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VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY--Trail Work and Guided Caving Tour

  • Aug 3, 2013 · 9:00 AM

Ranger Kim from El Malpais National Monument offers us this event:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DATE: Saturday August 3rd.

TIME: 9:00 am

PLACE:  (You may want to carpool from ABQ.) Meet at El Malpais National Monument’s Information Center, located 23 miles south of Grants on Highway 53 (exit 81). About 2 hours from ABQ.

EVENT:  Trail work and guided lava tube caving tour. Come out and visit New Mexico’s Land of Fire and Ice. El Malpais National Monument is home to over 20 volcanoes, including the El Calderon cinder cone, which erupted 115,000 years ago. A 3 mile loop trail leads to the ancient volcano. The monument needs volunteers to help with surface improvements to the existing trail, adding a small portion of new trail, and converting an historic roadway that will link up with the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). All tools and work equipment will be provided. We will work from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, eat lunch, and then begin our guided, 1 hour tour of Junction Cave. Inside the lava tube, please be prepared to encounter loose, uneven terrain and scramble over large rocks. The cave tour will end by 4:00 pm. Free camping is also available for those who wish to continue to explore the El Malpais monument, or visit the nearby Ice Caves and Bandera Crater attraction on Sunday.

BRING:  Work gloves, lunch, snacks, and at least a gallon of water. Wear sturdy hiking shoes. For the cave tour, a sweater, long-sleeved shirt and long pants are recommended for the underground temperatures. Please have 2 sources of light AND back-up batteries. A headlamp and flashlight are ideal. Also bring a helmet if you have one. A bike helmet will suffice, though caving bump-hats are now on sale at the El Malpais Information Center for $8.00 each.

LIMIT:  20 people, please. RSVP soon. (Since this is popular, I've created another event for Sunday August 11th, and there are still a few spaces left for that!)

CONTACT:  Kim Score at[masked] x28 with questions. Additional caving permits are available for 3 other public caves. Please check out the El Malpais NM website: http://www.nps.gov/elma/index.htm

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  • Kimber

    And thanks for uploading all the awesome pictures!

    1 · August 5, 2013

  • Kimber

    Thank you for coming, everyone. I had a great day too! Please come back and enjoy El Malpais again in the future. There's a few more caves to explore...!

    1 · August 5, 2013

  • Holly C

    I had a great time. This event was well organized.

    1 · August 4, 2013

  • Duane M.

    I really enjoyed the day! Great job to all. Thank you Ranger Kim!

    2 · August 3, 2013

  • Jan

    Kim planned a wonderful day for us. We worked hard in the morning, had a cookie break, worked some more, ate lunch, and then toured Junction Cave. Way to go, Kim!!!

    1 · August 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are we still meeting at the information center or somewhere else?

    August 2, 2013

    • Kimber

      Yes, we are meeting at the Information Center! See everyone at 9:00.

      August 2, 2013

  • Jan

    Yes, carpoolers meet at the Lowe's on 12th just north of I-40 at 7 am. Be prepared to reimburse your driver for gas so it should be 160 miles total divided by the gas mileage of the vehicle, times $4 per gallon (cost of gas plus wear and tear on the vehicle), divided by the number of people in the vehicle.

    August 2, 2013

  • Jan

    I'm quite sure we are still meeting at the EM Info Center. They are only four Mike's apart.

    August 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    going next weekend instead

    August 2, 2013

  • Xuyuan P.

    Since I'm in, wonder if you guys have an open spot for me to car pool.

    August 2, 2013

  • Jan

    THANK YOU for changing the meeting location. To all drivers and riders, this does not change our time of departure. The new location only adds 4 miles and is more convenient plus we can use the restrooms and buy caving helmets. See you Saturday morning at 7 am at Lowe's on 12th north of I-40.

    July 31, 2013

    • Jan

      Required

      August 1, 2013

    • Kimber

      Michael, the helmets are for your protection, and are required. I have bumped my head a number of times while caving, and the helmet has really saved me! You can bring a climbing or bicycle helmet, if you have one of those. If not, you can buy a caving "bump hat" on Saturday morning at the Information Center. See you there!

      August 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    THANK YOU for setting this up! It is a very exciting opportunity! I just want to let you know that me and my guest will be leaving from ABQ at 7am and driving up on our own since we have a stop to make before leaving. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Information Center.

    July 31, 2013

    • Kimber

      You're welcome, Christine! Looking forward to meeting you too.

      August 2, 2013

  • Xuyuan P.

    so it means now I'm in? no longer any waiting list?

    August 1, 2013

    • Jan

      Yes

      August 1, 2013

  • CHAO D.

    Plan changed. I could not make it.

    August 1, 2013

  • Randy J.

    Sorry. Unexpected schedule conflict.

