After almost four hours, including rest/shopping time at the Ozarkland, we finally and safely arrived to our destination – Mark Twain Cave Complex located at Hannibal, Missouri, Mark Twain’s hometown. Talk about spending the day touring caves! I was really excited! I’ve toured a cave once back in 2003, the Crystal Cave in Baguio City (Philippines). I didn’t really enjoy the experience because it was raining and water was getting in the cave. Our group were more concerned and concentrated in keeping ourselves safe and getting out of the cave without broken bones. It was really muddy and slippery inside!
So yesterday, I was both curious and excited to see what wonders Mark Twain and Cameron caves have to offer. We decided to tour the Cameron cave first. Unlike Mark Twain cave, there is no electricity in Cameron cave so you tour the cave by lantern light. It’s like seeing the cave just like how it was when it was first discovered. We each grabbed a lantern or tiny led flashlight that we’ll use to light our way inside.
Right at the entrance, you could already feel the pleasant temperature. The cave remains 56 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Before we started the tour, our guides Connor and James gave us a little information about it – what to expect, approximately how long the tour would last and most especially to not wander alone and get lost since the cave was a labyrinth of twisty passages and that they were not in a very good mood to look for us. Of course, they were joking. (Or were they really?)
And so our adventure began.
The cave is definitely amazing. Pictures don’t do it justice. As we walked along the curvy passages we stopped at certain points, which were given nicknames based on their shape, appearance or historical events. Some names were: the Tea Pot, the Titanic and the Bear’s Den. When asked who wanted to crawl into the Bear’s Den (of course, there’s no bear in it), I immediately volunteered but as soon as my hands felt the cold clay and was told that the den’s at least 10 feet long, I backed out.
Like most tours, we moved fast, unfortunately sometimes too fast and if you’re at the end of the line it’s hard to hear and see what the guides were talking about, which was a little disappointing. After an hour and a half, my feet started feeling cold as I was just wearing a pair of chucks. But, that time is definitely not enough to explore and enjoy the cave’s enchanting beauty!
The last point of interest was to me the most spectacular. There were stalactites and stalagmites!
The whole adventure was remarkable and I totally enjoyed it! It was like experiencing another world!
Oh, and we saw a baby bat!
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