Zebulon Montgomery Pike Trail to Red River, Arkansas Journey 1806 — 1807

Day 12: August 26th, 2004 Osage Beach

Beside following the meandering Osage River, I plan to visit two further caves. But first I need a decent place for breakfast. Unfortunately there are not too many options around here. The motel employee and a local guy recommends Kay’s Restaurant. But I might have issues getting a table there. The restaurant is really in high demand, depending on the day.

I give it a try and have the luck to immediately get a free table. The breakfast and the service is excellent — and the size for the breakfast is giant compared to the price. No wonder that this restaurant is in high demand. I pay and hit the road in direction of Jacob’s Cave.

The weather is great again, but extremely warm. We have almost 90 degrees in the morning and a humidity of almost 85%! Even with the slightest movement you start to sweat heavily. Along the dammed up lake are a bunch of houses. This really looks like a recreation area. But I don’t want to know, how much they charge for one of these lake properties…

Lake W-3 Road, MO Lake W-3 Road, MO
Lake W-3 Road, MO

Around 10am I arrive at Jacob’s Cave. I mount my shoulder pod on my camera and have to realize, that the mount is completely broken. But thanks to my superglue I can fix my shoulder pod in a way, that I can use it. Only the spring pressure, which opens the shoulder pod, is not available anymore. But that is not a real issue.

Jacob’s Cave, MO Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO

When I enter I realize, that I am the only guest here. And indeed, I receive an individual tour of the cave. There is a small creek running through this cave. My guide explains to me, that the cave was closed until a couple of days ago, because this small creek has flooded part of the trail.

Jacob’s Cave, MO Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO

The cave has a lot of interesting rock formations, stalactites and stalagmites. There are also a lot of these “bacon rocks” around. And there are many of these rock formations, not like in some other caves, where you have these one or two highlights. The whole cave is full of them.

Jacob’s Cave, MO Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO

As a special attraction they have the spitting hillbilly. The rock received his name, because every 2 seconds a drop of water falls from the ceiling down to this stalagmite and when it hits the stone, it splashes in all directions. In reality it really looks like someone is spitting around…

Jacob’s Cave, MO Jacob’s Cave, MO
Jacob’s Cave, MO

The tour continues and because I am the only guest, I have plenty of time for taking movies and pictures. You can really tell, that this is a small privately owned cave, where everything is not as touristy as in many other caves I have been so far.

When we finish the tour, an elderly guy has arrived, who seems to work in the shop. I have a brief chat with him. When I tell him, that I plan to drive to Pikes Peak, he gives me some driving advises: When I drive downhill, I shall hit the brakes until I am at the bottom, because it is so steep. As I am very polite, I keep my question back to ask him, if he has ever tried to shift into 1st gear yet when running downhill…

Around half past eleven I depart and follow the Osage River beds, which is meandering through the country here.

Bagnell Dam Blvd, Lake Ozark, MO Bagnell Dam Blvd, Lake Ozark, MO
Bagnell Dam Blvd, Lake Ozark, MO
Bagnell Dam, Lake Ozark, MO Bagnell Dam, Lake Ozark, MO
Bagnell Dam, Lake Ozark, MO

Taking Road MM and a toll bridge, I arrive back in Lake Ozark. You can also drive over the dam, who builds up this lake, which is the Bagnell Dam.

Then I take Highway 54 South.

I reach the second cave of my planned tour for today, the Ozark Caverns. There things do not look really promising. The tours follow a fixed schedule. Because I am already past season, the last tour does not depart at 4pm, but at 2pm — and now it is 10 minutes past two…

I use the new spare time to have slowly one of my apples. Then I drive back to my motel and check the video taping of today. Because I was able to video tape the whole time in the cave, there is plenty of video to watch. Finally I feed my GPS with new coordinates and also check my finance plan.

Around 6pm I have finished everything and have some time to watch TV. Then I drive again in my Outback Steakhouse. After having my usual 9 ounce Outback Special, I drive back to my motel.

The next day is in preparation…

  • Sights
  • Jacob’s Cave (Fee $10)
  • General
  • Breakfast: Kay’s Restaurant, Osage Beach
  • Dinner: Outback Steakhouse, Osage Beach
  • Motel: Super 8, Osage Beach
  • Distance: 126 miles