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Postby cavern_hiker » Aug 20, 2006 2:03 pm

Hi

I've been a rock and mineral collector for my whole life, I guess you'd say that's what started it. My best friend took off on a 'get away' to eastern Tennessee recently and visited 3 caverns in the area she was in. Now for some reason I have become very interested in caves and caverns too, as I help her look for places to explore. It sort of fits and makes sense to me. I've learned recently that there are 8.600 registered caves in Tennessee, I think that's pretty awesome. I'll be keeping it to NC, where I live, Tennessee and Virginia. It's starting to seem like I can keep us busy for the next several years, and that is my intention. So far, I just can't get enough of learning about caves and caverns. I told my friend not to be suprised if she comes over one day and I've started hanging from the ceiling and squeeking.

Good to meet Y'all
Paula
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Postby Squirrel Girl » Aug 20, 2006 2:29 pm

Hi Paula, Welcome to Cavechat and the NSS. Here's a link to "grottos," i.e., local chapters of the NSS in TN:
http://www.caves.org/io/iolookup.php?state=TN

But your profile shows you to be from NC, so I'll include the link for NC, too:
http://www.caves.org/io/iolookup.php?state=NC

I am a former TarHeel, and I was a founding member of the Triangle Troglodytes. So a double welcome to someone from North Carolina!
Barbara Anne am Ende

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Thanks for the welcome

Postby cavern_hiker » Aug 20, 2006 2:46 pm

Hi Barbara

Thanks for the welcome and Grotto info. I live right outside of Raleigh, so it's cool to find someone who was here! Right now I'm oooohing and ahhhhing and it'll be, 'look at that!', 'look at that!!' for awhile, but I'm interested in conservation efforts too. I think we have to take care of the beauty we have left.

Paula
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Postby Squirrel Girl » Aug 20, 2006 3:34 pm

One pre-emptive bit of info for you. I got a geology degree at UNC, so I think mineral collecting is super fun (if you've got a good location, e.g. Spruce Pine). But cavers are EXTREMELY conservation minded. Our motto is "Leave Nothing But Footprints, Take Nothing But Pictures, Kill Nothing But Time." In sensitive caves, we don't even leave footprints.

So, just a bit of warning that some folks around here might get over anxious about your collecting background.

In my book, there are places to collect (mines), and places not (caves), and we call can be happy respecting one another.

The Tri Trogs are a friendly bunch, and I'm sure they'll be welcoming to you.
Barbara Anne am Ende

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Postby Squirrel Girl » Aug 20, 2006 3:39 pm

Oh, one more thing. If you don't have Labor Day plans, there's OTR to consider. You have to be a member of The Robertson Association or be someone's guest, so there'd be some logistics to consider. But it's the world's largest caving get together of about 2000 folks.

You'll get a heavy dose of how weird a lot of cavers are, but fun! OTR is just outside of Elkins, WV. I'm sure some Tri Trogs will be going. Mostly it's a weekend of partying, but there are vendors selling cave gear and lots and lots of people.

Another option is Fall VAR (Virginia Area Regional). It's down somewhere by Roanoke, VA, I think, so it'd be closer. It's later in September. Much smaller, but still good (and perhaps less culture shock).
Barbara Anne am Ende

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take nothing but pictures :)

Postby cavern_hiker » Aug 28, 2006 2:26 pm

Hi Barbara

No, I wouldn't go into a cave to break and pillage. That would seem disrepectful to me. I'd even feel wierd about touching formations, I've read that the oils from your hands are damaging to them. But if I pass anywhere near a mine with a shop, I'll spend all the money I have on hand there.
I actually have been poking around this site for photography tips, there are some links here to beautiful photography. Right now I'm wondering if faster film in my automatic Pentax will do the trick, or if I should just buy an additional camera. It would be my 'cave camera', and use the Pentax for the rest.
So far, I'm planning on a trip to Shenandoah Valley next spring. That will give me lots of time to save money. Eventually I will get in touch with the Trogs, but I'd be more interested exploring or clean-up efforts or something like that, than partying.

