Moving to Illinois....

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Moving to Illinois....

Postby gdstorrick » Aug 28, 2010 6:09 am

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Last edited by gdstorrick on Jul 10, 2012 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Moving to Illinois....

Postby Bumbalawski » Aug 28, 2010 9:24 am

I moved from SouthWestern Pa to central Illinois from 1982-2002 (job relocation). I lived near Mt. Zion Ill. It was a great place to live except for the weather (very hot and humid, very cold and windy) and torandos. Very nice people out there. Be ready to use all your "flat lander" jokes. They will rib you about being a hillbilly. As for caves, most are in southern Illinois. There are a couple of tiny ones up north. Along the Illinois river, you may find some. I believe there are some in southern Wisconsin. Anyway you look at it, you will make a 2 hour trip to find a decent cave. I was never a grotto member while living out there, but I am sure they are out there. I visited Missouri quite a bit while out there and have many friends in Missouri. Caves are very abundant there. It is worth the trip. If you go to Missouri for caving, check with a St. Louis grotto. They are very good people. By the way. I returned to western Pa in 2002. I am back into active caving again. We are looking for anybody interested in caving in the Bedford County Pa/Allegany County Md area. We need help on some projects (strong backs and weak minds, just like us).

Last edited by Bumbalawski on Aug 28, 2010 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Moving to Illinois....

Postby Teresa » Aug 28, 2010 10:39 am

There is the Windy City Grotto in Chicago, and Near Normal Grotto (near Normal, Ill) Little Egypt Grotto at Carbondale (Southern IL, not near you, but also in a coal-mining region).

About 1/4 of both Meramec Valley and Middle Mississippi Valley Grottos in St. Louis are Illinoians. Right now public land caves in both states are closed, but we're pretty welcoming to IL cavers, because we are sympathetic to folks stationed in the corn desert.

Oct 22-24 at Hannibal, MIssouri is the Mississippi Valley Ozark Region (MVOR) semi-annual caver gathering. There will be caves. Considering your location, I suggest you contact Windy City, and tag along with them to MVOR. We'll make you welcome.
The Missouri Ozarks are very like the Appalachians (including the same Scots-Irish forebears--aka "hillbillies" with a bit of sorghum, grits and y'all thrown in) except that we don't have coal,(our nemesis is lead ore) and the hills are older and shorter. But otherwise...I was on a bus trip once to DC, went to sleep, woke up somewhere in the hills of PA and thought we'd turned around and come home.
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Re: Moving to Illinois....

Postby John Lovaas » Aug 28, 2010 11:01 am

Hi Gary-

Well, Coal City is near some cool outdoorsy stuff on the Illinois and Kankakee Rivers- well, cool for a Midwesterner ;-)

You're in the same situation as me(I'm 60 mi NW of Chicago)- centrally located, and far away, from a lot of caving. There's a lot of stuff to do in SW MN and NE IA, and the cave temps(46-48F) and conditions(wet and muddy) are probably close to what you had in PA?

So cast far and wide- IL, IN, IA, KY, MN, MO, and WI. The Wisconsin Speleological Society's annual Hodag Hunt is coming up at Crystal Cave, in Spring Valley, WI, on September 9-12:

The Illinois Speleological Survey will be doing some cave survey on the weekend of October 9-10 in Monroe County, IL. You can contact me directly if you are interested.

The Cave Research Foundation is having its annual meeting in Van Buren, MO, on the Current River, on October 22-24:

And there will be a week-long national expedition there following the meeting.

imbecile sheepherder.
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Re: Moving to Illinois....

Postby Chads93GT » Aug 28, 2010 11:27 am

Move to southern Illinois, there are more caves down there, and across the river in missuruh!
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Re: Moving to Illinois....

Postby NZcaver » Aug 28, 2010 12:09 pm

Good luck with the move, Gary. :waving:
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Re: Moving to Illinois....

Postby Billy » Aug 30, 2010 12:39 pm

Near Normal Grotto holds their meetings in Bloomington, which is really just a tad more than equidistant from Chicago and WCG. Not mentioned was Suburban Grotto, which was out in the western suburbs (I think). Don Kerouac, newly minted president of the Karst Conservancy of Illinois (KCI) lives in Kankakee, you may want to touch base with him about some projects going on *right* now. Regarding Coal City -- Mazon Creek, one of the richest fossiliferous sites in Illinois is nearby. Also, some nice rail-trail systems if you're into biking on the I&M path, and a decent trail (and limestone and small 'caves' ) are in/nearby Kankakee State Park.
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Re: Moving to Illinois....

Postby JR-Orion » Aug 30, 2010 2:27 pm

Welcome! As others have said if you cast a wide net you can be in pretty good shape. Probably put a few miles on your car, though.

I live near the Quad Cities and have had fun caving in NE Iowa and Southern Minnesota.

Haven't been there yet but I just read this monster of a book on just one cave in Indiana- ... er=01-0642

Letting the days go by / water flowing underground
Into the blue again / in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones / there is water underground.
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