15/8/11 woke up in Stanton, Missouri

After a looong morning, we finally dragged our bums out of bed, feeling guilty, as Shane has already done a cross country marathon, running his Vibram’s to the ground alongside the nearby lake.

Turned out there are a few more things to do around here than we anticipated. Apart from the Caves, there was a ZipLine and Jesse James museum, boats, kayaks..

We started off with a caves.
Our guide was a boy resembling Chris Griffin. Good beginning.
There was a lot of light disco, unnecessary switching.. on-off-on.. It would be much better if there was less gimmicks and more information. Things like neon fluorescent hot pink lights on already naturally beautiful rock formations are really distracting. What are those poor american kids are going to think?! “Dear dairy, today I went to see the Meramec Caverns and I saw loads of pink and green stalagmites and some blue and purple stalactites, they were awesome!” Imagine how gutted all those kids will be when they found out those formations are not actually rainbow coloured and the music doesn’t come out from them either? Yup.

The Techno Caverns

The Techno Caverns

The tour climaxes with a light show projecting the Stars and Stripes on a structure called the Stage Curtain – the largest such formation in the world – while Kate Smith belts out “God bless America”. I can only hope that one day someone will realise that all this is not necessary to appreciate such a natural wonder.

After the caves we decided on a 30min boat ride on a nearby river, which was super relaxing. That was followed by a ZipLine, where Shane and Leah were flying over the river and forest, strapped to a metal rope, at the speed of 50mph. I am really happy to see Leah getting more and more confident. She was rocking it, and loving it!

I was really happy that we stopped in Stanton. Not really for the caves (as at that stage I did not know how amazing they were), but because of the Antique Toy Museum with thousands of collectable dolls and cars, but soon you will be able to spot the pattern here.
I will give you a clue: this time it wasn’t Sunday. The museum was for sale. Shut until further notice. Gutted me.

Next to the Toy museum was a Jesse James museum, but after the great disappointment of not seeing countless rows of retro dolls, I wanted to leave this town. Also, I am not really a tomboy so Jesse James is not the first point on my agenda, although one would be forgiven for thinking that the last statement is full of shit, after seeing me at our next stop.

Danny’s Archery place in Fanning (better known as a place with Words Largest Rocking Chair, which was pretty big tbh). Awesome stop. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well, ok. I loved it.

Fo some reason I am drawn to shooting, knifes and guns. It must be watching Dexter numerous times, followed by all the murder-death-kill programs I find on the telly. I always find it amusing some people really think they can get away with stuff not trying too hard, not covering their tracks.. Coming back to she archery: it wasn’t going to well, up until I imagined a real face in front of me. 100% improvement rate.

We got out of there fairly quickly, and drove again. Near Strafford, pretty much almost in Springfield, we spotted a Wild Animal Safari, but since it was late, the safari was shut, so we decided to stay over in the nearby hotel and come back in the morning, as it looked way too good to miss. I read that they had a zedonks in there, a combo of zebra and donkey, and that on it’s own was too good to miss. I need to mention, this is still America, so as it should be: the safari was a drive-through..