Paula
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Re: take nothing but pictures :)

Postby Dwight Livingston » Aug 28, 2006 2:47 pm

cavern_hiker wrote:Right now I'm wondering if faster film in my automatic Pentax will do the trick, or if I should just buy an additional camera. It would be my 'cave camera', and use the Pentax for the rest . . . Paula


I used to shoot 400 when I was using film, though 200 was be fine. The most rewarding investment for cave photos is a cheap slave with a cheap flash, like a Quantaray MS-1 Wireless Flash Booster / Slave or similar. I've had good results just fooling around with that.

Dwight
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Postby bigalpha » Aug 28, 2006 4:29 pm

Squirrel Girl wrote:One pre-emptive bit of info for you. I got a geology degree at UNC, so I think mineral collecting is super fun (if you've got a good location, e.g. Spruce Pine).


not to hijack but..... I love it too! I don't know of any good mineral collecting sites, only of some decent fossil collecting sites. Think ya could hook me up?
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Postby Squirrel Girl » Aug 28, 2006 5:18 pm

My favorite place to collect minerals was the Black Hills, but it's a bit of a drive. Really, Spruce Pine in western NC is the place. I'll bet if you do some google searching you'll turn up some localities. Anywhere around Boone, probably.

I didn't do a lot because I was busy being a grad student when I lived in NC, but SP is famous. We went on one field trip there when I was an undergraduate (at U of Iowa) and I collected a piece of Alaskite that I hauled around for years!
Barbara Anne am Ende

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Re: New to Cavechat

Postby Teresa » Aug 29, 2006 10:06 am

cavern_hiker wrote:Hi

I've been a rock and mineral collector for my whole life, I guess you'd say that's what started it. My best friend took off on a 'get away' to eastern Tennessee recently and visited 3 caverns in the area she was in. Now for some reason I have become very interested in caves and caverns too, as I help her look for places to explore.


Hi Paula,
You'll find a lot of geos around here. Even ones with hammers and rock collections. The trick to dealing with some of the more paranoid cave conservationists is:

1)offer to share your knowledge about mineralogy.
2) Go on a cave cleanup or two, and let them know you are serious about conservation. If you become very active in cave conservation, but are a known rock collector, it messes with some people's minds.
3) Explain 'leaverite' to your new cave friends. As you know, there are plenty of places full of leaverite,
(National and state parks) and 90%+ of all rockhounds respect them. About the same percent as 'good' cavers, BTW. (The idiots we have with us always, regardless of the activity.)
4) Get familiar with the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act (FCRPA) and your state cave protection law NC Law.
Then when you when you get people who doubt your sincerity, you've got some ammunition to protect your reputation.
Welcome aboard. We've got some really neat galena complex (galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, calcite, quartz, pyrite, etc.) specimens from Missouri. What sort of rocks and minerals do you have from NC?
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Postby CKB69 » Sep 3, 2006 7:34 am

Welcome to the underworld,Paula. :waving:
Your desire to spend a couple of years caving,may be short-sighted.
Radon is highly addictive,like most things that can cause cancer,or,are sources of pleasure and enjoyment. :tonguecheek:

I have been collecting for years,and,it is generally a non-issue.
If I have a rock hammer with me,it is used to enlarge promising leads.
If I collect anything in a cave,it is done with a camera.

There are thousands of excellent locallities in NC,depending on what you are looking for.
Just like caving,the good sites are hard to find unless you join a group.
Hooking up with a good club is your best bet,they keep the best sites secret for similar reasons as we keep cave locations secret. :wink:

Both of these clubs are quite active,and,have regular trips to top localities in the area.
http://wncrocks.com/
http://www.mcrocks.com/

Check out this recent NC find. :shock:
http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/15355503.htm
Slide. Slide on the ice...
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