    August 1, 2013

  • Kimber

    Please note that I've **CHANGED THE MEETING LOCATION** to the ELMA Information Center, just 3 miles down the highway. This way, anyone who needs to buy an $8 caving helmet or extra flashlight can do so before we start our day. I will also go over the caving permit process with everyone there, and have you all fill out a quick volunteer form. Looking forward to meeting everyone. This will be fun!

    July 31, 2013

    • Jan

      Thank you so very much!!!

      July 31, 2013

  • Jan

    We can get caving permits (free and one per car) at the El Malpias Information Center which is about four miles past the El Cadron area. We can buy helmets there, too. I want to make sure that I am driving or riding with someone who is planning to stay for the entire day. There are restrictions as to who may or may not enter a cave at El Malpias. These restrictions have to do with the white-nose syndrome that is spreading in the US and Canada.

    July 29, 2013

    • Kimber

      Jan is right! All of the caves at El Malpais were closed to the public for over a year because of the white-nosed fungus that is spreading westward, killing the bats. We have opened 4 caves back up, and those now require a permit to enter. The permit process is free and easy. Basically, we ask you a few questions to determine if you have entered a cave back east, and whether you are wearing any of that caving gear into one of our caves, potentially spreading the fungus. 99 % of the time the first question is "NO", and the process is over! However, if it is probable that someone has been in contact with the fungus, we ask them to decontaminate their gear first and provide them with the supplies to do that. To my knowledge, we have not had to "decontaminate"­ anyone yet, but this is an important preventative measure to keep our NM bat populations healthy and thriving.

      July 31, 2013

    • Kimber

      We have 16 species of bats in El Malpais, including a very large maternity colony of Mexican Free-tailed Bats. To lose them to the fungus would be devastating to the ecosystem and have far-reaching ecological consequences.

      July 31, 2013

  • Becky P.

    I'll still feel safer with the recommended 2 hrs from Albuquerque. So we would have to leave at 7 at the latest. Is 6:45 ok? I can drive or ride but I prefer to share the cost of the gas used instead of charge each rider a fee per mile.

    July 29, 2013

    • Becky P.

      Ok cool 7:00 and leave at 7:15.

      July 30, 2013

    • Jan

      Yes, it's two hours from the far NE heights in traffic but not starting at 12th & I-40.

      July 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Will this event be held again on Aug 10th?

    July 29, 2013

    • Kimber

      No, but on Sunday the 11th, instead! Same time & place...

      1 · July 30, 2013

  • Kimber

    FYI: I'm creating another event for Sunday August 11th, since this one was popular and people are on the waiting list. Thanks for your interest, everyone!!

    July 30, 2013

  • Jan

    Since we don't have to be at the Ranger Station until 9 am, those of us wanting to carpool can meet at 7:30 am at the Lowe's at 12th and I-40. It's about[masked] miles round trip (Lowes to the Ranger Station to the Junction lava tube and back) so be prepared to pay your driver a sufficient amount of money for gas.

    July 29, 2013

    • Jan

      FYI, we'll be meeting at the Lowe's on 12th & I-40 at 7 am and we'll leave by 7:15 am.

      July 30, 2013

  • Xuyuan P.

    Hi, I just wonder what skills does this volunteer job require. it sounds a fun and good experience.

    July 27, 2013

    • Jan

      Check with Kim.

      July 28, 2013

    • Kimber

      Don't worry, this is not too technical. We'll be using wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes and pickaxes to move gravel and resurface the trail.

      July 30, 2013

  • CHAO D.

    If you guys share carpool, count me in.

    July 22, 2013

    • Jan

      See you at the Lowe's on 12th north of I-40.

      July 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have a car and would happy to shuttle people over to the site. Assuming Lowe's has an enormous parking lot (I've never been to this one), is there a particular spot we can 'meet up'?

    July 29, 2013

    • Jan

      It has a huge parking lot. Generally we meet on the east side of the parking lot, away from the store.

      July 29, 2013

    • Jan

      Let's meet at 7 am and leave by 7:15 am.

      July 29, 2013

  • Duane M.

    Looking forward to this meetup! Safe travels on your way out!

    July 24, 2013

  • Kimber

    Thanks for your interest, everyone. El Malpais is a relatively young National Monument (just created in the mid 80's). We have a lot of great ideas for the future, but must rely on volunteers for many of these projects and improvements. The up-coming trail work is just one example. I'm excited to see that many of you are interested and planning to attend the event. I'm so grateful for your help! I hope you'll enjoy the guided cave tour as a "thank you."

    July 24, 2013

  • Duane M.

    I'm interested. Let me work out some scheduling things to see if I have some time. I sure would like to help improve the trails. KIT...

    July 23, 2013

  • Becky P.

    I'd like to carpool too...Is 6:30 at the Lowes on I-40 and 12th street ok?

    July 22, 2013

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