This Week Around Pulaski County USA!

Pulaski County USA Logo

Events for the week of July 13, 2015-July 19, 2015

Welcome To The Following Groups:
July 13-17: National Speleological Society 2015 Convention

National Speleological Society Convention will be held July 13-17, 2015 in Waynesville, Missouri.

National Speleological Society Convention will be held July 13-17, 2015 in Waynesville, Missouri.

July 14: Carthage Skate Team

July 14- Old Stagecoach Stop Museum
What: Pulaski County’s oldest building has served as a private residence, a stagecoach stop, a Civil War hospital, and a hotel on Historic Route 66. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Where: On The Square, Waynesville
When: 5-8 pm
Cost: FREE admission, donations accepted
Contact: Old Stagecoach Stop Foundation (Jan Primas)- 573.435.6766

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July 14- 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum
What: One of only two remaining Route 66 period courthouses in Missouri. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Where: On The Square, Waynesville
When: 5-7 pm
Cost: FREE admission, donations accepted
Contact: Pulaski County Museum & Historical Society (Denise Seevers)-573.855.3644

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July 14- Frisco Depot Museum
What: A unique look into the railroading history & culture of the region
Where: 10th Street, Crocker
When: 6-8 pm
Cost: FREE admission, donations accepted
Contact: Crocker City Hall (Mayor James Morgan)- 573.736.5327

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July 14- BYOL Headlamp Tours 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum
What: One of only two remaining Route 66 period courthouses in Missouri. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Where: On The Square, Waynesville
When: 7-9 pm
Cost: $2 donation
Contact: Pulaski County Museum & Historical Society (Denise Seevers)-573.855.3644

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July 16- Old Stagecoach Stop Museum
What: Pulaski County’s oldest building has served as a private residence, a stagecoach stop, a Civil War hospital, and a hotel on Historic Route 66. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Where: On The Square, Waynesville
When: 5-8 pm
Cost: FREE admission, donations accepted
Contact: Old Stagecoach Stop Foundation (Jan Primas)- 573.435.6766

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July 16- 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum
What: One of only two remaining Route 66 period courthouses in Missouri. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Where: On The Square, Waynesville
When: 5-8 pm
Cost: FREE admission, donations accepted
Contact: Pulaski County Museum & Historical Society (Denise Seevers)-573.855.3644

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July 16- Frisco Depot Museum
What: A unique look into the railroading history & culture of the region
Where: 10th Street, Crocker
When: 6-8 pm
Cost: FREE admission, donations accepted
Contact: Crocker City Hall (Mayor James Morgan)- 573.736.5327

crocker-frisco-museum-for-nss-text

July 17- PCSW Farmers Market at Fort Leonard Wood
What: Farmer’s Market
Where: MWR Rec Plex, Fort Leonard Wood
When: 4:30-8:30 pm
Cost: FREE admission
Contact: Samantha Kramer (Market Manager)- 573.765.2500

July 18- Pulaski County Farmer’s Market
What: Year- round Farmer’s Market
Where: Downtown Waynesville
When: 8 am until Noon
Cost: FREE admission
Contact: Bruce Main- 573.842.9079

Pulaski County Farmer's Market is held year round in downtown Waynesville!

Pulaski County Farmer’s Market is held year round in downtown Waynesville!

July 18- Old Stagecoach Stop Museum
What: Pulaski County’s oldest building has served as a private residence, a stagecoach stop, a Civil War hospital, and a hotel on Historic Route 66. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Where: On The Square, Waynesville
When: 10 am until 4 pm
Cost: FREE admission, donations accepted
Contact: Old Stagecoach Stop Foundation (Jan Primas)- 573.435.6766

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July 18- 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum
What: One of only two remaining Route 66 period courthouses in Missouri. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Where: On The Square, Waynesville
When: 10 am until 4 pm
Cost: FREE admission, donations accepted
Contact: Pulaski County Museum & Historical Society (Denise Seevers)-573.855.3644

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Your Invitation To NSS 2015 Convention!

2015 National Speleological Convention Logo revisedGreetings! The staff of 2015 NSS Convention invites you and your family to The Cave State for an action packed week of daily symposia, guided cave trips, vendors, and major events each evening. Conventions are a great way to learn about caves in other regions, share new techniques, meet old friends, and make new ones. We are thrilled to present “The Hitchhikers Guide To Missouri Caving” to the 74th annual gathering of National Speleological Society members. Waynesville is the heart of cave country in Missouri and is centrally located in the ageless Ozark Mountains with rugged scenic beauty as far as the eye can see. Over 200 caves will be offered during #NSS2015 including Carroll Cave, Skaggs Cave, world renowned diving cave Roubidoux Spring, caves that once housed onyx mining operations, caves with spectacular speleothems, caves rich with legend and lore of bushwhackers and moonshiners, caves for the family and JSS members, caves that you can canoe or kayak to, and of course caves with Pulaski County mud! Pit caves will be available at Post Convention in Southeast Missouri at Perryville. missouricaveConvention Central will be located at Waynesville High School (200 GW Lane)- a state of the art, multimillion dollar facility. This facility is spacious, comfortable, air-conditioned and has Wi-Fi! Campground will be at Pulaski County-Ft. Leonard Wood Shrine Club (26920 Shrines Road), only ten minutes away from Convention Central. Surrounded by Mark Twain National Forest, the campground is 88 acres with plenty of shaded camping areas. Moderate sized campfires are permitted. Shower houses are available on site. Wi-Fi is available at the main Clubhouse. Nearby Saint Robert has many lodging choices for those who decide not to camp. Activities abound for those who would like to explore above ground. Our staff has teamed up with the 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum, the Old Stagecoach Stop, Crocker’s Frisco Depot, and Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House to offer mid-week evening activities for you and your family. Additionally, you can trout fish in the Roubidoux, road trip on Route 66, discover the Frisco line, antique in charming railroad boom towns, honor those who marched on the Trail of Tears, follow in the footsteps of Civil War soldiers, “blaze” a trail in the National Forest, kayak the winding Gasconade River, or drift down the Big Piney in a raft. Kayaking Near Fort Leonard Wood, MissouriNo matter how you customize your 2015 NSS Convention experience you will be telling tales of your adventures at #NSS2015 for many years to come! Onsite registration opens at Noon July 11th! Don’t forget your towel! Joe & Kris Nicolussi, Co-Chairs & the 2015 NSS Convention Staff NSS 2015 Convention Sponsors

Ten Reasons To Attend 2015 NSS Convention In Waynesville, Missouri!

