So, what is the greatest cave I have ever entered? I go against this great state of Texas when I say this, but the greatest cave I have yet explored was in Arkansas! I had the opportunity to go on a wild cave tour through the Blanchard Springs Caverns while on a summer vacation with an old boyfriend and his family.
First we all went on the general tour, what they call the discovery tour. You walk through the cave with other touristy types, seeing the formations and different rooms of the cave. The first thing you notice when you get into the cave is how the temperature drops. I believe this is a result of the cool water, but the humidity level stays at about 100 percent so it is not unbearably cold.
The wild cave tour is where the adventure truly kicks off. First, you revisit the trails that you walked on the discovery tour, but it all begins when you cross over that chain-link rail and step off the path. Feeling like quite the rebel, I was filled with excitement and joy to know that I would get to see parts of the cave that only true spelunkers venture into. As the trek continues, you walk on dirt so fine that it almost seems like sand. One of the more fun parts of the tour is sliding down the side of a hill on your bum because it is so steep.
As far as caving goes, this cave is fairly easy to navigate; there are no belly-crawling spaces or many low ceilings. No, this cave features hills and inclines that you have to climb. Instead of feeling claustrophobic you experience an overwhelming sense of how big the underground world actually is. It makes you wonder about all that yet to be discovered.
By far the last room on the tour is the greatest sight I have ever seen. Forget ocean views and purple mountains, the grandeur of the formations you see here take the cake. The giant cavern is as long as three football fields and is referred to as “The Titan Room.” The Titans are a group of massive missile-shaped formations 50 stories tall. They are definitely the main attraction of this tour and will simply take your breath away.
Another great feature of the caverns occurs above ground on the hiking trail. The trail takes you to a natural spring where water flows back out of the cave, filling up to create a swimming hole. The water is crystal clear and feels to be no more than 60 degrees. It was too cold to get in during my visit, but it looks like a very refreshing destination for a summer dip.
That concludes my adventures Arkansas, thank you for joining me in my trip across state lines! Next week I am going to talk about my visit to Jacobs Well, a unique underwater system in Wimberley, Texas.