Top of the Rock: Lost Canyon Cave

Good morning, my friends. What a fun day of sight-seeing we had yesterday. I’m here to tell you all about it. As usual, I took too many pictures. I’ve tried to winnow them down, but not very successfully. Since I can’t figure out what parts to leave out, I’m going to break this into two posts again. 

Before getting on our way, I had some time to press the newest Kittens block. This is the 9th of 12 blocks.

Here are the nine blocks I have for this quilt so far.

Okay, so off we went, heading south the way we came, nearly to the Arkansas state line in Ridgedale, Missouri. When we arrived, we found a veritable army of golf carts waiting for us.

We had tickets for the Top of the Rock Lost Canyon Cave tour using a golf cart to get around the 2-1/2 mile trail. It was cold and windy at the top of the hill. We were happy to be on our way.

Out into the sunshine. Mike gave a good description of this place. It was a beautifully landscaped and giant rock garden. We were just getting started here…a nice little drive down this sunny lane.

The real fun started after we passed through this tunnel.

There were lights, but it was still dark inside. Just around that corner and…

There it is! Say it with me now… it’s the light at the end of the tunnel!

Outside were beautiful grounds and dozens of waterfalls. We crossed over this covered bridge.

In fairly short order, we came to the cave entrance.

There was an actual “bat bar” just inside, selling snacks and beverages. Anything here look good to you?

It was dark inside the cave, and so it wasn’t possible to take pictures. I managed to get this one with my phone, and that’s pretty much how it looked inside. There were more golf carts ahead of us.

Back outside, we came to one of the larger waterfalls.

I made a short video so you could see and hear it.

There was a small screen in our golf cart. Occasionally, it would display an interesting tidbit of information. I happened to look down for this one:

All through the park there was “wildlife” like these bears. I can imagine it’s fun to go through here at night when everything is lit up. What I wanted you to notice here is the “table rocks”. This area has been dug out by hand. It took nine years to create this complex of entertainment, including the cave, museum, golf course, hotel, restaurant, general store, and the list goes on and on. Think of an archeologist painstakingly cleaning excess dirt from an archeological find. Now blow it up to a much larger scale, and that is how this tour was created. It was excavated, cleaned up, landscaped, and turned into what exists today.

Here are more rocks. This is how they appear naturally.

This covered bridge is known as the “Amish Bridge.”

Driving through, it looks like this. No power tools. Imagine that.

On the other side, another of the many waterfalls.

Another bit of information on our screen.

At some places, there were “parking spaces” where you could pull off the trail and get out. We stopped here, walking under this eagle arch to see the view at the overlook.

Our shadow selves were super excited about this. My shadow self was wearing a hood. It was cold.

There was an expansive view of the surrounding forest. Here, we were at the top of the Ozark range. Way off in the distance, we could see Table Rock Lake. It’s an enormous lake spanning both Arkansas and Missouri. It was created by the damming of the White River at Table Rock Dam. It has 800 miles of shoreline.

Looking off to the right, we could see some of the structures we would visit next.

Zooming in, the structure on the left is a cabin designed and built by golfer Jack Nicklaus. To the right is a church steeple. You’ll get a better look at the church in the second post from the day.

Standing there on the overlook, I looked down, down, down below where we were standing. It was a long way down.

Moving on, I glanced back for a last shot of the Amish Bridge.

Here’s another big waterfall, but I really wanted you to notice the bands of color in the rock.

We passed by this Chinese Snowball bush all in bloom.

Returning to the place where we started, we boarded a shuttle that would take us to the Top of the Rock Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum.

We were told this is Baby’s Breath.

That brought us to the next part of our tour at the museum.

I’ll tell you about that in a separate post. Stay tuned my friends. I have so much more to tell you. 

In the meantime, breathe deep. We walked down to the marina and boat launch associated with this RV park. It was so peaceful there. To our left it looked like this:

Looking directly across the creek, the trees there are growing on what amounts to a vertical wall of rock. If you look very closely in the upper right corner, you'll see a tiny gazebo. There was also a fancier structure to the right and outside the frame.

That's all I have for you just now. I have a second post to write, and so I'll get to it. 


Barbara said...

All art, from the paintings on the walls of cave dwellers to art created today, is autobiographical because it comes from the secret place in the soul where imagination resides. ~ Gloria Vanderbilt

Kate said...

Looks like you had a wonderful experience at the cave. You probably hit it just right, warm enough to enjoy, but before all the kids are out of school and the park is full of vacationing families.

piecefulwendy said...

What a fun tour! Pretty views.

kc said...

Beautiful! I don't think any of this was there when we were. Or, if it was, we were certainly oblivious and ignorant of it all! What treasures! And that museum!! Wow!!

Christine said...

NEVER EVER take me to the edge again!!!!!!!
Otherwise fascinating.....

Magpie's Mumblings said...

That picture standing on the edge looking down should have been accompanied by a big warning label! Yikes - my stomach dropped and it wasn't even the real thing.

Becky said...

You are near my neck of the woods. Your "baby's breath" is actually virburnum. I grow the shrubs in my yard. They are everywhere around here. I'm reading this late as I have beem on vacation as well. Love all your beautiful pictures! And the commentary!.