2015 National Speleological Convention Logo revised

1. NSS Convention 2015 is centrally located in the Mississippi Valley-Ozark Region (MVOR). Whether you normally cave in ARA, MAR, NRO, NCA, SERA, SWR, TSA, VAR, Western Region, or the Rocky Mountain Region- #NSS2015 is within reach! Convention Central and Campground are both easily accessed via Interstate 44!

#NSS2015 Convention Hall and Campground are both easily accessed via Interstate 44!

#NSS2015 Convention Hall and Campground are both easily accessed via Interstate 44!

2. #MuddyCaveMonday! And Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday! With 200 caves offered during Convention, most oozing with Pulaski County mud, you will have plenty of photo ops to submit to National Speleological Society (@Nsscaves) for the Muddy Cave Monday feature!

MuddyCaveMonday

3. Affordability! From the gas pump, to lodging, to a night on the town- your dollar will have more bang for the buck in Pulaski County! Stretch it even further by asking for your free discount card at the Pulaski County Tourism Bureau booth at Convention Central. This is your passport to savings in town.

4. Campfires are welcome at Campground. Bring S’more fixings!

Campfires are allowed at 2015 National Speleological Society Convention in Waynesville, MO.!

Campfires are allowed at 2015 National Speleological Society Convention in Waynesville, MO.!

5. Two of the best BBQ towns in the United States are in Missouri- St. Louis and Kansas City. Missouri’s BBQ isn’t confined to the big cities though. You will find lip smacking barbecue all across in the state- and at Campground and restaurants in Waynesville.

Sweetwater BBQ in Saint Robert

Sweetwater BBQ in Saint Robert

6. Concierge decontamination service will be offered at Campground. More time for you to relax and catch up with fellow cavers!

7. Fishing! You can fish several Red & White Ribbon trout areas of the Roubidoux River, even in the heart of Downtown Waynesville. Bennett Spring and Montauk trout parks are also an easy drive from Waynesville. The Gasconade & Big Piney Rivers are well known for smallmouth bass fishing.

Rainbow trout caught at Roubidoux Spring in Laughlin Park. Courtesy of Alan Clark.

Rainbow trout caught at Roubidoux Spring in Laughlin Park. Courtesy of Alan Clark.

8. You can explore Route 66, tour the 1903 Courthouse Museum by head lamp, visit an Old Stagecoach Stop, try your hand at ghost hunting, raft a lazy river, go antiquing, shop for the perfect Ozarks keepsake, honor the Cherokee at the Trail of Tears Memorial, drink a local craft beer, splash in a spring- all within 20 minutes of Convention Central! Local Attractions During National Speleological Society Convention 2015 9. Enjoy the show! Discover show caves & Civil War battlefields, take a Missouri State Penitentiary tour in Jefferson City, explore a state park, follow in Lewis & Clark’s footsteps, bike or hike the KATY trail, view St. Louis from the top of the Arch, wish upon a fountain in the City of Fountains, or head to the live music show capital of the world in Branson. There is a lot to see and do in The Show Me State for the whole family!

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Image via Wikimedia Commons

10. Caving! 200 caves will be offered during #NSS2015!

Photo by Jennifer Idol, Ozark Cave Diving Alliance www.ocda.org

Cave diving will be available during #NSS2015! Photo by Jennifer Idol, Ozark Cave Diving Alliance http://www.ocda.org

Register for 2015 NSS Convention today! Online registration available through June 13, 2015!!! Save $20 by registering today!

Order your FREE Waynesville/Pulaski County Visitors Guide!

Order your FREE Missouri Visitors Guide!

National Speleological Society 2015 Convention Brings National Attention To The Cave State

Waynesville, MO in Pulaski County has been chosen as the host of the 2015 (NSS) National Speleological Society annual convention. The event is held in alternating states and regions of the United States each year. Established in 1941, the non-profit organization is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has nearly 250 chapters called “grottos” across the country.

The NSS is the largest organization in the world dedicated to exploration, preservation, education and conservation of caves. The Society’s over 10,000 members include scientists, cartographers, explorers and cave enthusiasts from the United States and all over the globe. The NSS organization is sectioned in 15 specialty interest areas of the membership to include geology, archeology, technical research and rescue, underwater cave diving and many artistic disciplines.

National Speleological Society Logo

National Speleological Society Logo

The Pulaski County Tourism Bureau has teamed up with the Mississippi Valley Ozark Region as well as the NSS to work to bring this convention to central Missouri. Missouri previously hosted this conference in 1997.

This is a week-long event, featuring daily symposia, guided cave trips, and major events each evening. Conventions are a great way to learn about caves in other regions, share new techniques, meet old friends, and make new ones. On Thursday evenings, the auditorium is packed for the Photo and Video Salons and awards, and Friday’s Banquet features the annual NSS Award presentations. Convention activities will also include vertical contests, hydrology & geology field trips, and Salons encompassing- craft and design, cover art, fine arts, print, symbolic emblems, t-shirt, and cartographic. The Junior Speleological Society will have youth activities scheduled throughout the week.

2015 National Speleological Convention Logo revised

Joe Nicolussi, co-chair of the 2015 NSS Convention, announced in February that Carroll Cave is the “crown jewel” of this year’s conference. Jeff Page, Carroll Cave Conservancy (CCC) Membership & Access Chair, “couldn’t agree more and CCC is eager to share this jewel with as many convention attendees as possible.” Carroll Cave is the second longest cave in Missouri and is a National Natural Landmark.

Convention Hall 2 Tagged

Caving opportunities will be plentiful during #NSS2015. A small sample of the caves that will be offered to attendees include: Skaggs, Perkins, Tunnel-Spring, Grempczynski, Pike’s Peak, and Railroad Cave. Cave/cavern diving opportunities are available to certified divers at Roubidoux Spring, Boiling Spring, and Bennett Spring. Several show caves across The Cave State will be offering discounted tours to Convention attendees. Kirsten Alvey-Mudd, Cave Chair, is particularly excited about the cave and float combo trips that are offered-“This is a quintessential Missouri caving experience- an experience that you do not want to miss while you are in the Ozarks for Convention 2015.” Alvey-Mudd also added that concierge decontamination service will be offered nightly at the campground.

Photo by Jennifer Idol, Ozark Cave Diving Alliance www.ocda.org

Photo by Jennifer Idol, Ozark Cave Diving Alliance http://www.ocda.org

Campground Chair Larry Abeln is ready to welcome cavers to their “home away from home” during Convention 2015. Pulaski County-Fort Leonard Wood Shrine Club Campground is top notch- campers will find plenty of shaded, level spots, shower facilities, a large common area centered around one of Mid-Missouri’s largest outdoor stages, a clubhouse (with wi-fi) and other amenities. Abeln is also excited that campers will be able to have small campfires at the campground.

