Blanchard Springs Caverns is a State Park just a short drive from Mountain View and the Ozark Folk Center. The park offers various tours of the caverns ranging from an hour in length to a full day outing. I had hoped to go for a long "let's get dirty" tour but it was off season and all tours except the one hour one were no longer available. If you're ever in the area you have to check this place out the caverns are fantastic.

We got to the caverns just minutes after a school bus arrived and were informed we'd have to wait about an hour and a half for the next available tour. The wait turned out to be most rewarding as it afforded us time to check out the park a little bit including the springs.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

The trail along the stream coming from the springs.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

The trails end.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

The springs.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

Ken taking a well deserved break.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

We took a stroll along a path further down stream. A pretty enough hike that we stopped so many times to enjoy the view that we never made it to Mirror lake (we had to get back for our tour).
Blanchard Springs Caverns

Vines growing around an unsuspecting tree.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

Olwyn waiting for me to catch up.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

She'll have to wait a bit longer as I found some wild flowers and autumn leaves. Wild flowers are my third favorite subject right behind cars and nude women. Ouch (he says cringing from a blow) I mean my second favorite subject.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

I better take another to make sure her wait was worth while.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

The cavern tour begins. This first shot is of a 6 story high "curtain" in the main room. Though hard to see the main room is the size of three football fields. The lights in the background are those that line the tour path. Click the image for a small video clip that might give a better sampling to the size of this room.
Blanchard Springs Caverns


Another angle of the curtain.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

Lighting was engineered very well and only illuminated as you approached a feature. Still too dark for good photos as tripods were not allowed. Most of my shots were taken at 1/4 second with an ASA setting of 400, not the greatest for reproduction but I'm happy with how they turned out.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

In real life this looked like melting chocolate or caramel.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

I took this for the "honeycomb shaped feature near the center of the picture. It's also a good representation of the stability of this cavern. The thin colums that go from floor to ceiling can literally be blown over yet they have survived local earthquakes.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

Look close for the old battle ship..
Blanchard Springs Caverns

Nature's art. Though smaller than the main room this room had a hundred foot ceiling and was thousands of square feet in size.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

Like icicles with perfect crystals sparkling in the light.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

The ceiling in this room was like soda straws. This shot also shows the depth of the cavern as you head off the main rooms into the dark.
Blanchard Springs Caverns

A closer look at the "straws".
Blanchard Springs Caverns

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