Thursday, January 28, 2016

Bridal Cave's Very Own Weather Station

Making plans to visit the Lake of the Ozarks is often dependent on the weather forecast.  Sometimes that can be difficult because, as the old saying goes, "If you don't like the weather in Missouri... wait a few minutes!"  We can have cold winds and ice one day, then warm sunny skies the next.  

This is never a problem if you want to explore Bridal Cave because it is always a perfect 60 degrees inside the cave.  If you want to hike around Thunder Mountain Park, an accurate forecast will come in handy.  

In the past, getting a weather update for the Lake of the Ozarks has been a challenge.  Generally, sources for the forecasts in the Lake area are located at least an hour away.  National weather networks can be reporting from much farther than that.  

Your favorite Lake of the Ozarks attraction has solved this problem for you!  Bridal Cave is very proud to have a Rainwise weather reporting station located right here in the park.  This is a part of the Wunderground Weather Network, which is a subsidiary of The Weather Channel.  




The Bridal Cave/Thunder Mountain Park weather station uploads live data every 4 seconds.  This information is used to prepare extremely precise 4-day weather forecasts.  Even better, this information is available to you instantly, no matter where you go.  It is easy to access from your home computer through the link on our Bridal Cave website.  When you are on the go, simply visit www.LakeWeather.mobi on your phone or other mobile device.  



Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park not only offer you a fun day out at the Lake of the Ozarks, but with our weather station, we also give you the information you need to prepare for a trip to the Lake.  It's a magnificent place to live or visit often, no matter what the weather decides to bring to us that day.    


One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Missouri - The Cave State

Our state's official nickname is "The Show Me State," but Missouri is also referred to often as "The Cave State" because it contains more caves than any other state.  Bridal Cave is only one of many caves found throughout Missouri. Our Lake of the Ozarks attraction is 1 of 18 Show Caves that are open to the public for tours.  In addition to those, there are also 6,950 Wild Caves in Missouri.
Map courtesy of the Missouri Caves Association website

A Show Cave is a cave that is open to the public for tours.  Often they possess features like constructed trails and lighting to make tours easily accessible. Wild Caves are not so easy for the general public to make their way through, and sometimes impossible.  Exploring these caves can be extremely dangerous and should only be done by a trained professional.

Bridal Cave, Lake of the Ozarks, Camdenton MO, the Cave State

Show Caves are actually considered to be one of Missouri's first tourist attractions.  Public lantern tours began in the early 1800's.  You can hear stories about all kinds of fun and exciting history when you tour a Missouri Show Cave. Some tales include famous wedding legends (Bridal Cave), Jesse James' hideout (Meramec Caverns), Mark Twain's writing inspiration (Mark Twain Cave), caves used during the Civil War (Smallin Cave), hidden speakeasy's (Fantastic Caverns), and underground Dance Halls (Fantasy World Caverns).  

During the Cold War, Missouri caves were officially designated as Civil Defense fallout shelters.  Today, many show caves are used for storm shelters during bad weather.

We love our caves so much in these parts, there is even a "Cave State" license plate that Missouri residents can purchase.  Funds collected from the sale of these plates are used to promote Missouri as "The Cave State," enhance educational programs, and support cave conservation programs.  If this sounds like a great idea to you, visit the Missouri "The Cave State" license plate page to get your own.


The highest concentration of Show Caves in the state are actually located right here in the Lake of the Ozarks area.  You can visit 5 different Show Caves that are all within 30 minutes of each other.  That would make a pretty incredible weekend outing for anyone seeking an adventure!

Here are a few websites that you can visit to find out more about different caves in Missouri.

Show Caves

Wild Caves
A tour of our Lake of the Ozarks year-round attraction is an excellent way to get out of the house and enjoy nature.  Caves are incredible outings in any season because the inside of a cave remains a constant temperature.  A trip inside of Bridal Cave will always be a comfortable 60 degrees, no matter what time of year that you visit.  Stop in and see us soon, and make it a point to visit many of the other amazing "Cave State" caves in the near future too.  
  



One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
Follow us on LinkedIn

526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676

Friday, January 15, 2016

Bridal Cave is a Great Field Trip for Kids

A tour of Bridal Cave is a field trip that is sure to excite any classroom full of students.  Missouri is know as the Cave State, and mid-Missouri children are very close to one of the most scenic cave tours in America.  No matter what the age, every child should have a chance to experience Bridal Cave and learn more about the magnificent natural wonders contained within.  Our tours can be adapted to fit any age group, and every program explores the history, geology, and biology of this very unique ecosystem.   


Thousands of school age children visit our Lake of the Ozarks attraction every year.  The winter months are a great time to schedule a field trip.  Kids start to feel cooped up when they get fewer chances to be outdoors during the cold months.  Bridal Cave gives them the chance to get out of the classroom, enjoy nature, and get a little exercise in our constant 60 degree temperatures inside the cave.   