Waynesville High School will be the site for #NSS2015 Convention registration, sessions, salons, workshops, the international vertical contests and vendors.

Waynesville High School will be the site for #NSS2015 Convention registration, sessions, salons, workshops, the international vertical contests and vendors.

In addition to favorite, traditional Convention activities such as Howdy Party, Speleo-Auction, and Banquet, Activities Chair Alicia Wallace has coordinated with Pulaski County Tourism Bureau to offer attendees “local flavor”- including a tour of the Old Stagecoach Stop, a tour of the Frisco Depot Museum in Crocker, a paranormal investigation of one of Waynesville’s oldest homes, and a BYOL (Bring Your Own Light) head lamp tour of the 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum. Self-guided driving tours of Route 66 and a walking tour of historic sites and points of interest in downtown Waynesville are available free of charge through the Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

Local Attractions During National Speleological Society Convention 2015

Kris Nicolussi, co-chair of the 2015 NSS Convention reminds cavers that registration for “Hitchhikers Guide To Missouri Caving” is now available online and that discounted registration is available before June 1st. She encourages everyone to visit the official website at http://nss2015.caves.org for updates and states that #NSS2015 can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +. She and Mayor Luge Hardman are “thrilled to show off Waynesville to cavers from around the globe”, – and Kris reminds everyone to bring their towel.

National Speleological Society- http://www.facebook.com/NationalSpeleologicalSociety
NSS 2015 Convention- http://www.facebook.com/NSSConvention2015
Pulaski County Tourism Bureau- http://www.facebook.com/PulaskiCountyUSA
City of Waynesville, Missouri- http://www.facebook.com/cityofwaynesvillemo

Roubidoux Spring- Below The Surface

By Bob Hathaway
Owner, Odyssey Scuba

There are a lot of good reasons for the NSS Convention 2015 to come to Waynesville, Missouri, yet one of the best reasons will be least visited! Every person attending will pass within mere feet of the opening to one of the most interesting cave systems in the Midwestern United States, yet it takes more than the “usual” cave exploration equipment to see this Cave State wonder…

Waynesville has enjoyed a revitalization of business in the last 3- 5 years that has returned a certain charm to the small Missouri town, and visitors enjoy strolling the downtown area to explore various locally- owned shops and restaurants which line the square. The city also has a rich historical heritage including a section of the “Mother Road” of Old Route 66 running through its middle, noted Civil War sites, and even part of the original Trail Of Tears is inside its limits. However, the beating heart of Waynesville’s natural beauty exists just a short distance from all of this in the form of Roubidoux Springs, a beautiful freshwater spring feeding into the Roubidoux River which divides the town into its eastern and western parts.

Visitors are able to park their cars alongside the river at the Roy Laughlin Park and walk along a short, well- maintained span of the Trail Of Tears Memorial Walkway leading from the Route 66 Bridge up to the spring. They are often fascinated at the sight of trout and other types of local fish swimming in the crystal clear water, and can pause occasionally to read the historical markers placed along the way. Even more fascinating to a large number of visitors as they round the bend is the unexpected sight of scuba divers making their way into and out of Roubidoux Springs cave/cavern system!

Cave and cavern divers have been drawn to Roubidoux Springs for decades, fascinated both by its beauty and challenge. The spring is located within the city park system, so park rules and regulations are in effect. A Cave or Cavern certification is required to dive the springs, and the city has implemented a check- in/check- out protocol for those diving there. This protocol is more often self- enforced by divers themselves instead of law enforcement as a way of keeping thrill seekers and the uninformed out of harm’s way. Divers are appreciative of having such a wonderful resource for their enjoyment, and take serious the measures and responsibilities put in place to protect it.

The shallow pool at the mouth of the spring often fools passersby to the true extent of the massive cave system just below their feet, which was recently explored by technical divers to a distance of nearly two miles as it winds its way back under the city. The actual distance the cave goes back is still unknown, and plans for further explorations are continuously being made as advances in equipment and technology expand. Divers are eager to be among those who have extended the line to its furthest point, and travel from all across the United States as well as foreign countries to be a part of the effort. While cave divers certainly dominate the diving at Roubidoux Springs it is certainly not limited to them. Cavern divers also have one of the largest and most interesting areas to explore in the Midwestern United States, and with the support of Odyssey Scuba & Travel (located less than a quarter of a mile away) it is a fun and easy way to spend a day of diving. While cavern diving is much more restrictive in limits than cave diving (including a linear distance limit of one hundred thirty feet of exploration, and being within sight of ambient light at all times) it also enables a greater number of sport divers to enjoy the experience.

Photo by Jennifer Idol, Ozark Cave Diving Alliance www.ocda.org

Photo by Jennifer Idol, Ozark Cave Diving Alliance http://www.ocda.org

Cavern divers suit up on shore and wade into the 55- 58F temperature water at the mouth of the spring. Use of dry suits is preferred, but certainly a thick wetsuit is an option. Final safety checks are performed, then divers slip into the small opening located just beneath the walkway bridge over the bubbling water. The narrow opening extends back approximately twelve feet before beginning to slant downward to a depth of over forty feet. The cavern zone also widens out to reveal a massive room where divers are able to explore along the cracks and crevices of the walls.

Even underwater in a cave there is life, and with patience and a good eye cave fauna can be found. Roubidoux Springs is currently the site for an on- going fauna count, and several local divers are involved in this scientific endeavor to better understand and protect the delicate creatures existing here. Blind cave fish, crawdads, and other animals are identified and studied, and are happily thriving at Roubidoux Springs. It’s a lot of fun to see one of these tiny residents going about their lives as one explores among the rocks and holes!

