On The Road Again - Branson, Missouri and touring a cave - Talking Rocks Cavern with a Five-Year-Old

Talking Rocks Cavern - a stupid name for an awesome cave/cavern

It's been quiet here on CoffeeTalking because I've been on the road again.  Almost a week now and my latest stop is in Branson, Missouri.  Now, I've been here a number of times, as family lives in this area, but usually I'm busy with... visiting family.  And I don't do much sightseeing.  But this week I really wanted to get out and do something on Wednesday.  Hiking or a cave or something.  So, I turned to the internet to look for hiking trails and in the middle of researching trails, stumbled upon some reviews for a cavern tour called Talking Rocks Cavern.  

It just so happened one of the little family members didn't have preschool on Wednesday, so I made plans for a special day together.  Just him and me.

I thought the cost of the tour was a bit pricey - espcially for a not-all-that-big cavern in the middle of Missouri (compared to say, some of the larger caves and longer cave tours in other parts of the country).  But I did find coupons on their site for $2 off both adult and kids tickets.  With my $4 savings in hand we ran errands that morning and showed up at the cavern around 10:05 am.

I bought our tickets... and completely forgot about the coupon I had!  So, we paid full price and even though losing out on $4 off the total entrance price of $36 for the two of us would normally make me mentally kick myself, it ends up I think it was worth it.

We loved it.

Starting the tour!

The history of the cavern is part of the tour so I don't want to say too much about it but it's interesting, so I wanted to touch on it a bit.

The best way to do that is to take a smidgen of the cave information from their website.  If they feel this is a good overview without ruining the history part of the tour, then I guess I do too!

"Talking Rocks Cavern was first named “Fairy Cave” by the early cave developer, Truman Powell, after he first explored the cave. His comment was that it looked like “a subterranean fairy land”. The caves name was changed to Talking Rocks Cavern in 1969 when Silver Dollar City purchased the cave. They chose to change the name based on a quote from Waldo Powell, son of Truman Powell. Waldo would spend a lot of time looking at the rocks and mineral deposits in the cave, and noted that the physical evidence in the cave would tell him a story about how it formed…thus, it was inspiration for the new name “Talking Rocks Cavern.”

The hour long tour of Talking Rocks Cavern is what we refer to as “edutainment.” By this, I mean that we focus on education, as well as entertainment. It is educational in nature, as you will learn about the caves discovery and related history, as well as learn about the mineral deposits and other geological information while on your tour. The tour is also entertaining. Our cave guides are ready to answer questions that you may have, and can find answers to those questions that they may not already know.

Above ground activities are numerous! Play a round of Cave Country Mini-Golf on our mostly shaded miniature golf course. Purchase a bag of sluice, pan for gemstones, and take home all of the gems that you find!  Hike the nature trail to the lookout tower, conquer the indoor and outdoor SpeleoBox crawl mazes, and enjoy a break at one of the shaded picnic areas. Bring the kids (and grandkids!) and let them explore the expanded Kid’s Play Area."

We had people on our little tour of every age group and every body type. No one had any issues on the tour except one person who ignored the tour operators warning to watch your head walking through a passage way and he bumped his noggin.  His own fault though for not looking.  No one else had any issues.

I absolutely LOVE that this particular cave and tour are not so 'legal based safety scrubbed' that you might as well walk through a fake concrete man-made safe and dry cave at an amusement park.  This cave still has much of the original concrete and rails put in by the original family that owned and opened the cave in 1921. 

It's a living cave, which means it's still growing!  And caves grow by water.
Water is wet.
Wet is sometimes slippery.  Wet is sometimes... wet.  Wet is sometimes dripping on your head.  Wet makes you watch your step.  Wet makes things humid and... damp.

But stop complaining and enjoy nature!!!!!

My photos were not made for a website nor for any reason other than snapping a few on my cell phone as we toured.  As I mentioned, I had a 5 year old with me, so we enjoyed the moment, watched our steps and took pictures on my phone as I felt like it.

The thing about photos like this, is that they cannot truly capture the detail.  The beauty.  Or the size!  Some of these were massive but unless you look for a head, a body or people in the photo to judge by, you will probably under estimate the size. 

We had a just-turned-five-year-old on the tour as well as elderly visitors - so all ages.
No problem!
Now, I did choose to leave the 3 year old and the baby at home and not bring them. The 3 year old would not have understood or cared about anything being taught or looked at.  He would have been more content to play on the playground outside the entrance or on the built in play 'cave' for kids in the gift shop.  His five year old brother LOVED it and talked about some of the history facts the rest of the day (and night).  Especially "the rabbit" which you'll understand once you go on the tour!  :)

This is a great example of how you can't tell the height without something in the photo to judge it by.  This is the main "candlestick" stalagmite pillar and it's almost 90 feet tall!

Open Daily 9:30 - 5:00
The cave stays around 63 degrees year round so grab a long sleeve t-shirt
423 Fairy Cave Ln.
Branson West, MO 65737


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Ilhan Omar schooled on her 9/11 quote "some people did something"

Ilhan Omar slammed on 9/11 anniversary by victim's son after 'some people did something' quote


Nicholas Haros Jr. wants Rep. Ilhan Omar and “the Squad” to know exactly who those "some people" are that perpetrated the "something" that took the life of his mom – and nearly 3,000 other people – 18 years ago.

The New Jersey resident, who lost his mother Frances in the 9/11 terror attacks, ripped the Minnesota congresswoman on Wednesday during a reading of victims’ names at Ground Zero after Omar's infamous remarks earlier in the year in which she described the most horrific attack to ever occur on the American homeland simply as “some people did something.”

