Friday, July 10, 2009

Blanchard Springs Caverns

Update: If you're stopping by from Field Trip Friday, we will be out of town; I won't have time to post about a new trip. Here is a visit to one of our favorite places in Arkansas.

We enjoyed having Daddy off for the 3-day weekend. Friday, we decided to go to Blanchard Springs, which is about two hours away. The only down side is how carsick Tornado and I always get. Practically any place we want to go in Arkansas gets the two of us feeling awful (but luckily, we never throw up). It doesn't help that we are the two that like to read in the car.

We had to stop at the Wal-Mart in Mountain View to buy Sissy a pair of shoes. Somehow she made it into the car without any. I'm not pointing any fingers. ;)
We found a lovely place to enjoy our picnic lunch and had a superb day.

It was really hot outside, and it was wonderful to step into the 58 degree cave. Tornado LOVED the tour. We chose the easier Dripstone Trail tour.

Dash enjoyed it, too, but he wasn't always quiet when the guide was speaking. He only got called out once for touching the cave wall, which was the biggest cave rule; it can damage the whole cave ecosystem apparently. Leave it to my son. In his defense, an adult man also got scolded once, as well.

Halfway through the one hour tour, Sissy had pretty much lost her patience. She was tired and thirsty. She wouldn't stop saying, "I want my juice."

It was impossible to get a picture to capture the cavern's amazingness, but if you're that interested, you can see a picture here. I literally said, "Wow!!" when we stepped inside.
There was a pretty good little museum to enjoy while we were waiting on our cavern tour time. The boys are now fascinated by bats, and we are starting a little bat unit because of their interest from this trip. Of course, they loved the huge piles of bat guano in the cave.

A little piece of trivia for you because I just looked it up to make sure I was getting it right: A cave is "any cavity in the ground that does not receive direct sunlight." A cavern is a specific type of cave. So a cavern could also be called a cave, but a cave isn't always a cavern. Got it?

We also watched a very informative/educational short film about the cave's formation/history.
We went swimming next. Here they are playing the Daddy-invented game, "Float the Rock." The goal was to land little rocks onto the big rock.
Dash could go swimming in the creek every day. He was right in his element.
He was the last one to exit the water at the end of the day.
There were signs at the main swimming area declaring the area closed due to unsafe water conditions (e coli). Is it weird that there were so many people swimming there anyway? I don't know how all that works.

The people at the visitor's center directed us to a different swimming area, which had apparently tested safe. Even so, we pleaded with the kids to keep the water out of their mouths as much as possible, just to be safe. This is my ever-so-obedient 4 year old, filling his mouth with water, even as we were begging, "Don't put the water in your mouth! You're going to get diarrhea!"

This did not phase him. Thankfully, it's been a week, and I guess he made it, unharmed. :0
"A good time was had by all..."


Visit Live the Adventure to read about other fun "field trips."


Annette said...

You made me think of a song that goes Bats eat bugs, they don't eat people. Bats eat bugs, they don't fly in your hair. ....

Great pictures! I get unbearably miserable with carsickness just by reading the map for more than a minute.

You're my first follower for the new blog. I plan to share about it when we return from vacation, but I figured there wasn't a point when we'll just be going away on Sunday. I'm not sure how it will go having two blogs, but hopefully it will be a good thing.

happy weekend! (Oh, does this mean you have your memory card back?)

Cary said...

So fun! I miss creek swimming. What did you eat for the picnic? I can't believe you didn't say.

Jenny said...

Our picnic menu: grapes, pineapple chunks, baby carrots, watermelon, baked tofu and cheese cubes, crackers, chips and salsa, and macaroni salad from Veganomicon cookbook (basically pasta with Vegannaise, vinegar,onions, and shredded carrots and spices).

The Davidson Den said...

How is it that you are so organized that y'all can actually GO places and DO things?!

Pebblekeeper said...

Fun Trip! We too have had the "Quit drinking that water" moments. :) Thanks for sharing! We love Arkansas!

Anonymous said...

How fun! I know what you mean about the coolness of the cave. Luray Caverns was like that.

Tonya @ Live the Adventure said...

We always love a good cave tour and who can resist cooling off in a wild swim? That's what my friends here in Alabama call it when they jump in a creek to swim.:) I remember the days of telling the kids not to drink the water...seems like that and don't go out too deep were the only things I knew how to say when we did go swimming! Thanks for linking up to Field Trip Friday. Can't wait to hear about the adventure you're on now. Blessings!:)

Kim said...

Great post. I can't wait to take Crumpet to a big cavern - he just turned four though, and I have always had the fear that he'd get down there, be bored and started requiring juice! So we've been putting it off... Love the pic of your son drinking the creek water - feels familiar. If I say "Don't jump off that ledge, Crumpet immediately jumps...".