At the furthest point back in the cavern zone the actual cave system begins. This smaller tunnel- like opening is prominently marked by a “grim reaper” caricature sign, warning non- cave certified divers that they have reached the limit of their exploration, and that further training and equipment is necessary before continuing. While this simple sign has doubtlessly saved many divers from getting into trouble, most divers are explorers and risk- takers by nature and the well- meaning sign is occasionally viewed with a slight resentment. However, cavern divers usually find more to explore than is possible in a single dive and are quick to continue searching the cavern zone. One object of curiosity usually encountered is the diver habitat. This large box- type structure was placed by cave divers needing a place to “rest” after extended dives in the cave system, and allows those divers a temporarily air pocket where they can rest and communicate during long decompression stops. Cavern divers usually look the habitat over for a few moments before returning to their explorations of the rocks and crevices. In addition to light and linear distance limits cavern divers also follow the “rule of thirds” when it comes to air consumption; one- third of the available air supply going in, one- third for coming out, and the last for emergencies or contingencies. This rule of thirds usually limits a cavern dive in Roubidoux Springs to a time of around twenty minutes, which also makes multiple dives desirable. Air fills and other sundries are available at Odyssey Scuba, so divers have a place to enjoy between dives should they choose to leave the springs area. If you are cave or cavern certified, you won’t want to miss the underwater beauty and adventure of Roubidoux Springs! For more information, or to arrange a cavern dive, contact Odyssey Scuba & Travel on their website at http://www.moscuba.com, or call them at (573) 774-DIVE (3483). A single visit to Waynesville, Pulaski County, and Roubidoux Springs will only prove one thing; a single visit simply isn’t enough!

Hitchhikers Guide To Ingress In Pulaski County

Ingress agents love road trips! And Pulaski County is road trip country! Gather up your fellow agents and experience a day, or weekend, exploring legendary trails and roads, multiple eras of rich military history, and railroad boom towns.

It's happening all around you. They aren't coming. They're already here.

It’s happening all around you. They
aren’t coming. They’re already here.

Pulaski County is home to Fort Leonard Wood, Saint Robert, Waynesville, Crocker, Dixon, Richland, over 100 portals (gazillions awaiting approval), several missions, and #PortalGem worthy “Frog Rock”.

Pulaski County’s “can’t miss” portals include:

Devils Elbow Post Office– On the original alignment of Route 66 and also on the banks of the Big Piney River, this charming village’s current Post Office was built in 1954. Bring your camera and your appetite to this portal. The nearby 1923 Devils Elbow Bridge & the dramatic bluffs are very photogenic.

BEHIND THE SCANNER- You will also want to visit the Elbow Inn & BBQ, just across the bridge. This roadhouse has been serving delicious barbecue to hungry travelers since the 1930’s. Ask the barkeep about the day the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition models held a photo shoot here- and what they left behind!

GPS Coordinates: 37.846461, -92.061351

Devils Elbow Post Office is housed in Sheldens Market.

Devils Elbow Post Office is housed in Sheldens Market.

WWII Memorial– Also on Route 66, this Desert Storm era M-60 tank pays tribute to U.S. Veterans. Beginning in 1941, nearby Fort Leonard Wood has been the starting location of millions of U.S. Army careers and this tank honors them, and all members of the Armed Forces. This portal is a waypoint on the “Purple Heart City” mission.

BEHIND THE SCANNER- The tank is located in George M. Reed Roadside Park– the last roadside park remaining in Missouri on Route 66. Make your Route 66 experience authentic with a roadside picnic lunch in the park! Don’t have fixin’s for lunch with you? Many of Saint Robert’s dining establishments offer carryout.

GPS Coordinates: 37.821337, -92.147403

M-60 Tank at George M. Reed Roadside Park in Saint Robert, MO.

M-60 Tank at George M. Reed Roadside Park in Saint Robert, MO.

Frog Rock– Greeting motorists into Waynesville since 1996, Frog Rock (a/k/a W.H. Croaker) has quickly became a world famous Route 66 icon. The frog sculpture was chipped away, by tattoo artist Phil Nelson, from a leftover boulder after Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) widened Waynesville Hill. This portal is a waypoint on the “Finer Than A Frog’s Hair” mission.

BEHIND THE SCANNER- Frog Rock is celebrated every October in Waynesville during the popular “Frogtoberfest” festival. Frog Rock has also inspired a pub on the Square- Hoppers. Hoppers is well known for its selection of 66 beers on tap, casual fun atmosphere, and its tasty menu items- like the Jam Burger!

GPS Coordinates: 37.827002, -92.192381

Frog Rock in Waynesville is a #PortalGem. Photo by Cat Spencer.

Frog Rock in Waynesville is a #PortalGem. Photo by Cat Spencer.

Waynesville Fort– In the early days of the Civil War, Waynesville, the seat of Pulaski County, was overwhelmingly pro-secessionist, and its citizens flew the Stars and Bars to show their Confederate support. The flag was lowered shortly before Federal troops marched down Waynesville Hill, set up camp, and erected a small fort near a bluff overlooking the Roubidoux Spring. Colonel Sigel had been tasked to “Occupy Waynesville. Keep open the road from Rolla to the Gasconade and clear the surrounding country of Guerillas”. This post served as a Federal supply base on the route between Rolla and Lebanon, and as was common for all of the military posts in Missouri, probably held local civilian prisoners deemed disloyal. The 5th (formerly 13th) Cavalry, State Militia, used Fort Waynesville as its base of operations in the military District of Rolla, serving there from the spring of 1863 until the war ended. Today, visible traces of the fort have disappeared to the naked eye, but members of Pulaski County Historical Society erected a historical marker in 1970 to preserve the memory of Fort Waynesville. This portal is a waypoint on the “Take The Square” mission.

BEHIND THE SCANNER- Travel south on Dewitt Street and then west on Benton Street as it’s curve follows the bluff for sweeping panoramic views and a bird’s eye view of Roubidoux Spring in Laughlin Park. A short side trip to Laughlin Park will lead you to one of only seven designated sites on the National Trail of Tears Trail in Missouri. The site features interpretive signage about this tragic historical event.

GPS Coordinates: 37.82693, -92.200634

Fort Waynesville Historical Marker

Fort Waynesville Historical Marker

Old Stagecoach Stop– One of Pulaski County’s oldest buildings, the Old Stagecoach Stop on the Square in Waynesville was “built of logs in pioneer days, used as a stage coach stop and a tavern of rest for weary travelers westward bound. In 1862 the building was commandeered by the Union Forces and used as a hospital for the duration of the Civil War. After the war ended, it was remodeled and again served as a hotel for another half Century.”. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places during the early 1980’s. This portal is a waypoint on the “Finer Than A Frog’s Hair” mission.

BEHIND THE SCANNER- At the time of the NRHP nomination the Old Stagecoach Stop was in the advanced stages of neglect. In 1983 citizens incorporated the Old Stagecoach Stop Foundation for the express purpose of saving the building from demolition. Thanks to their success the building also now serves as a museum. You can visit the Old Stagecoach Stop Museum every Saturday April through September from 10 am until 4 pm. Admission is free, donations are accepted. Make sure to visit the nearby Route 66 Courthouse Museum also!

