Sorry about the absence. Work has been taking away all of my time and I really need to find a good time to write. I didn’t have choir today, so I thought that today would be as good time as ever.
So this past Sunday, I went on a trip to Hannibal. Missouri, with a couple of friends since one of them was in town from college. As so many of us are at different places all the time, it is nice to hang out with everyone every good once in a while. Anyway, we spent most of the time at the Mark Twain Cave, which is kind of a staple in the area as it has so much history to it, in either books, famous people, or just fun family memories that everyone seems to have of the place. And don’t worry, there will be pictures so you guys can see.
From Left to Right: Jared, Stephen, And I at the Mark Twain Cave
So the cave was discovered in the early 1800’s if I remember correctly and was set up as a national landmark in the 1960’s, but that is not where the story begins or ends. In the 1860’s, Jesse James actually was hiding out in the cave to avoid capture and they even have his signature on the wall to clarify that his gang was there, and I was lucky enough to be taken up to see it.
Jesse James’ Signature in the Cave. Dated 1879
One great thing to note is that this place is full of signatures, to the point where you can’t go 5 feet without seeing one. Even though it is now illegal to sign your name there under federal law, that has not stopped anyone from signing away, even one celebrity was asked by the owner to sign the ancient walls.
Brad Paisley’s Signature in the cave
Many people grew up reading the Tales of Tom Sawyer and about his adventures in the cave. Samuel Clemens, or Mark Twain as others know him, Grew up in this town, exploring that cave, the same cave that appears in the book. So by setting foot in this cave, you are instantly stepping foot into an area that inspired one of America’s classic stories and possibly into the book itself.
This cave is supposed to be one of the oldest cave in Missouri and believe me when I say that it feels like a whole different world when you are in there. The air is dense and frigid, completely silent beside your steps and breath, and without lights, completely pitch black as it can possibly be. At one point in an area called the Grand Ball Room (the biggest area in the cave), you are more than 200 feet underground (more than 60.96 Meters for you others) due to the hilly terrain.
We were fortunate enough to have a guide who took us off of the traditional routes and see the real parts of the cave away from the lights and railings. It was an amazing experience that made us feel like children again, climbing away towards hidden sights and finding new parts we have never seen before. We were all given flashlights at the beginning of the tour so that we could explore a bit on our own, and it was one of the best times I have had in a long time.
We also decided that this summer, we would go on their Midnight tour (something like that), which takes you into a neighboring cave on the same property. On this tour, you would dive into the very depths of the cave, crawling into small areas, climbing the rocky walls, and seeing the parts of the cave that are still hidden to most people. If you guys are in this area of Illinois, Missouri, or Iowa even, I would suggest that you look it up and see if you can make a trip. All of you who are international, take a look on our Facebook page (you can find it below) for even more pictures that I took inside the cave. I will leave a link at the bottom for the cave so you guys can see it for yourselves. I hope you guys enjoyed. If so, feel free to leave a like and subscribe to this blog here or on Facebook, all of which is below! See you guys later!
Ni Mingtian Jian!
Gavin Williamson (with some help from Friends ;-))