Late this spring Michael and I took a day trip to meet Stacey at Onondaga Cave State Park just off of Route 66 near Leasburg, Missouri. Michael and I got there a bit early, so we walked through the little museum above the cave until Stacey arrived.
A saber-tooth cat fossil removed from the cave.
We missed the early cave tour ($15 for adults), and had to wait about two hours (not to worry, we went on a hike to pass the time), and it was so worth the wait. This cave is truly, truly beautiful- probably my favorite that I’ve visited thus far. It’s filled with formations of all different shapes, sizes and even colors.
This cave was originally accessed by boat from the nearby Meramac River, and there’s a boat still docked in the place that was the original start of the cave tour. A man owned this cave and was a bit of a kooky entrepreneur- he built a wooden boardwalk (that looked a bit scary), tried to fill a pool of water in the cave with fish for people to catch (but they, of course, couldn’t survive in the cave conditions), and he even created a “wishing pool” (later gathering the coins that were tossed in). It makes for a great history.
Remnants of the original wooden boardwalk
The cave is now well lit, and easy to walk through, but the walkways were a bit slippery in places. It was quite the experience, though. We even turned all the lights off for a moment and experienced total darkness. Very cool.
Tons of ‘cave straws’
The lily pad room
Stay tuned for part two- the hike in Onondaga Cave State Park and our meal at Skippy’s- a Route 66 diner.
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