GPS Coordinates: 37.829205, -92.200511

Old Stagecoach Stop in Waynesville, MO. Photo by Terry Primas.

Old Stagecoach Stop in Waynesville, MO. Photo by Terry Primas.

Freedom Church– Located in Dixon, one of Pulaski County’s Frisco Railroad boom towns. At one point in time this rural community was home to 22 churches of various denominations. This portal is a waypoint on the “Dixon, MO Steeplechase” mission.

BEHIND THE SCANNER- Di Trapani’s Italian Bistro is a destination restaurant near Dixon that features mouth watering dishes and breathtaking views of Portuguese Point on the Gasconade River. Each September Dixon is home to ShrimpFestival and Cow Days- a multi day street festival that dates back to the Great Depression. Nearby Boiling Spring Campground is home to Mid-Missouri’s largest precision cut corn maze each Fall. Baseball fans should make the pilgrimage to Wally Schang’s final resting place in Dixon Cemetery.

GPS Coordinates: 37.991892, -92.095468

Play Ingress in Pulaski County!

Play Ingress in Pulaski County!

Frisco Caboose Monument– Crocker is also one of Pulaski County’s Frisco Railroad boom towns and the town has a deep appreciation of its railroading heritage. Prominently featured in Norma Lea’s Frisco Park, this bright red caboose is an eye catcher. This cupola caboose was built out of a boxcar in 1975 in Springfield, MO and was originally numbered #1418. It acquired it’s #11648 number via the Burlington Northern railroad company before it was retired. This portal is a waypoint on the “Crocker Fireball Run” mission.

BEHIND THE SCANNER- Crocker’s Frisco Caboose, and the nearby Frisco Depot Museum, are featured in Season 8 of Fireball Run. The museum is open by appointment and during the annual Railroad Days festival.

GPS Coordinates: 37.949155, -92.263543

Frisco Railroad Caboose in Crocker, MO

Frisco Railroad Caboose in Crocker, MO

Burlington Northern Caboose– Richland is Pulaski County’s western most railroad town and Burlington Northern Caboose #11339 has made its home in Shady Dell Park. This cupola caboose was built in 1951 as #1007 for Northern Pacific Railway. After Northern Pacific was merged into Burlington Northern in 1970 this caboose operated in Earlville, Illinois. An archived photograph by Chuck Zeiler documents this caboose in Clyde, Illinois during 1981. This portal is a waypoint on the “Richland- Frisco Boom Town” mission.

BEHIND THE SCANNER- The intersection of Pine and McClurg streets is a pristine example of a typical layout of a railroad town. Commercial buildings are located on each side of the tracks. On the southeast corner is H.E. Warren Store. This store was founded by Captain Henry Ernest Warren in 1869 and is still owned and operated by his descendants 146 years later. This store is believed to be one of the longest continually operating family stores in Missouri.

GPS Coordinates: 37.855957, -92.396692

Shady Dell Park in Richland is home to a Burlington Northern Caboose.

Shady Dell Park in Richland is home to a Burlington Northern Caboose.

Have you not chose your side yet? Learn more about Ingress game play: http://www.ingress.com

Order your free Pulaski County USA Visitors Guide & Driving Tours brochure at www.PulaskiCountyUSA.com

Order your free Pulaski County travel guides today! 877-858-8687

Order your free Pulaski County travel guides today! 877-858-8687

Hitchhikers Guide To Trails & Day Hikes- NSS 2015 Convention

Whether you are staying at Campground during National Speleological Society Convention 2015, or a nearby hotel, the area offers lots of opportunities to get up close and personal with Missouri’s rugged Ozark Mountains.

WAYNESVILLE WALKING TRAIL

The City of Waynesville’s Walking Trail could also be called a River Walk. This easy trail begins in Laughlin Park at Roubidoux Spring and follows the banks of the Roubidoux under the historic Route 66 Roubidoux Bridge into Waynesville City Park.

6.8 miles north from campground

BUSSMANN LODGE

A favorite with locals, geocachers, and hikers, Bussmann Lodge is located in the Mark Twain National Forest in Pulaski County near the village of Devils Elbow, off of Temporal Road. Constructed as a family getaway on the Big Piney River for the Bussmann family of Saint Louis, the ruins of the property are publicly accessible by floating, four wheel drive, or hiking down the neglected access road. Historic details of the lodge have been lost to time- but local legends of mobsters and moonshine are colorful and plentiful- making Bussmann Lodge Pulaski County’s hidden Ha Ha Tonka.

Google Map Coordinates-
Parking/Access Road- N 37 49.216 W 092 03.346
Lodge- N 37° 49.513 W 092° 04.408

16 miles east from campground

Conor Watkins at Bussmann Lodge Footbridge in Pulaski County, MO.

Conor Watkins at Bussmann Lodge Footbridge in Pulaski County, MO.

COLE CREEK TRAIL

Cole Creek Trail is primarily known as an equestrian trail although it is also open to hikers. The trail is comprised of two loops that equal 11 miles. The west loop is 4.9 miles long and the east loop is 5.3 miles. The connector is approximately one mile. The terrain is typical Ozark hill country and the trail is rated as moderate.

18 miles southwest from campground

COLEMAN MEMORIAL CONSERVATION AREA

Coleman Memorial Conservation Area, in Laclede County, is home to Small Sink and Canyon Sink, which is a large, natural sinkhole. Canyon Sink is being restored. The area is also home to an easy, interpretive 1.80 mile trail.

26 miles southwest from campground

KAINTUCK HOLLOW TRAIL

Kaintuck Hollow Trail, located in neighboring Phelps County, has 9 sections and 16 miles of looping trails that you can customize with lengths from one to fifteen miles. One of the systems most known features is Kaintuck Hollow Natural Tunnel, a 175 feet long tunnel, created when a cave system collapsed leaving part of the cave roof intact. Unfortunately, it is closed to public entry due to White Nosed Syndrome. Other natural features include Wilkins Spring Pond, Dewitt Pond, and the artesian well at Mill Creek Recreation Area.

27 miles east from campground

Wilkins Spring on Kaintuck Hollow Trail. Image by Conor Watkins.

Wilkins Spring on Kaintuck Hollow Trail. Image by Conor Watkins.

BIG PINEY TRAIL

Big Piney Trail is a 17 to 18 mile moderate to difficult trail through the Paddy Creek Wilderness. Signs and trail markings are sparse, there are no bridges across the creeks, and the trail may be rough. Terrain is sometimes steep. Due to wilderness and primitive conditions this hike requires preparation. Multiple trailheads.

