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FALCON LAKE FARM (MO)



WEDNESDAY - This morning we were up and out of the Walmart parking lot before 9:00AM, just like you should be when "overnight parking" at Walmart. It's not a campground afterall, no matter how many people treat it that way!

A few minutes later and we were crossing over the Oklahoma/Missouri border, our 90th such crossing between states. Only 17 more to go before we have the whole collection and we're scheduled to collect 5 more before the year is over.


Shortly after crossing the state border we made a turn to the south for a short detour to take in a sightseeing opportunity.

This morning we are going to be taking our 64th cave tour and we have plans for #65-#66-#67 later this week. Bluff Dwellers Cave is located in Noel, MO and is just one of a half dozen caves within a 50-mile radius.

On our way to Bluff Dwellers Cave we passed "under" another hanging rock situation and if I'm being honest, had me a little hesitant about driving ROVER and THE POD passed it. To make matters worse, we have to pass by this again on the way out after the tour, but at least we'll be in the far lane.

They advertise the cave tour as nearly flat and that anyone can negotiate the trail through the cave. What they don't tell you is that the entrance is at the top of a full flight of stairs leading up from the parking lot.

But if you do make it the top of the stairs you'll be immediately in front of the bathrooms and the cave entrance, the gift shop and ticket counter are off to the left.

Come on everybody! Let's go see what's inside.


BLUFF DWELLERS CAVE


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Once through the front doors it quickly becomes apparent the cave is one long corridor...
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...with rooms every so often where softer rock has been carved out of the channel.
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These rooms are usually round where water whirlpooled to create the shape we see.
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Off both sides of the main corridor are small and tighter channels which we explored.
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Everywhere we looked there were formations on the ceilings.
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Some of these side channels were over 100-yards long.
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Our guide Boone showed us how to navigate sideways through the narrower channels.
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You also had to watch your head in several spots.
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Here Tricia found a spotted salamander on the cave wall.
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This rubber duckie was placed here nearly 100-years ago
when the cave first opened to the public.
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It some places the cave ceiling was eroded away nearly 100-feet back up to the surface.
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During the rainy season there is a waterfall at this location.
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An ancient shell was embedded into the cave wall here.
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Back in the main channel this section was especially long and a little narrow.
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This 8-ton piece of ceiling fell and is now balancing on just two points of contact.
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It didn't fall very far, but it's texture perfectly matches the ceiling above.
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By the size of the formations between the pieces they estimate it fell some 400-500 years ago.
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This nearby side channel is undeveloped and not part of the tour.
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Looking back towards the entrance of the cave.
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A familiar formation called "cave bacon" can be seen on the left.
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These smaller formations are called rimstone and are found where water pools on the floor.
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This cave is very much "alive" and very damp.
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Almost back to the entrance we explore one more side channel where...
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...a large pool of water is found.
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This rimstone formation is 75-feet long, the longest found in all the Missouri caves.
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This salamander calls the pool of water home.
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Time to head for the exit where we found...
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...this large room that is occaisionally used as a tornado shelter.
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Just outside the exit door is where you'll find Pierson guarding the exit.



THURSDAY - Some of you may be wondering "Why are we at Falcon Lake Farm" and what is it anyway?

I'll try to make a long story short here and just tell you that in 2019, after we had already began living on the road, two sisters named Diane and Lisa purchased 32-acres in Neosho, MO to begin a new life style of their own.

Only their dream was to own a farm in a small community, far from the hustle and bustle of South Florida. You see, Lisa was the personal assistant to the man who manages the "vast sum of money" we saved and have invested. :-)

Lisa and Brendan were managing the 401K that I was contributing to while I was still working. I found out that the owner of the company I was working for was also using the team to manage his personal wealth.

Several times a year, for the last five years of my employment, I spent listening to Brendan speak about his insights and management style when it comes to money. He just made sense to me and I developed a trust that he was looking out for his clients just as much, if not more, than he was looking out for himself.

When I quit working I didn't hesitate to intrust Brendan with managing our retirement money. That's when we met Lisa for the first time and it made the decision even less stressful to put our trust in them as a team.

Anytime we had questions Lisa was the person we would call. She was quick to answer them no matter how dumb they were and always easy to deal with when things didn't appear to be going smoothly.

I must admit we were a little sad when we learned that Lisa was leaving her job to begin a new life in Missouri, but couldn't fault her for doing so.


Here we are living our dream of being on the road
while visiting Lisa living her dream of owning a farm.


I've put together a little slideshow of our visit and if you're interested in knowing more about Lisa and/or Falcon Lake Farm they have developed an excellent website that I'll link to HERE.


FALCON LAKE FARM


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The first to come greet us, other than Lisa, was this fearless chicken.
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Soon the rest of the chickens were headed our way.
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Tricia's first question was "Can I go pet a cow"?
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This is the only one that would approach Tricia.
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The little 1-month old calf wanted nothing to do with us strangers.
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Here's Lisa giving her prize bull a little head rub...
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...and a neck scratch.
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The goats were easy. They all wanted a horn scratch...
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...and none were the least bit camera shy.
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Soon the chickens were all around us as if we had something to feed them.
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The rooster was being very vocal about the fact he wanted fed first.
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Next it was time to load up on the Tracker and see the rest of the 32-acres.
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That's the back side of Lisa's house up there.
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The man-made Falcon Lake is at the back of her property.
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She had a reasonably flat spot for us to park when we arrived.
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During Tricia's morning walk on Day 2 she saw something moving across the driveway.
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Turns out it was a small turtle heading for the creek on the south property border.
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The cows were all awake and feeding on hay...
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...but the little one still wouldn't look Tricia in the eye.
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We're happy Lisa's dream is also coming true. She deserves it!



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