12 October 2007
Well, today I did not get underground. Pete and Ara conducted a web search on Histoplasmosis and realized our respirators did not contain the proper filtration. So, unless we find the right equipment, we cannot return to Guano Grotto to pull traps.
I spent the day looking for either respirators or cartridges with a 0.2 micron filter (meaning it filters 99.98% of the particulates in the air). Our cartridges were 0.3 microns. I called numerous safety businesses in Albuquerque. Fortunately, I was able to find a place that carried the respirators with the correct cartridges. Safety Flare, Inc. in Albuquerque, NM. is where I found the equipment. They are an incredibly helpful bunch of folks who were willing to stay open after 1700hr so that I could pick up the respirators. Thank you very much, Rhonda, Abbey and the rest of the helpful staff there!
Albuquerque is a town of about 500 thousand people, it is more than doubled during the annual hot balloon fiesta. I haven’t seen this many crazy drivers on the road since I was driving in Veracruz, Mexico. When I drove through last, it consisted of an unmarked four lane highway. I was almost sideswiped by crazy drivers twice! Needless to say, I was rather glad to get out of town.
Pete and Ara went to pull traps at Spotted Pavement Cave. Much to my surprise this cave contained numerous invertebrates. They collected Rhadine beetles, springtails, and crickets.