30 miles southeast from campground

A scene along Big Piney Trail. Photo by Charlie Wilcox.

A scene along Big Piney Trail. Photo by Charlie Wilcox.

PADDY CREEK TRAIL

Paddy Creek Trail is a one mile loop trail beginning and ending at Paddy Creek Recreation Area which is nestled in a hollow along Paddy Creek.

31 miles southeast from campground

MARGUERITE BRAY CONSERVATION AREA

Marguerite Bray Conservation Area is located in neighboring Phelps County. Mrs. Bray donated 132 acres in 1995 in memory of her husband and their two sons. A scenic 2.5 mile loop hiking trail leads from the trail head west along the ridge top and returns along a wet weather creek bed. Although the trail is easy in most sections there are some areas of moderate difficulty, including a steep hill at the trail head. Along sections of the trail there are educational opportunities to learn about the plants and animals that inhabit the Bray Conservation Area. Marguerite Bray Conservation Area is home to an earthcache and Ingress portals/mission.

32 miles northeast from campground

PETER A. ECK CONSERVATION AREA

Peter A. Eck Conservation Area, 12 miles northwest of Licking, in neighboring Texas County can be reached by canoeing or kayaking the Big Piney River, or via dirt road with a high clearance vehicle. This area includes an exemplary old-growth pine stand. This area has also been designated as an “Important Bird Area” by Audubon Missouri. The Eck Trail is a moderate one mile trail and hiking is also permissible on old logging roads in the conservation area.

32 miles southeast from campground

BRAYS ACCESS

Located in neighboring Miller County, Brays Access is owned by Missouri Department of Conservation and offers 2+ miles of looping trails of forest and woodland habitats. Rock formations and a wet weather creek add variety to your hiking experience. These trails are moderately rugged and interpretive signs are posted. Brays Access is home to a geocache.

32 miles northeast from campground

CLIFTY CREEK CONSERVATION AREA

Located in neighboring Maries County, Clifty Creek is Missouri’s first designated natural area- deemed so in 1971. The area was described by G.C. Broadhead for Missouri Geological Survey in 1857. A very scenic 2.5 mile loop hiking trail leads from the conservation area parking lot to the natural bridge and back. Clifty Creek Natural Arch is an outstanding example of stream piracy. The arch spans approximately 40 feet and is 13 feet high in a picturesque setting.

33 miles northeast from campground

Under the arch at Clifty Creek. Photo by Greg Wacker.

Under the arch at Clifty Creek. Photo by Greg Wacker.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS STATE PARK

Nine hiking trails for you to explore. The shortest trail, Bluestem Knoll, is less than a mile long. The 12.75 mile Honey Run Trail is a favorite of endurance fans and mountain bikers. A portion (.60 mile one way) of Fawn’s Ridge Trail is wheelchair accessible. Hidden Springs Trail makes its way past a small family cemetery of yesteryear and Shady Ridge Trail offers stunning views of the lake.

33 miles northwest from campground

BENNETT SPRING STATE PARK

Bennett Spring State Park, located in neighboring Laclede County, is most famous for its premiere trout fishing. The park features six trails with Natural Tunnel Trail being a favorite for day hikers. Natural Tunnel Trail is a 7.5 mile, moderate hike that leads to Bennett Spring Natural Tunnel. The trails namesake and signature feature is 296 feet long and forms an S curve through the hill. For the tapohiles, or tombstone enthusiasts, this trail passes near a small, family cemetery that dates to the 1800’s. The other trails in Bennett Spring State Park range from .30 to 2.5 miles with difficulty ratings from easy to moderate. Some of the trails have roots in prehistoric times while many date to the 1840’s.

36 miles west from campground

Bennett Spring Natural Tunnel. Image courtesy of Missouri State Parks.

Bennett Spring Natural Tunnel. Image courtesy of Missouri State Parks.

CAMDENTON CONSERVATION SERVICE CENTER

Camdenton Conservation Service Center, in neighboring Camden County, features a mile long Forest and Savanna Trail that includes a paved, disabled accessible section. This location also houses a 100 foot tall fire tower with a publically accessible viewing platform at 80 feet.

40 miles northwest from campground

HA HA TONKA STATE PARK

Imposing architecture and breathtaking scenery combine to make Ha Ha Tonka State Park one of Missouri’s most treasured spots. Located on the Lake of the Ozarks, the park features the stone ruins of a turn-of-the-20th-century castle built by a prominent Kansas City businessman high atop a bluff. More than 15 miles of trails traverse the park, leading visitors to sinkholes, natural bridges, caves and down to the lake.

42 miles northwest from campground

Ha Ha Tonka Natural Bridge.

Ha Ha Tonka Natural Bridge.

ALICE AHART MANSFIELD CONSERVATION AREA

Alice Ahart Mansfield Conservation Area is located in neighboring Camden County and features a .75 mile loop trail through forest area.

44 miles northwest from campground

LARRY R. GALE ACCESS

Larry R. Gale Access is located in neighboring Camden County and is on the Niangua Arm of the Lake Of The Ozarks. This area includes a Forest Glade Trail, less than a mile in length, and rated as difficult.

45 miles northwest from campground

BLOSSOM ROCK TRAIL

Blossom Rock Trail is located in Lane Spring Recreation Area in neighboring Phelps County. This trail is a mile loop and near the top of the ridge is Blossom Rock. Blossom Rock is a sandstone formation that appears to blossom forth from the surrounding limestone. According to Geologic Wonders and Curiosities of Missouri this spot is “attractive for climbing and simulating Wild West ambushes.” While at Lane Spring Recreation Area you can also hike Cedar Bluff Trail.

45 miles east of campground

Blossom Rock in Phelps County. Photo by Laura Huffman.

Blossom Rock in Phelps County. Photo by Laura Huffman.

CEDAR BLUFF TRAIL

Cedar Bluff Trail is also located in Lane Spring Recreation Area in Phelps County. This trail is a mile and a half loop and is steep in some places. At the top is a rocky meadow, surrounded by cedar trees. At its highest point the trail offers scenic views of Little Piney Creek. Visibility may be limited by vegetation during the summer months.

45 miles east of campground

For more ideas on things to see and do in Pulaski County please visit http://www.PulaskiCountyUSA.com

For more ideas on things to see and do in Missouri check out The Hitchhikers Guide To Missouri and visit http://www.VisitMO.com

Register for National Speleological Society Convention 2015 at http://nss2015.caves.org/.

