Ed & Marilyn 'The Happy Wanderers' travel blog

Yesterday was a busy day. After some early rain the sun came out and it turned into a very nice day. It was quite cool early in the day also but the crisp cool air felt good.

Marilyn & I were awake at 5:30 AM and had our morning coffee before driving to the hospital to meet Jennifer and Colby. After some hugs, we exchanged cars and drove back to the RV with Colby. He was spending the day with his grandma Dray, while grandpa Dray was leading tours through the caves.

Marilyn and Colby had a lot of fun. Colby went for several strolls around the campground as Marilyn had him all bundled up and pushed him around in his stroller.

In the meantime I had the first tour at 9:00 AM with a large group of school kids, touring Cameron Cave.

As soon as I returned to the ticket counter with the lanterns I was asked to take a group through Mark Twain Cave. OK, no break right now. I'll take a break after this tour. Wrong! As soon as I walked out of the tunnel from MT Cave, I was informed that my next group was in the theater waiting for me. When I entered the theater I was delighted to discover that the group of kids and teachers were from Holy Rosary School in Monroe City, where Jennifer went to school. I knew some of the teachers and recognized a few of the kids. We enjoyed that tour quite a bit! Still no break.

When I brought that group back to the gift shop, I was informed that my next tour was outside by the map, waiting for me. What!!

OK, I'll do it, although I was told that I would be off at 1:00 PM. So, away we went. This was also a large group of kids and adults and were not as easy to control. At times it was like herding cats to keep everyone moving in the correct direction. I was really tired by this time and hadn't had a break all day,so I looked forward to finishing and going home. My voice had started the day off being fine but was now getting raspy and weak.

As I exited the cave, Roy was waiting for me. He informed me that Rodney had to leave to go to work at his other job, and one of the other guides was hurting. John had lost his voice and I was the only guide left until the younger guides arrived after their school was out.

It was 2:00 PM and there was a group of ticket holders waiting for a guide. OK, one more time into the breach. Away we went. By now I was coughing repeatedly and my voice was quite weak, but it was a small group, including a family from Germany, who were very nice.

We finished that tour at 3:00 PM and I was truely finished. Six hours, five tours, no breaks and no lunch. Oh, yes, no more voice either!

I walked over to the RV, sat around with a cold bottle of flavored water, and coughed a lot. For that reason, I didn't get to play with Colby, or even hold him to feed him.

That isn't even fair!

A bit after 7:00 PM we drove back to the hospital to meet Jen, to return her son and her car. We parted with hugs and drove back to the RV, where we ate some left over pasta for dinner. We then watched some family reunion videos. I sat through much of it with tears in my eyes as I realized how many of the family I was watching were no longer with us.

I finally went off to bed, checked the ball game and discovered that the Cardinals had lost, turned off the TV, and went to sleep.

I slept fine with the window wide open beside my head until a little after 4:00 AM when a fierce thunderstorm rolled through, with crashing thunder, heavy rain and hail. All it did to me was cause me to awaken enough to close my window.

Yesterday was another good day filled with events which were fun and some not so fun. In any case I just can't wait to see what this day has in store.....

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