Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mr. Chatty Pants, Bad Juju, and the Mennonite Women

This morning during breakfast I laid out our plan for the day which was to visit 2 cave sites.  The first was the Mystic Cavern which includes the Crystal Dome Cavern and is only 8 miles south of Harrison.  The second site was the Cosmic Cavern located near Berryville, AR.

The Crystal Dome Cavern is small but it is pristine.  It has been preserved since its discovery so there is very little damage that has been caused by humans.  In fact, the only real damaged area is shown in the picture on the right.  The tour guide said these are footprints of the man who accidentally discovered the cave.  He saw what he thought was a 5' hole in the ground.  He wanted to explore the hole so he took off his boots so he wouldn't get them muddy or wet.  He jumped down barefoot into the hole and discovered that it was over a 10' drop.  You can see his bare footprints in the rock because the oils from human skin cause rock formations to stop growing.  That's the story we were told.

I have a couple of problems with that story.  Yes, there are a couple of indentations in the rock that resemble bare human feet.  But I'm thinking that if I jumped down into a hole that I thought was 5' deep and it ended up being 10' deep, the chances of me landing on my feet are pretty slim.  There would be a butt print accompanying those foot prints and a couple of palm prints to get me back on my feet.  And even if Mr. Cave Discoverer did manage to land on his feet, where are the rest of the foot prints?  Did he just remain frozen in that position until someone lifted him straight out of the cave?  Not likely.  I really wanted to tell that tour guide chick that there was no way her story could be true, it was completely illogical and she really shouldn't believe everything she's told without thinking through it first...but I didn't. She was so proud of those footprints I decided to let someone else pee in her Wheaties.

The Mystic Cavern was much larger than the Crystal Dome but shortly after its discovery it was used to hide a moonshine still so there is all kinds of damage down there.  Despite that, it still has a lot of beautiful formations.

After the Mystic Cavern we headed back to Harrison for lunch and a pit stop.  Let me just say, the timing for this trip has been perfect.  Kids are either starting school this week or getting ready for it next week so there are no crowds anywhere.  And the temperature in those caves is around 60 degrees which is a little slice of heaven in mid August.

After our little break we drove to Cosmic Cavern in Berryville, AR.  While we waited in the gift shop for the next tour to start, some guy whose brother-in-law used to live in either Lafayette or Lake Charles tried to get all chatty with me.  Apparently he was immune to the "don't talk to me I'm not friendly" vibes I was giving off.  I had to chew off my own leg to get away from him and once free, I dutifully notified Jayson that there were friendly people in our tour group and showed him which ones to avoid.  I'm just a thoughtful wife that way.

Mr. Chatty Pants then decided to take advantage of one of the Cavern's ultra cheesy ways to separate the tourists from their cash.  You buy this bag of sand that has a variety of stones and "jewels" in it.  Then you take your bag to this big trough with running water in it and you pan for the jewels you just bought.  In his defense, Mr. Pants (I don't know him well enough to call him Chatty) had about a dozen kids with him and this was a good way to keep them occupied for a good 10 minutes.

The Cavern gal took Mr. Pants' money from him and led him and his children over to a wheelbarrow full of plastic bags of sand.  She showed the children how to shake off the bad juju then let their hand hover over each sand bag until they were hovering over the bag that made their hand feel warm.  When they found the warm bag, that's the one they were meant to have.  Mr. Pants and his children shook off their juju then did the hovering hand thing and chose their hot bag.  I can promise you that from now on the Green family will not make a single decision on this trip without shaking off our juju and doing the hand hovering thing over our choices.

The Cosmic Cavern was also used to hide a moonshine still so there was a lot of damage to it but, again, it was still beautiful.  It has 2 bottomless lakes in it...no one has been able to find the bottom or even determine how deep it might go.  There were a lot of steep stairs in this cavern and some very tight spaces to squeeze through.  We also spent a lot of time ducking in low areas and I have the bruises on my head to prove it.  I have no idea why, when someone says "watch your head" I immediately rise up and promptly hit my head on whatever I was supposed to be watching.  It's like a freaking Pavlov's Dog response for me.

I escaped the Cosmic Cavern without a serious concussion and we headed back to Harrison to call it a day.  Taylor has this annoying habit of having to eat at least 3 times a day.  Jayson and I are good with one, maybe 2 meals and a whole bunch of non-stop snacking in between.  Taylor does the constant snacking thing but she wants regular meals too which can be so inconvenient.  Jayson and I were still full from lunch (and looking forward to the cookies and muffins we bought from the bakery where we had lunch) but Taylor was starving so we cruised through the Arby's drive through on the way back to the hotel. 

Here are bits and pieces of the conversation we had while waiting for the food:

"Hey, look at those 2 Mennonite women."

"What's a Mennonite?"

"How can you tell they're Mennonite?"

"By their clothes and the little hat thing the wear."

"Are you sure they're not Amish?"

"What's the difference?"

"I'll Google it."

"Are Mennonites Christian?"

"They could be Quakers. Are there still Quakers?"

"They're Mennonite, I can tell."

"But, they're getting into their car. Can Mennonites have cars?"

"I think that kid (working the drive through) has a rainbow earring."

"Oh leave him alone."

"That doesn't mean he's gay, maybe he just likes rainbows."

"What difference does it make?"

"Was it in his right ear or his left ear?"

"I think it was his left."

"Oh that's the gay ear."

"The gay ear?  Are you kidding me?"

"Everyone knows the left ear is the gay ear."

"I thought it was the right ear."

"It's both ears.  Remember George Michael?"

"Who?"

1 comment:

Mayn said...

I should steer clear of "prisine" caves everywhere. Can't you just see clutsy me dropping something and then falling as I try and find it and you hitting your head several times as you try and assist me. Massive cave damage would occur. Massive. I think the right/left ear thing is no longer accurate. Who eats three meals a day? That's just freakish. There isn't enough time in a day to eat three meals. Okay, maybe if you wake up at 4am but that's freakish too.