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