Hitchhiker's Guide To Missouri Caving

Hitchhikers Guide To Carroll Cave- NSS 2015 Convention

by Jeff Page (45699RL)
Carroll Cave Conservancy (CCC) Membership & Access Chair

On behalf the Carroll Cave Conservancy, I’d like to encourage one and all to come to this year’s convention in beautiful Pulaski County, Missouri. We look forward to making new friends and reconnecting with some old ones. In the February issue of NSS News, it was announced that Carroll Cave is the “crown jewel” of the convention. We couldn’t agree more and are eager to share this jewel with as many convention attendees as possible. In the guidebook, we’ll delve deeper into the rich history of the cave and current exploration efforts. For now, we’d like to make a brief introduction to CCC and the role we’ll play at convention.

Carroll Cave. Photo courtesy of Carroll Cave Conservancy.

Carroll Cave. Photo courtesy of Carroll Cave Conservancy.

Who we are: CCC is the brain child of Rick Hines (37511RE) who has several contributions to NSS News under his belt. Rick first explored Carroll in 1970, assisting pioneering cave photographer Andy Kramer and others on trips in the cave. It was not until the early 1990s that Rick was able to pursue his dream of exploring and photographing this incredible cave. But by that time, relations between the owners of the natural entrance and the caving community had gone sour and the entrance was off limits. Not to be deterred, Rick studied maps and introduced himself to area landowners, eventually securing a sinkhole on grazing land that looked to be a promising place to dig into the cave. Upon recruiting others who had a passion for Carroll, digging began in 1995 with the expectation of a new entrance in short order. But, as Rick puts it, “it was not to be. Due to safety concerns, the sinkhole dig was reluctantly abandoned after five years and over 1000 man-days of digging. A new approach was needed. In the interim, the conservancy was chartered. A vertical shaft through the solid rock was blasted during a nine month period beginning November 2000. Carroll had a new entrance. Carroll cavers had new life!

Over the ensuing years, CCC maintains an active membership roster of about 80 people, making us one of the larger caving groups in the state. We are not a Grotto, but draw members from Grottoes in Missouri and surrounding states. CCC does not own any land above the cave, but leases a one acre plot where we’ve dug our entrance. Membership is required to access Carroll through this entrance. During convention, we’ll waive membership requirements, but will ask all who enter to sign the landowner waiver (and we certainly won’t discourage anyone from joining). Our main mission is to manage and maintain this entrance, stay in the good graces of our landowner and secure the orderly exploration of this cave which has proven to be so elusive. In addition to the ongoing survey work, CCC conducts regular biology inventories, hydrology monitoring, restoration projects, photography trips and trips for landowners’ families and friends to enhance their appreciation of their natural resources. We’ve also conducted joint cave rescue training with local fire district personnel.

Research at Carroll Cave in central Missouri. Photo courtesy of Carroll Cave Conservancy.

Research at Carroll Cave in central Missouri. Photo courtesy of Carroll Cave Conservancy.

Carroll is home to a sizable maternal gray bat colony, along with solitary bats (Big Brown, Little Brown, Tri-color and more). The man-made entrance allows us to bypass their habitat at critical times when they would be disturbed by cavers coming through the natural entrance. Trips during Convention will be planned with the non-disturbance of bats in mind. We will, of course, observe WNS decontamination protocol for all cavers.

Carroll Cave is home to several types of bats. Photo courtesy of Carroll Cave Conservancy.

Carroll Cave is home to several types of bats. Photo courtesy of Carroll Cave Conservancy.

Carroll Cave is located about 25 miles from the convention site in neighboring Camden County. The cave is the second longest cave in Missouri and is a National Natural Landmark. We pledge to get as many as possible in the cave, without overburdening the highly sensitive environment. Some vertical gear will be needed- For the descent, standard rappel gear. For the ascent, we’ll climb a 120 foot ladder using a chest ascender for belay. No frog or rope walking necessary. Note: The ladder also has a steel cable running its length and we have some climbing devices for it. Some groups may use this system.

At the hatch of Carroll Cave. Photo courtesy of Carroll Cave Conservancy.

At the hatch of Carroll Cave. Photo courtesy of Carroll Cave Conservancy.

At the bottom of the ladder, climbing gear is stashed and it’s horizontal caving from then on. All groups should plan on getting wet, but with the possible exception of certain advanced trips, wet suits should not be necessary. Trips of varying levels of difficulty will be offered, all led by CCC members familiar with navigating the cave. The cave has three major trunk passages (Carroll River, Upper-Thunder and Lower Thunder River). The Back Door entrance comes into the cave near the intersection of these passages. Each day, trips will take different directions, lessening the impact on the cave. Every group should have the opportunity to visit Thunder Falls- Carroll Cave’s crown jewel. Other highlights that will be covered include Convention Hall, Conference Room, Flat Rock Falls, Carroll Passage, Angel Pool Passage, and the Rimstone Room.

Carroll Cave's Convention Hall. Photo courtesy of Carroll Cave Conservancy.

Carroll Cave’s Convention Hall. Photo courtesy of Carroll Cave Conservancy.

If you’ve been on the fence about attending convention this year, we hope this brief intro will help bring you around. Carroll Cave trips will be announced May 1st, along with the other cave trips being offered for pre-registration during 2015 convention. Hope to see you in July!

*For more details on the creation of Carroll Cave’s “Back Door” please visit www.cavediggers.com Issue 1.

You can reach Jeff Page at pagejk@yahoo.com

To register for NSS 2015 please visit http://nss2015.caves.org/.

NSS Convention 2015 Logo

NSS 2015 Convention- Caving Overview

by Kirsten Alvey-Mudd
NSS 2015 Convention Cave Chair

Missouri is currently home to over 7,000 known caves. Nearly 800 of these caves sit within an hour drive in the six counties surrounding NSS 2015 Convention in Waynesville, Missouri. NSS Convention 2015 will offer approximately 200 caves for various levels of experience- from the young or exhausted, family-bad back-old knees friendly, to the down and dirty muddy-wet belly crawlways for the nitty gritty hardcore caver- to the expertise of the certified cave diver. Caves of Missouri author Dr. J. Harlan Bretz used such terms as “unctuous” red clay, meanders and sinuous passage when describing Pulaski County’s varied caving environments.

A tight squeeze in a Missouri cave.

A tight squeeze in a Missouri cave.

Missouri is known for many types of caving, but unlike the TAG region, we offer only a few pit caves which will be available only at post convention camp in Southeast Missouri at Perryville. Our primary convention region is the home of MUD! Most Missouri cavers lovingly refer to the Pulaski region as “Poo” County because of the pasty clay combo which you will encounter in some form or another in almost every convention cave. Depending on Mother Nature’s attitude it will be dry, pasty, or sloppy!! Come prepared!! Not all caves need a wetsuit, but you know yourself better than we do! If you tend to get cold bring one, just in case. Most local cavers use good polypro and decent mid-weight coveralls for all but the long, hard core trips.

