Northwest Journey

05.19.15 Blanchard Springs Caverns and Recreation Area

11188423_1439095226405371_4762796609265941417_nTuesday, May 19, 2015 – On Monday we went to Blanchard Springs Caverns in the Ozark National Forest.  The forest covers 1.2 million acres, mostly in the Ozark mountains of northern Arkansas. You’ll find the tallest mountain in the State, Mount Magazine, and Blanchard Springs Caverns, an incredible, living underground cave with a constant 58 degree temperature!  My kind of place!!

This is a “living” cave where glistening formations like stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and flowstones are still changing.  These crystalline formations are the result of minerals deposited by dripping water.

We went on the Dripstone Tour which takes you through two huge 11262011_10155526479280035_7414516686294206177_nrooms filled with an incredible variety and number of crystalline formations – sparkling flowstone, towering columns, delicate soda straws. This shorter, easier trail takes you almost half a mile one-way through the Caverns.

The other tour available at this time of year is the Wild Cave Tour which involves climbing very steep slopes, crawling on hands and knees, and passing under low ceilings and you must be in good physical shape.  We chose the easier Dripstone Tour for obvious reasons!!!

Here’s some pictures from our tour.  The last picture is from their website because it shows a much bigger area of the caverns than my camera does!

20150518_145411 20150518_145920 20150518_151225  20150518_152051 20150518_154045 20150518_154644   blanchard cavernsIn the recreation area outside around the cavern you can stroll on the paved trail to where Blanchard Springs gushes as a waterfall from the hillside, see the picturesque rock bluffs and enjoy the crystal clear streams. You can also trout fish in nearby Mirror Lake.  They may be on our list of things to do on our next visit to this beautiful area.

This is the waterfall from Mirror Lake.

20150518_16305020150518_163104FlowersPinkSpinsDividerOver the weekend we went back to hear more mountain music in the park.  The musicians change day to day and what we heard over the weekend was different than what we heard during the week.  Here’s a picture of one of the groups playing.  We sat in the Donnie Smith bench, which is just beautiful by the way, and tapped our feet happily.  Didn’t hurt that we had these giant ice cream cones from across the street to enjoy during the music.

wpid-20150516_185514.jpgYa’ll come back now, ya’ hear!


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