What to do with The Statue of Liberty

Trip Start Jan 09, 2013
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Flag of United States  , Missouri
Saturday, November 10, 2012

Shipped to the U.S. from France in 1884, the Statue of Liberty (305 ft tall) needed a place to sit. President Ulysses S. Grant and the builder, Bartholdi discussed where to place it. Eventually, it ended up on a small island in the harbor of New York City. 

 It could have been placed in Marbel Cave in Silver Dollar City. Okay, so no one would want to do that, but the guide to the cave always points out it would fit in the Cathedral Room in the cave. The breathtaking room is the largest cave entrance room in the U.S. and a 20 story building could fit inside.

The tour through Marvel Cave lasts one hour and consists of climbing nearly 600 stairs. Often you are bending down to get through passageways and holding handrails to keep your footing on the slick rocks. At the end of the tour, after going 500 feet down into the cave, there is a cable car that takes cave visitors up the half mile, 1,070 foot climb back to the surface.

Silver Dollar City was built around the entrance to the cave and the cave turned out to be one of our most memorable experiences on this trip to Branson, Mo.

We had arrived at the park on Friday night to enjoy all the Christmas displays, including the 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree as the lights danced in sync to the holiday music. 

We returned on Saturday for a full day of rides and exploring the park. The theme park gained  a lot of attention when the Clampett TV family of "The Beverly Hillbillies" payed a visit to Silver Dollar City in one of their tv shows.

Today, the park is famous to Chris (nephew of the Pikes Peak hike fame) and myself, for its' terrifying, fun rides. The Powder Keg launches out of the station using compressed air and turns nearly upside down before the ride finally brakes and turns into the station. The fire in the hole, Outlaw Run, Giant Swing, and other thrilling rides make for a fun day in this theme park. We were able to do most rides more than once.

 As night closed in we headed for our dinner theater, "Christmas on the Trail". The hearty Christmas dinner, cowboy-style, was served right from an 1800's authentic chuck wagon. 

 Following the country/christmas music show, we stopped by the gift shop for a cup of hot apple cider, to warm us up from the chill in the night air.

With hot cider in hand, we put the top down on the convertible and drove the 2 1/2 miles through the Trail of Lights, Branson style. This drive-through holiday adventure featured millions of sparkling Christmas lights. The trail wound through the 160 acre Shepherd of the Hills Homestead and straight into a Chris and Larry special Christmas memory!

Taking a ride up the 230 foot glass elevator to the top of Insipiration Tower to get a Santa's-eye view of the Trail of Lights from above was a great ending to this exhilirating day!

Sunday, the last day for us in Branson found us playing some indoor mini-golf and seeing the Waltzing Waters. Fountains of water danced in time to the synced music. After the show was over the director invited us to come to the front and operate the organ and fountains to create our own show. It was a special touch and we appreciate them letting us have the hands-on experience.

Then, Chris climbed into the front seat of the helicopter as we flew over the massive Table Rock Lake and dam. Viewing the Ozarks from above was something we will not forget.

A visit to the Bass Pro Shop in Branson was our last stop before heading back to Batesville and home for Chris, with lots of new memories to file away.
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