April 10, 2015- Spelunking is the recreational exploration of caves...unless you're in the UK, in which case it's called potholing. The Brits and their weird terms for things...although "spelunking" is a bit odd already.
Anyway, pardon my linguistic digression...
The bat guano (look that term up for yourself) of Marvel Cave was the first reason why people settled in what is now known as Silver Dollar City. Later, there were recreational tours given and it became the first attraction for what is now the Silvery Dollar City theme park.
My family and I used to tour the cave all of the time when we were younger, so I was very excited to tour it again after an absence of more than 8 years.
Oh, and this is also the second in a "series" of 3 posts of our trip down to Branson in April of 2015:
Before we went down to the cave we were given a plethora of negative possibilities that could occur on this tour, which was very reminiscent of a drug commercial you'd see on TV.
Well, it scared off some, but it steeled the nerves of the determined few who continued to venture into the very bowels of the earth. Time for a "Journey into the Center of the Earth!"
The Haguewoods are cautiously using the hand rails
- while the lady in front of them is recklessly taking a selfie?
Our tour guide, Tim. or was it Rick? Charlie? I really don't remember.
Maybe it was Chip? Nah...that'd be way too obvious for a cave guide.
We'll just call him Steve. Steve is a nice name.
I'm going to completely obliterate any remaining semblance of respectability this blog may have if I keep posting internet gifs like this...
View from above and below
This room/cavern is absolutely enormous.
One time they simultaneously had 5 hot air balloons floating in this cave.
That pillar to the right is called "The Sentinel"
We ooohhh-ed and ahhhh-ed over "the sentinel" at the tour guide's behest.
Okay, random thought - but can you imagine holding a church service down amongst the catacombs like the early Christians in Rome did?
At one point, the electric lights were completely shut off and we got to see what it must've been like to explore the cave by candlelight.
We travel down a few hundred steps to the floor of the cave
This photo is terribly -disconcerting- if you see it unexpectedly.
We continue walking traversing through a maze of staircases through the cave.
This "shelf" or rock was lit up with colored lights, which looked incredible.
The final room before we head up and out of the cave
..and to give her due credit, Kate came down into the cave with us and took this photo.
The ONE bat that we spotted on the tour
Just try and wrap your head around this picture!
Enormous calcite formations
To get out of the cave, we are pulled up in a shuttle