The 23rd Annual WSS Hodag Hunt Festival September 9-11, 1988
Underground Caver Wedding
Highlights Hodag Hunt!
Over 100 cavers from five different Midwestern states
attended the 23rd Annual Hodag Hunt and Fall North Country
Region Meeting. The event was held at the Quietwoods
Campground—North near Sturgeon Bay in Door County,
Wisconsin. The September 9-11, 1988, event featured the first
underground wedding ever held in Northeastern Wisconsin!
Cavers Polly Smith and Craig C. Bednar, both members of the
Wisconsin Speleological Society, were married in Wellever
Cave near Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. A fifteen car caravan of
close to 35 cavers proceeded to the cave. The wedding party,
which also consisted of cavers Leslie Bednar and Gary Soule,
entered the cave to the traditional wedding march. Reverend
Phillips Sweet and the newlyweds stood on red carpeting
beneath a birch bark cross. Fourteen candles provided the only
light in the underground cathedral, while a single “bat” hung
from a candle holder near the groom! Minnesota Speleological
Survey member, Roger Kehret of Chatfield, Minnesota,
played a tune on his mountain dulcimer. A special stone
walkway had been laid out in the cave, complete with
miniature birch bark “steeples” at the cave entrance to add yet
another unique touch. The couple spent several weeks in
Canada before returning to Hillsboro, Wisconsin.
Another highlight of Hodag Hunt was the discovery of still
another extension to Horseshoe Bay Cave, which already is
the longest cave in Wisconsin with over 3000 ft of passage.
Sam Busse, Randy Kwiatkowski, Art Dahms, and banquet
guest speaker, Norb Kox, made the long crawl to the end of
the cave. Three of them free-dove a short siphon and found 50
ft of passage and two pits. The pits are 10 ft and 15 ft deep,
and more cave could have been dug into had time permitted.
Like all Door county caves, the cave is in Niagara Dolomite
and the water temperature is a cold 46o F.
Gregory Brick, a member of the Minnesota Speleological
Survey from St. Paul, Minnesota, found “Hodag” hiding in
Pennings Hall the Dorchester Cave, the Dorchester Nursing
Home in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The cave is entered
through the basement! On Sunday, September 11, the North
Country Region Meeting was held. Elections were held for
new officers as follows: Gary K. Soule, Chairman; Cathy
Jamrog, Vice Chairman; George W. Zachariasen, Secretary;
and Ralph P. Earlandson, Treasurer. The cavers gathered at
the meeting passed a motion as being in favor of the proposed
NSS acquisition of Roppel Cave if funds can be secured. The
winter North Country Region Meeting will be held at 5:00
p.m. on Saturday, December 10, 1988, at the Chelsea Rod &
Gun Club near Chelsea in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. This
is in connection with the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the
Michigan Interlakes Grotto.
--Gary K. Soule