Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Ziesemanns Go To Onondaga Cave

This year for Ziesemann/Jamie Day, we went to Onondaga Cave on the Meramec River in Crawford County. I grew up in Crawford County and often went to Onondaga Cave as a class trip or girl scout outing. But when I suggested the trip I did the math and realized it had been 31 years since I had toured the cave. As the date neared, I got excite to take people I love to a place I loved as a kid. I think the Ziesemanns were excited too because when I pulled up they were all standing in the driveway waiting for me, Mom, Dad, Abi, Delaney, and Wesley.

We stopped for lunch at the world famous Hen House, in my old home town, Bourbon, MO. The lunch was good and the company awesome. Wesley even made it a point to announce to the whole restaurant that his balls were sticking to his leg. We all laughed and everyone else stared at us like we were crazy city people. And of course we were.

The cave was changed since the last time I was there. The tourist trap like atmosphere was gone, and the serious brown sign state park ambiance was a much appreciated improvement. We immediately signed up for a tour and to be honest what I paid for 3 adults and 3 children was reasonable in comparison to going someplace like Six Flags. The tour had a very good group of people and our guide obviously shared my appreciation for this underground wonder.

The kids were nervous about going down into the cave and they were of course afraid of bats. I think the colors and the massive chambers astonished the whole family. Or maybe it was the occasional drips of water landing on us that our guide called cave "kisses" which did the trick. For me it was the descent down, down into the caverns that brought back memories of standing in the cool darkness next to 12 year girls squealing with delight at their own echoing giggles.

The tour went fairly well, and I could tell the whole family was enjoying the day and that made me feel good. The ascent out was a little steeper than I remembered, but I made it out. A bat flew over our heads at the end of our tour, which was the perfect little scare for the the kids. I thought they were going to pulled my arm off with their terror.

On the way out there was a lovely little prairie garden for a local politician who I knew when I was growing up. The garden had a gorgeous butterfly bush and I snapped this awesome photo of a yellow butterfly. We drove down to the Meramec and while standing on the banks I reminded the kids the water came from Meramec Spring that we visited last year ( ). The day was beautiful and the company perfect. I can't wait to take my niece and nephews to Onondaga Cave when they get a little older, hopefully a bat will fly over their heads too.

After we got back to Eureka the Ziesemanns drove me around and showed me this lovely field of Sunflowers. We stopped and took more photos. I had such a good day, I only hope that next time we go on an excursion I can live up to the standard of fabulous I have set for Ziesemann/Jamie day.

No comments: