Saturday, October 15


Greetings dear reader!

Isn't autumn the absolutely most beautiful season of the year? I LOVE it! Here are pictures of the outside of the CLouse House so far:

Also, on the way home from my Mediation Training, Hubby Dear had heard of a unique restaurant on Old Route 66. We decided to check it's called The Cave Restaurant and Resort and it's in Richland, MO. Here's the reader's digest version of how it came to be:

Of course, Dave couldn't leave well enough alone. One day in 1989 he climbed into a cave high on the face of the bluff that overlooks the river. The cave was full of pigeon droppings and nests. It was dank. It was dark. Dave emerged and said to Connie: "You know, I bet I can build a restaurant up there." "You are out of your mind," Connie replied. Well, maybe, thought Dave. A religious man, he prayed about it, asking that his image of a restaurant in a cave go away. It didn't. So Dave started to work.Naturally, so did Connie, since wives always get lassoed into such schemes.

Dave bought a jackhammer. He bought carts. He bought sledgehammers, picks, shovels and pry bars. He hired a guy who knew about blasting. All the while, neighbors figured that Dave was certifiable, ready for the guys with the white coats and nets. No matter. Over four years, Dave, Connie and a few helpers almost broke their backs taking 2,160 tons of rock out of the cave and turning it into a magic place that can seat 225 people. They put in air conditioners and dehumidifiers. They built fish-stocked fountains and waterfalls to mask any remaining seepage that the mechanical devices couldn't take care of. The cave is dry. And more. There's a huge panoramic window overlooking the river 100 feet below. There's an elevator and carpeting and furnishings and service that would do any high-class restaurant in St. Louis or Kansas City proud.      "Since we've opened, we've fed 35,000 people. And not from just around here. Name a state or country and we've had people from there." 
The menu is American - steaks, fish and chicken. Dave said that folks don't go away hungry. The restaurant is open for dinner Wednesday through Friday, and lunch and dinner on weekends. "Back in the 1920's, believe it or not," said Dave, "this was a dance hall. That's what it was called - Dance Hall Cave. People would come, climb up an old rickety ladder and have dances."  As Dave tells it, a hard charger named Ed Steckle built the resort and constructed the low-water bridge across the river. That bridge, incidentally, was Steckle's undoing. He was on it one day during high water, trying to clear off piled-up flotsam. A tree branch snagged a leg, and he drowned.
"For years afterward this just sat empty," said Dave. "Old Steckle must've been a dreamer." No more so than Dave, who didn't see just an old Missouri cave. He saw a restaurant. Dig and they will come. "Some of the locals thought people would be attracted to the novelty," he said. "Well, novelty is fine, but you better have good food and service. "Are they surprised? I think so. Especially when the big tour buses pull in and people pile out."   -Excerpt from article by James J. Fisher 
This is a little lean-to hut where guests wait for the "shuttle" (a beat up mini van with a wonderfully friendly driver) and then the archway is the drive to the cave.

Because this place is also a resort, there are many really rustic and homey cabins that can be rented along the way to the restaurant. Gorgeous! There is a little walkway that passes log cabin shops...handcrafted wooden souveniers and (OF ALL THINGS) a wonderful little "sweet shoppe" with Yankee Candles! HEAVEN!


Here is the spiral staircase that leads to The Cave restaurant. Sturdy looking, but...uhhm...we'll take the elevator. (Which was, in my opinion, scarier than the stairs ever could have been! Here's a better view of the staircase.

Inside view of the elevator!
As you walk in, there are maps where you can pin your hometown...and then you see it.
Besides being a temperate 65 degrees (ALWAYS perfect!) It's very well lit...with strange sculpted horseshoes and vintage glass dome lights.


The fountain is gorgeous, and although you can't see it very well on this picture...there are waterfalls too!
A quaint little "cottage" area that houses historical pictures and artifacts.

And then there's the view from the "porch" of the Cave...the Wabash river is below, lined with American sycamore, birch and maple trees. And more "odd" sculpture involving mining gear, wheels, horseshoes and wrenches.
And the twisting turning Highway 7 that take you to The Cave is just as breathtaking. If you're prone to car sickness, take a Dramamine before you go! The view is so worth it!

There you have it! Another Route 66 adventure! It was truly good to be "on the road again"...even if it was for just a brief "detour" while on the way home. If ever you're on Route 44 West, DO take the "off-the-beaten-path" Old Route 66 occasionally! It's definitely WORTH the trip!

More soon!

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Hi Paula,
I am a new follower. I have taken the time to go back and read back posts and I love your sweet heart and your amazing art! I am so happy that you are back posting again. Thank you so much for taking me on another adventure on Route 66.