MVOR Cancellation/Postponement

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Jim Minie
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MVOR Cancellation/Postponement

By now everyone knows of the cancelation/postponement of the Spring MVOR.  We made the choice based completely on making sure everyone stayed safe.  We apologize to everyone who didn't get the message and traveled to the site only to be turned away.  Many found their way to the "alternate MVOR" at Huzzah Valley Canoe Rental, but because of the confusion, and a couple of the organizers being unable to cross the last crossing until later on Friday, we know a number of people didn't get the message and ended up at hotels and other campgrounds.  

Spring MVORs tend to have their share of "rain events".  We all have our favorite mud-fest MVORs, or pictures of tents floating in places that were high and dry when they were pitched.  The site chosen for this MVOR had 3 low-water stream crossings, 2 normally dry, and the third wet, and wide, but very shallow.  These were well known to be crossable after an inch or more of rain.  We had, in fact, camped the weekend prior to the MVOR in the rain, and had no problem with crossing.  The only problem we had the previous weekend was with someone getting stuck by driving in the lower part of the field where they were asked not to drive, with bald tires.  

The rain that started Thursday afternoon ended up being multiple inches of rain that fell in a 12-hour period, on ground that had been soaked by rain the previous weekend.  When we woke on Friday morning, we immediately assessed the stream crossings, and without question, thought the best thing to do was stop people from crossing to the site, lest they be stuck, or worse.  We made the decision to leave.

The water at the crossings was getting high, but for the most part, everyone made it out without major issues.  Some chose to leave by the back route, which it turned out was a little rough, and not easily passable with 2-wheel drive vehicles.  A couple of vehicles decided to stay on site, but move to higher ground.  They were completely safe.  The organizers (myself included) went out the front, stream-crossing way toward Dillard.  The crossings were getting higher, but still passable.  Unfortunately, a vehicle crossing the narrow first crossing dropped two wheels off onto the upstream side of the slab due to not being able to be seen because of the muddy water.  In the time it took to get a tow truck to the site to pull the vehicle, out, the water rose to what was deemed an unsafe crossing height.  3 vehicles were stranded between the first and second crossings.

Within an hour or three, the footbridge to the Mill site had become passable, and those of us "stranded" on the mill property had a steady stream of visitors.  

By 7:30 the water had dropped sufficiently, and we were able to cross the last crossing and go over to the Huzzah Valley "MVOR" site.  

Again, we apologize for the inconvenience of canceling the MVOR at the last minute.  SAFETY was the ONLY priority at the time the decision was made.  We know some drove a long way, and many took off work to be here.  We are considering rescheduling the MVOR, far enough out that people can plan again.  It would be at the same place, as the fire is already built.  We do plan on waiting until the spring rains are over.  The official word will come from the MVOR committee when this would happen.  Stay tuned!

We're asking everyone who would be interested in coming to the rescheduled MVOR to wait until the date is set before asking for a refund.  We haven't been able to get together as a team to decide how best to move forward.  We had contractual obligations to the landowner, the johnnys, and others, as well as purchasing t-shirts.  These people have all been paid.  Please wait and we'll have a way for everyone to reply yea/nay for the rescheduled date.  

I just want to say thanks to everyone, especially the volunteers who worked so hard to make this MVOR happen, those who helped with the last-minute cancelation communication, everyone who pre-registered and those who didn't but came anyway, and those whose determination to make sure SOMETHING happened where they could socialize with other cavers.  

And WHO could have predicted SNOW for the MVOR weekend!

Jim Minie

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