We are a very popular destination for end-of-the-year field trips, so visiting now is a perfect way to avoid the crowds.  Reserving your slot as soon as possible will guarantee that you are booked for the date and times that are best for your group.


Even if your school, scout troop, or other children's group has a tight budget, our tours are offered at an inexpensive price.  The 1-hour cave tour starts at $4 per child.  This is over 55% off of our regular general admission child's ticket, which is normally $9.  As a special thank you for bringing your children to experience the wonders of Bridal Cave, teachers and bus drivers take the tour for free.

If your kids are up for more of an adventure, we also offer the 2-hour fun and educational Discovery Tour.  In addition to learning more about this magnificent area, cave safety will be discussed.  With this tour the students will enjoy:
Bridal Cave, Thunder Mountain Park, Lake of the Ozarks, sluicing
  • 1-hour tour of Bridal Cave
  • A half-mile nature walk through Thunder Mountain Park, which passes  2 outdoor classrooms.
  • Tour of Bear Cave, which has been left in its natural state to give students a taste of a true wild caving adventure. 
  • A souvenir flashlight for Bear Cave which they can take home. 
 
Thunder Mountain Park's rock and mineral shop gives everyone a chance to see some very unique specimens from around the world.  Thunder Mountain Mining Company even offers some hands-on sluicing, where the kids can "pan" for gemstones and keep what they find.  This activity is an extra $5 per child.  We also take a group photo of all of the field trips that come through our cave, and it is available for purchase after the program.

2016 is bringing some new and exciting things to our family attraction.  A brand new lakeside picnic pavilion with seating for 80 is available.  It overlooks the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks, perfect for a quick lunch or snack break before you head back to school.

Bridal Cave, Lake o f the Ozarks, Thunder Mountain Park

If you are in charge of a group of children that you know would enjoy learning more about caves and the natural wonders of our Lake of the Ozarks family attraction, call and reserve your field trip spot today.  If you are a parent, share this blog with your child's teacher.  A field trip to Bridal Cave that is both exciting and educational is an experience your group will always remember fondly.      



One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
Follow us on LinkedIn

526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676


Friday, January 8, 2016

Stalactites & Stalagmites - Which is Which?

Caves in Missouri, as well as around the world, are filled with stalactites and stalagmites.  Everyone has heard of these, but most people have trouble remembering which is which.  Today's Bridal Cave blog will hopefully help you to remember once and for all which one hangs from the ceiling and which one hangs from the floor.  We'll even teach you some interesting facts about how both are formed.  



There are a couple of different ways that people use to help them keep these two types of formations straight.  Stalactites are fixed "tight" to the ceiling, and stalagmites "might" trip you when you walk.  Another trick is to use the spelling. StalaCtite has a "C" like the Ceiling from which it hangs, and stalaGmites have a "G" like the Ground they grow on.  You may think these ideas sound corny, but we bet at least one of them will stick with you and you will always remember!

Speleothem

Now to get a little more technical.  The word "speleothem" is the term used for the decorative dripstone  features in a cave.  The most familiar speleothem formations are stalactites and stalagmites.  Ripley's Believe It Or Not rated Bridal Cave as having more cave formations per square foot than any other cave system in the world!  They also credit our Lake of the Ozarks attraction with having the world's largest drapery formation comprising over 500,000,000 cubic inches.  If you want to get a good look at some incredible speleothems, Bridal Cave is the perfect place to visit. 


STALACTITES

As we stated above, stalactites are the formations that hang downward from the cave's ceiling.  They are formed when water slowly trickles through he cracks in the cave roof.  Drop after drop hangs form the ceiling, losing carbon dioxide and causing deposits of a film of calcite.  Successive drops add ring below ring, and the water dripping through the hollow center of the rings make a pendant cylinder.    

"Soda straws" are formed in this way.  These are the most fragile stalactites, narrow with the diameter of the drop of water, yet they can reach lengths of a yard or more.  When water accumulates to flow along the outside of these, the familiar cone shape begins to form.  Most end up with a pointed tip.       



STALAGMITES

The water dripping from stalactite begins forming the stalagmite from the ground up.  They are built in the same way, just in the opposite direction.  The tips of these are most often rounded.    


Eventually, stalactites and stalagmites will meet in the middle.  A column forms, then a curtain or drapery begins to show up on an inclined ceiling when the drops of water trickle along the slope.  Gradually, a thin sheet of calcite grows downward and hangs in what looks like decorative folds, like a drape.  When you shine a lantern or electric light on these, they transform the cave into a breathtaking natural wonderland.     

Bridal Cave, Lake of the Ozarks, Thunder Mountain Park, cave


These incredible formations are a large part of why we are considered one of America's most scenic cave tours.  Pictures are nice, but to truly appreciate the beauty of these natural wonders, you should visit us and tour Bridal Cave yourself.     


One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
Follow us on LinkedIn

526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676