“Today I am here to respond to you exactly who did what to whom,” said Haros Jr., who sported a shirt with Omar's words and was met with some applause from a crowd of families and relatives who had gathered for the ceremony. “Madam, objectively speaking, we know who and what was done. There is no uncertainty about that. Why your confusion?"

He continued: “On that day 19 Islamic terrorists, members of Al Qaeda, killed over 3,000 people and caused billions of dollars of economic damage. Is that clear?”

As Haros Jr. spoke, he was standing just steps away from the site of the former World Trade Center's south tower — where his 76-year-old mother, Frances, walked into work one pleasant Tuesday morning and never returned home.

“But as to whom? I was attacked. Your relatives and friends were attacked,” Haros Jr. said, looking out to the crowd. “Our constitutional freedoms were attacked and our nation’s founding on Judeo-Christian principles was attacked."

He added: “That’s what some people did,” Haros Jr. concluded.
“Got that now? We are here today congresswoman to tell you and the Squad just who did what to whom. Show respect in honoring them, please.”

*clap clap clap clap*


Rambling Over Coffee: Waiting on Deliveries and Man, Their Customer Service Sucks

I am somewhat of an uninspired grump today.

Couple that with waiting for a delivery so although I can't help myself, I keep glancing out the window at the driveway watching for him.  (Our UPS person is a guy... I wasn't being sexist.  If it was a FedEx delivery I would have used the pronoun 'her'. Because our FedEx delivery person is a woman.)

So while I'm procrastinating pretty much everything else on my 'task' list today, sipping peppermint coffee and sitting in the office watching out the window for a delivery is a good time to come to Coffee Talking and just....  talk.


Since I mentioned the delivery I'll just chat about that a second because... everyone... this was something I ordered a MONTH AGO.  And it was a simple, easy, small order. From a large company. That has ZERO excuses to drag their feet for no good reason whatsoever.  As a matter of fact, it's a company that sells under 4+ different company names (I believe up to nine, maybe?) and out of one warehouse so they have tons of items and they are still selling this item online and taking orders.  They carry it ALL the time.  NO EXCUSE.  Except...  I've ordered from them for about 7 years now and they have gotten progressively worse with delivery and customer service and a lot of el-cheapo cost-cutting measures to save a penny, in the last oh, two years or so.

They actually are the same company I told you all about in a post a couple weeks ago when they sent me a dead Goal Zero Yeti 150 and then completely and utterly IGNORED ME when I emailed to let them know it was delivered dead straight out of the box (which they and I both knew it MIGHT and "Andrew" in customer service told me if it was dead when I received it, that they would refund my money).  But once I let them know this one (it was my 2nd order of the item) was dead as well, he completely and utterly ignored my emails.  Four of them. Yeah, kind of a dick move.  But the males in that particular company are like that.  They get the 'power' at age 12 and think they are better than females so.... yeah.


So my last two orders from them were pretty crappy.  And their sister company that I ordered something else from, I got a partial order.  I paid for it in full a month ago and they shipped part of it last week (3 weeks after the fact and only after an email asking where it was) but I'm still short two items and yes, that means I already paid for the items that they haven't shipped yet.  And... it's been a month.

So today I should get the other order. But the 2 missing items from the case I ordered last month?  We'll see.  Maybe just like their Goal Zero sales.  They ignore you and hope you go away?  (Check out that post to see that I managed to take it apart, and replace the battery and repair the Goal Zero Yeti 150 myself...  just because I wanted to see if I could.)

And she did.

That company must be bothering me more than I thought, because I really did not intend on chatting that much about it! 

Another delivery topic?
This weekend was my sons birthday.  He's a young, single guy now and lives in an apartment in another state.  I found 3 items for him on Amazon and had them shipped.  They divided it into 2 shipments and said they were being delivered today.  Monday.  Cool.  (His gift is one of these... t-shirt) as well as a couple items items he'll love for camping - including a solar power bank for his cellphone. 

(There was a longer post here but the items have been delivered AND this post got WAY longer than I was planning. So... shortened it to the quick version.)



Morning Coffee and the News: A woman fell off an 80 foot cliff in South Dakota - I said to myself "It's got to be at Palisades" - and it was

Source:  https://www.foxnews.com/us/minnesota-south-dakota-woman-cliff-fall-survive

Minnesota woman survives more than 80-foot fall down South Dakota cliff

"A Minnesota woman miraculously survived after falling more than 80 feet down a cliff in a South Dakota state park Monday.

The woman, only identified as being 28 years old, was visiting Palisades State Park, roughly 20 miles northwest of Sioux Falls, when she fell around 5:30 p.m., according to the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office."

I was sipping coffee and skimming headlines when I saw the one posted above.  I immediately said to myself it was at Palisades.  Clicking on the article... it was.  

Readers of Coffee Talking may remember my 'Girls Road Trip' with one of my daughters; camping across the state of South Dakota.  We started on the Eastern border and camped our way across the state, ending at the Western border.

Palisades was a great park and contrary to the news article... it's a really safe park.  If you are smart.  And although the news story didn't say why or how the 28 year old woman fell... I think most of us would assume "probably taking a selfie on the cliff edge".  Whether or not she was, I don't know.  But it's a beautiful park that offers mostly flat hiking trails and even prairie like areas, but also cliffs, rock bluffs, a bridge, wooded areas, waterside hikes... it had everything.

We absolutely loved it and even though we did do some climbing, it was always done in a safe manner and we weren't doing selfies.

It's just the coffee talking again.....


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