Thursday, October 15, 2015

Blanchard Springs

Having friends comes to visit means you have the perfect excuse to do some of the things on your “get around to one of these days” list. We have tossed around the idea of going to Blanchard Springs Caverns with the Choates, so we used Julie and Tate’s visit as the perfect excuse! P1120014

We were excited to be able to pile all 13 of us into a church van so we could be together the whole time. Although somehow I can’t find the picture taken from the mom row that included Joanna, Julie, and me.

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Blanchard Springs boasts one of the top ten caverns in the nation! I knew it was a top-rated attraction, but I didn’t realize we ranked that high.

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Entering the main room of the caverns, though, quickly showed me why. There is no way to capture the breath-taking beauty with even the best of cameras.

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But that didn’t stop us from trying!

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Fortunately, we were able to use the flash, so that helped us capture these smiling faces.

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This cave is known as a “living cave” because it is continuously growing.

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The red and gray/white color of the stalactites and stalagmites reflects the different minerals that have contributed to the formations.

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Of course, these sweet, curious, delighted faces are even more precious and beautiful!!

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If I remember correctly, this column is over 70 feet tall. When it was first discovered, it was measured with helium balloons attached to string.

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Our guide says that different people see different things in this view. So, what do you see?

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I wish we’d been able to see the cavern space behind us in this picture because it was beautiful! But, I must say, so is this group. I love these people!

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And I do have a small glimpse of what was behind us. This is the straw room because the small formations on the ceiling are hollow.

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There were also formations above us that weren’t hollow, but were broken. An earthquake actually snapped off the ends of many of these stalactites, revealing the milky white interior beneath the darker “skin.”

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After a delightful hour, it was time to head out. Sadly, White Nose Fungus has made it into Blanchard Springs Caverns. This fatal disease has been known to practically wipe out bat species in northern states. Arkansas worked hard to keep it out, but now that it has infected our caverns, the goal is to not spread it. One of the prevention methods includes walking across these disinfectant soaked mats upon departure from the caves.

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I just have to show off this great-looking bunch again. I was so excited by the way Tate just dove in as one of the group. Our kids LOVED him!

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First stop after the caverns was a quick picnic lunch – quick to both beat the incoming rain and make an appointment that afternoon.

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Oh, and then we had to make one more stop – at a soda shop for ice cream! Yum!2015-10-09 13.23.39

We headed back down the mountain to Conway where everyone spread out and relaxed for a few minutes. Katherine loved playing with her new “big brother”!

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Once again, it was time to split up and say goodbye for the evening. But, we had Saturday plans to regroup for yet another adventure!

2 comments:

Choate Family said...

We enjoyed our time together SO much! Thanks for sharing your pics and thoughts of our adventures together :-)

Herding Grasshoppers said...

It's much to the credit of the Hibbard/Choate kids (and their parents!) that they welcomed Tate so readily. When a new kids comes into an established group, it can be awkward or difficult, but your kids just drew him right in.
Thanks so much for a fabulous time!
Julie