered Pupfish of Devil's Hole Cave
Great Basin National Park Cave Bioinventory
A Private Tour of the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex
Rainbow Basin & Hidden Canyon Cave Trips
Tours of the Black Mountain Rock Art District
A field trip to view the paleontology records in the Rainbow Basin syncline


About the Seminar
Speleo-Ed seminars are an outstanding way to learn more about cave exploration and science while enjoying a fun and social weekend with friends from across the western states. With the gracious assistance of many volunteers and organizations, we have worked together to deliver a great spring weekend to kick off your summer caving season.

Rainbow Basin Natural Area, Barstow, CA
Rainbow Basin is located 8 miles north of Barstow, California. It is designated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern due to landscape features and paleontological resources in the area. Many visitors come to see exciting multicolored rock formations and walk the scenic canyons. A variety of desert wildlife is found here, including the protected desert tortoise. The area features a soil pipe cave within walking distance of the campground.

Camping and Accommodations
With the gracious assistance of the Barstow District of the BLM, we have reserved a loop of the Owl Canyon Campground at Rainbow Basin for Speleo-Ed events. Each campsite has a table and multiple campfire pits in place. There is ample space at each site, so cavers may be asked to share sites depending on attendance. A water tank and pit toilets are located in the campground, but no shower facilities. All camping fees are included in your registration. We have arranged for an extra 500-gallon tank to be brought to the area, but it would be a good idea to bring your own supplies as well. Seating will be in short supply, so please bring a folding camp chair if you can. If possible, please carpool to save space and energy. There is no electrical power at the campground. Day use rates are available but do not include camping, Sunday's field trips or evening activities. The town of Barstow is only 20 minutes away for anyone wishing to stay in a hotel.


For more information, please visit:
http://www.caves.org/region/western/se2009/index.html

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Re: Western Region Speleo-Ed in the Mojave Desert!

Postby wendy » Feb 10, 2009 12:38 pm

Graham and I will be attending. We can't wait!!! :clap:
"Blessed are they who learn from their mistakes. For they shall make, if not necessarily fewer of them, different and more interesting ones."

"It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time." - Tallulah Bankhead
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Re: Western Region Speleo-Ed in the Mojave Desert!

Postby Mattboy » Feb 27, 2009 12:51 am


Hey Wendy -

You were asking about the t-shirt... this is the almost (but not quite) final version.
I'm still tweaking the lettering (it needs to be "more western"), but this is the basic idea.
I think the tortoise looks mission-focused, but a couple people told me he looks scared.
What do you think?

Looking forward to seeing you again!


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Re: Western Region Speleo-Ed in the Mojave Desert!

Postby wendy » Feb 27, 2009 2:16 am

I think its the best caving shirt ever, well i am biased since I love tortoises and I have one at home. I don't think he looks scared.
"Blessed are they who learn from their mistakes. For they shall make, if not necessarily fewer of them, different and more interesting ones."

"It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time." - Tallulah Bankhead
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Re: Western Region Speleo-Ed in the Mojave Desert!

Postby NZcaver » Feb 27, 2009 2:25 am

Hi Matt,

Good job! :kewl: Better than the average caving shirt. Have a fun speleo-ed.
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Re: Western Region Speleo-Ed in the Mojave Desert!

Postby Mattboy » Feb 27, 2009 2:42 am

Kiwi ! !

Come join us in the desert next month. I'll bring good beer & pretend I know something about the All Blacks.

- M@
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Re: Western Region Speleo-Ed in the Mojave Desert!

Postby Trogdog » Feb 27, 2009 7:47 am

Sweet! If I were on the west coast I'd come just for the t-shirt! :bat sticker:
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Re: Western Region Speleo-Ed in the Mojave Desert!

Postby SteveG » Mar 10, 2009 6:05 pm

Hello everyone,

I've been watching from the sidelines for a while and am considering attending Speleo-Ed 2009. I live on the Central Coast (CA) and am a good way from any Grottos, so I haven't been able to attend any meetings. I have a few questions as to whether or not this is the right event for myself, a friend and his 14 year old son. All of us are complete caving rookies with ZERO experience. I would definitely like to "get my feet wet". My friend and his son are interested as well, but the truth is I don't know to what extent. Obviously we won't be going on any "advanced" caving trips.

My questions are:

Is this event appropriate for complete rookies?
How about young rookies (14)?
What kind of gear is required?
What kind of gear is recommended?

Suggestions and advice is welcome and requested.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Western Region Speleo-Ed in the Mojave Desert!

Postby Mattboy » Mar 11, 2009 12:19 am

This would actually be a good introductory weekend for you. The caves in the area are "soil pipe" caves - not the typical limestone structures you'd find in central California. They tent to be horizontal & not technically challenging. It would also give you a good opportunity to meet other explorers in California.

The minimum gear you would want are helmets with lights attached and a couple sources of backup light (pocket flashlights, etc). Gloves and sturdy clothing are always a good idea. Nothing compares to meeting established cavers to really identify what further gear would be appropriate your your skills.

Keep in mind that (unless you opt for a hotel) we will be camping in the desert. Weather extremes are always a potential factor.
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Re: Western Region Speleo-Ed in the Mojave Desert!

Postby railcaver » Mar 11, 2009 1:05 am

I would love to see that T-shirt design turned into a nice 4 inch patch!! that is a very nice looking T-shirt :banana_yay:
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Re: Western Region Speleo-Ed in the Mojave Desert!

Postby SteveG » Mar 11, 2009 12:21 pm

Thanks for the info! Will there happen to be any vendors selling equipment (helmets) at the event? I really would like to try one on before purchasing it rather than ordering online.

For the 14 year old, is a bike helmet OK since he would only be doing the most basic caving?
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Re: Western Region Speleo-Ed in the Mojave Desert!

Postby wendy » Mar 12, 2009 8:19 pm

SteveG wrote:Thanks for the info! Will there happen to be any vendors selling equipment (helmets) at the event? I really would like to try one on before purchasing it rather than ordering online.

For the 14 year old, is a bike helmet OK since he would only be doing the most basic caving?


I've attended two other Speleo-ed events and there were no vendors at them.
"Blessed are they who learn from their mistakes. For they shall make, if not necessarily fewer of them, different and more interesting ones."

"It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time." - Tallulah Bankhead
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Re: Western Region Speleo-Ed in the Mojave Desert!

Postby Mattboy » Apr 17, 2009 12:58 am

Thanks to all the 100+ cavers that attended Speleo-Ed 2009...

The books are (mostly) done and it looks like we raised over $2,000 to contribute to the NSS WNS task force fund! That totally rocks!

See you all next year.

M@
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