Saturday, July 29, 2006

Fantastic Caverns in Springfield, Missouri

Altrusa District Eight is having an informal gathering in Springfield, Missouri. There are about 20 of us here and it's been a really fun get together.

I just arrived this morning, but some came in last night.

This afternoon we went to Fantastic Caverns. I may not have mentioned this before, but I have a thing about caves. They're filled with rocks, so how could I not love them. Something I learned today is that springs are the overflow for caverns. I didn't realize that.

This is the first time I've ever been in a cave where you ride through it. Generally there's a list of different trails you can take and you pick which one you want by length and difficulty level. But at this one you just get on a trailer that is pulled behind a jeep and ride through it.

It's always so nice and cool in caves. This one had a couple of places where they let us touch the ceiling. You could feel the wetness. Where people had touched so much it was darkened and where the jeeps don't go and people can't reach it was still the white of the calcium.

Overall it was neat. And a bonus was that they had a lot of rocks on sale in the gift shop at half price. I bought some amythest that's really pretty and a piece of citrine. It made me want to go back to the Rock place in Arkansas where Diana and I went before.

I would say Fantastic Caverns is well worth it if you're in the area, but it's not the same sort of experience as Mammoth or Carlsbad. But, for someone who can't walk a long way it would be a great way to see a cave.

It's good to see everyone.

If you've ever wondered

If you've ever wondered what video producers do when they're not producing videos.....

This is Steve, Greg's brother, who is a video producer. He has produced documentaries that have appeared on PBS, and his piece, "The New Ballgame," played at the Cooperstown museum for a whole season. His current project is about RailFans. Find out more about his work at

Steve is one of the best writers I've ever met. The first thing I read that he had written was about a trip he made to Russia and it was amazing writing. That was some years ago and I still recall it. I'm always impressed with writing that seems effortless because I know that's rarely how good writing happens.

The short story - Steve's work has won three CINE Golden Eagle awards. That's a really big deal. Other winners of this award over the years include Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ken Burns and John Lasseter. Like I said - it's a big deal.

No wonder he needs to relax...