Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A River Runs Underneath

Beneath the rolling green hills of Southern Indiana, the sinewy 21 mile Myst’ry River courses through the subterranean passages of Bluespring Caverns near Bedford, Indiana.  Serious spelunkers could crawl through the caverns, most of them still unexplored in an area known as Limestone Country because of the porous rock beneath the surface that’s perfect for forming caves.  But for those of us who like soft adventure the best way to travel the longest subterranean river in the United States is on a specially designed 17 person flat-bottomed boat.  

Climb aboard for the hour long, 1.7 mile trip as the boat navigates the river’s twists and turns, moving through passageways whose walls are coated with a fine film of mud.  The tour is memorable with the boat maneuvering tight corners that take it from high vaulted chambers into narrow passages on a river abundant with rare albino blindfish and crayfish.  Overhead, water occasionally drips from stalactites. 

When the drops hit boaters, the clammy experience is affectionately known as cave kisses. 
These  dripping ceilings along with the few moments when the guide switches off all illumination, plunging the caverns into a dense, impenetrable darkness that hides everything behind a black velvet curtain, remind visitors what the early explorers of these caverns, known to locals since the early 1800s, must have experienced.   

Return to the land above to grab food at the snack bar at the Hospitality Center and picnic under the sun in the wooded cove outside by the parking lot, pan for gold, learn the geological history of the cave through the storyboard exhibits and buy treasures such as native Indiana rocks and arrowheads at the caverns’ gift shop.

1459 Bluespring Caverns Road, Bedford, IN. 812-279-9471 or

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Two Hot Air Balloons Added to Steampunk ‘Oz’ Experience for 2 Nights

The Lincoln Amphitheatre’s “The Wizard of Oz” pre-show activities will include hot air balloons displayed for two nights.

On Thursday, July 21 and Friday, July 22, two hot air balloons will be tethered from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. CDT in the Lincoln Amphitheatre parking lot. The two hot-air balloons will be tethered for display only while weather permits.

The Lincoln Amphitheatre and Evansville Civic Theatre are co-producing “The Wizard of Oz” to run July 21 – August 7, Thursday-Saturday evenings with a Sunday matinee at the 1500-seat, roofed Lincoln Amphitheatre.

“The Wizard of Oz” production’s look is inspired by Steampunk, a science fiction genre influenced by the Wild West and Victorian Britain.

“The Wizard of Oz” complete experience will include enhanced multimedia projections, a yellow brick road extended from the stage, and a costume contest for all ages beginning one-hour prior to performance. 

For more information about Lincoln Amphitheatre’s 2011 season and to purchase tickets for upcoming events, visit or call 800-264-4ABE.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Wizard of Oz (as influenced by Steampunk) Debuts July 21

Join us for the imaginative, Steampunk influenced production of film classic “The Wizard of Oz” at the 1500-seat, roofed Lincoln Amphitheatre. The stage production, co-produced by the Lincoln Amphitheatre and Evansville Civic Theatre and directed by Chris Tyner, runs July 21 – August 7, Thursday-Saturday evenings with a Sunday matinee.

"My goal in creating this new visualization of Oz is to entice audiences to see what can be done with the magic of theatre,” says Tyner, “showing them that you can take something you have loved since you were a child and bring it forward to the next generation in a new and exciting way,"

And so Tyner, without changing the script, took the well loved story of Dorothy and her dog Toto and used facets of Steampunk, a science fiction and alternative history genre inspired  by both 19th century Victorian Era Britain and the Old American West (think “Wild Wild West” with Will Smith, also Steampunk influenced), to add intriguing visual effects such as monkeys living in the land of Oz and getting around on jet packs and Rollerblades and a yellow brick road extended from the stage.

For more information about Lincoln Amphitheatre’s 2011 season and to purchase tickets for upcoming events, visit or call 800-264-4ABE.

Southern Indiana Underground

Explore one of Southern Indiana's underground treasures at Marengo Cave U.S. National Landmark, one of a half dozen public caves in the state.  Several walking tours take visitors through vast rooms of stone formations dripping stalactites and erupting stalagmites. 

 The 40-minute Crystal Palace tour  runs about a third of a mile and passes by Mirror Lake. The Dripstone Trail Tour, a 70-minute, one mile walk,  takes visitors by both Mirror Lake and Looking Glass Lake.

A must stop is the Crystal Palace Room, where a flashing light show accompanies music, in a grand underground theater with stone seats and a stage.

The colored lights illuminated the various stalactites and other geological wonders in what must be the ultimate light show. 

Located near the town of Marengo, the cave has a been a tourist attraction since 1883 when teenagers Orris and Blanche Hiestand slid down a narrow opening at the bottom of sinkhole holding candles to illuminate their way.  What they found was a cave described as being so grand that within days hundreds of locals were visiting the site. 

Samuel Stewart, owner of the and where the cave was found,  reacted by making it available to tourists on a commercial basis. Since then, this cave system has been opened to the public continuously. The Stewart family owned the cave until 1955 and since then it's had just a few owners. To get the feel of what it must have been like for Blanche and Orris, on the walking tours, the cave’s illumination is turned off and candles are lit. Darkness in a cave is so complete  hat one can’t see their hands in front of their face.                                                  

FOR MORE INFORMATION:   Marengo Cave National Landmark: 812-365-2705 or  Follow:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

All Aboard!

Visit the Indiana Railway Museum in French Lick and take a ride on their vintage train that makes its way through 20 miles of Hoosier Forest and through the 2200 foot Burton Tunnel, one of the longest railroad tunnels in the state. or call 800-74-TRAIN.