Pulaski County area caves are muddy!

Pulaski County area caves are muddy!

In addition to some of the most beautiful combinations of spelothems large and small, Missouri also offers a large variety of bio-diverse cave life. A Guide To Missouri Cave Life (http://goo.gl/bHVPB6) offers previews of most of Missouri’s abundant underground wildlife. Grotto Salamanders (a Species of Conservation Concern in Missouri) are a regular sight in many of the area caves. Gray Bats, listed as Endangered by both the Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are also frequently found in area caves. Several Gray Bat night flight experiences will be offered at locations just minutes from the campground. Bring your cameras!

Photo by Rick Hines

Photo by Rick Hines

* ALL CAVES are on a FIRST COME basis! A limited group of caves will be open throughout Convention for caving at any time you choose. Another selection of caves will have advance on-line registration for PAID convention attendees and will be made available no later than May 1st to help cavers who wish to know in advance of their cave plans. However, at least half of all cave trips for each cave will only be made open the NIGHT BEFORE at the campground to ensure that everyone attending convention have an opportunity to cave if they choose to.

Another quintessential Missouri caving experience is the cave and float combo! Whether canoeing or kayaking, some of the convention’s caves can best be reached and viewed by way of one of the areas seven larger creeks and rivers. A limited number of free canoes and kayaks (including roundtrip portage from the campground) will be available during convention. Registration for these will be available nightly at the campground. Open caves will be flagged with cave number at the waterline to correspond with the guide book along featured routes for easy cave/float access. Personal kayaks and canoes are welcome but MUST follow all portage and public access rules to avoid potential towing and/or ticketing. Discounted leisure floats and kayaking experiences will be made available through Pulaski County’s local outfitters. For more on leisure floating in Pulaski County, and a listing of area outfitters, please see The Hitchhikers Guide To Floating In Pulaski County, available online at http://wp.me/p2Gvbm-sX.

Caving and floating go hand in hand for some of the caves offered during #NSS2015.

Caving and floating go hand in hand for some of the caves offered during #NSS2015.

Fort Leonard Wood, at 65,000 acres, is the heart of Pulaski County. A selection of caves on the installation will be offered during Convention as well. In addition to caving opportunities, Fort Leonard is also the only place in the country where you can see three U.S. Army Branch (Engineer, Chemical Corps, & Military Police) museums in a single location. The museums are housed in the John B. Mahaffey Complex, which is also home to the World War II Complex and Memorial Parks walking tour. The museums are free admission and are open to the public. Fort Leonard Wood is an active federal military training installation and ALL FEDERAL RULES APPLY. To access the installation you will need to present current, valid U.S. photo identification, such as drivers license, for all passengers over the age of 18. You will also want to have your vehicle registration and proof of insurance readily accessible. Your vehicle is also subject to search – so please leave weapons, fireworks, or other incendiary devices at home. International Convention attendees MUST receive advance clearance directly from the U.S. Army Provost Marshall. Convention staff WILL NOT facilitate international access.

Statue of a Sapper- part of the Memorial Parks Walking Tour on Fort Leonard Wood.

Statue of a Sapper- part of the Memorial Parks Walking Tour on Fort Leonard Wood.

During NSS 2015 Convention your NSS number will be your passport to a unique decontamination service. You only have to drop your dirty gear off at the decon area and pick it up the next day, and you are ready for caving again! Your number will accompany your gear as it is power washed, scrubbed, and hot water deconned courtesy of U.S. Army & local Boy Scout volunteers. Your gear will be dried and packed back into a clean trash bag. Re-use the trash bag the following day when you turn in your gear again! This concierge service will follow current USFWS Decontamination protocol. Concierge service is not available for sensitive gear such as cameras and non-submersibles. Brushes, 409, and Lysol wipes will be provided at the decon station.

Stay up to date on the latest news and announcements from NSS 2015 Convention at http://nss2015.caves.org/index.shtml. Discounted registration continues until June 1st- register today!

Hitchhiker's Guide To Missouri Caving

Watch the Convention Promo video on YouTube! http://youtu.be/l__kcttvdtU

*Photos courtesy of Missouri Bat Census & Pulaski County Tourism Bureau, DJ Hall, Rick Hines, and Kansas City Area Grotto.

Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House Available During NSS Convention

The Talbot House is one of Waynesville’s oldest homes. She has stood at the corner of North Street overlooking the town’s comings and goings for 130 years. The home was originally constructed by Reverend Albert Washington Davis for his family in 1885. Only three years later he tragically died from injuries sustained while fighting a fire at the row of commercial buildings on the south side of the square. His widow converted the home into a hotel known as The Pulaski House. It is long rumored that during this time a reluctant witness to a high profile murder case chose to commit suicide in his rented room rather than go to the courthouse to testify during the trial.

Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House will be available to National Speleological Society Convention 2015 (#NSS2015) attendees.

Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House will be available to National Speleological Society Convention 2015 (#NSS2015) attendees.

In 1920 Dr. Charles A. Talbot purchased the home. He practiced medicine in this location for over 20 years before moving his office just west of the Courthouse Square. After he passed away in 1945, his widow, Emma Pearl, supplemented her income by renting rooms. A strict boarding house operator, “Maude”, as she was known, generally rented to school teachers, telephone operators, and highway patrolmen.

In 1969 Mrs. Bonnie Dubowski purchased the home and resided there until her death in 1994. She was a loving caretaker of the home and the house suffered without her, slowly deteriorating until it was purchased by Mr. & Mrs. Keith Osborne in 2001. It has operated as Talbot House Antiques, Collectables, & Gifts for more than a decade.

The home is normally open after hours once a month (first Saturday) to participants of Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House. During National Speleological Society Convention 2015 (#NSS2015) the investigations will be opened up to 30 attendees (18+) over the course of three evenings. Investigations for groups of ten will take place Tuesday (July 14), Wednesday (July 15) and Thursday (July 16) beginning at 8:30 pm and lasting until approximately 11:00 pm. Normally $20, the experience is discounted to $18 for cavers. You MUST call and reserve your spot and prepay your reservation (check or money order only) no later than June 30th. To make your reservation contact Dawnmarie Cecora at 573.528.2149. Feel free to bring cameras, head lamps, audio recorders, video cameras. Availability is limited- make your reservation for a chilling good time today!