Roubidoux Spring- Below The Surface

By Bob Hathaway
Owner, Odyssey Scuba

There are a lot of good reasons for the NSS Convention 2015 to come to Waynesville, Missouri, yet one of the best reasons will be least visited! Every person attending will pass within mere feet of the opening to one of the most interesting cave systems in the Midwestern United States, yet it takes more than the “usual” cave exploration equipment to see this Cave State wonder…

Waynesville has enjoyed a revitalization of business in the last 3- 5 years that has returned a certain charm to the small Missouri town, and visitors enjoy strolling the downtown area to explore various locally- owned shops and restaurants which line the square. The city also has a rich historical heritage including a section of the “Mother Road” of Old Route 66 running through its middle, noted Civil War sites, and even part of the original Trail Of Tears is inside its limits. However, the beating heart of Waynesville’s natural beauty exists just a short distance from all of this in the form of Roubidoux Springs, a beautiful freshwater spring feeding into the Roubidoux River which divides the town into its eastern and western parts.

Visitors are able to park their cars alongside the river at the Roy Laughlin Park and walk along a short, well- maintained span of the Trail Of Tears Memorial Walkway leading from the Route 66 Bridge up to the spring. They are often fascinated at the sight of trout and other types of local fish swimming in the crystal clear water, and can pause occasionally to read the historical markers placed along the way. Even more fascinating to a large number of visitors as they round the bend is the unexpected sight of scuba divers making their way into and out of Roubidoux Springs cave/cavern system!

Cave and cavern divers have been drawn to Roubidoux Springs for decades, fascinated both by its beauty and challenge. The spring is located within the city park system, so park rules and regulations are in effect. A Cave or Cavern certification is required to dive the springs, and the city has implemented a check- in/check- out protocol for those diving there. This protocol is more often self- enforced by divers themselves instead of law enforcement as a way of keeping thrill seekers and the uninformed out of harm’s way. Divers are appreciative of having such a wonderful resource for their enjoyment, and take serious the measures and responsibilities put in place to protect it.

The shallow pool at the mouth of the spring often fools passersby to the true extent of the massive cave system just below their feet, which was recently explored by technical divers to a distance of nearly two miles as it winds its way back under the city. The actual distance the cave goes back is still unknown, and plans for further explorations are continuously being made as advances in equipment and technology expand. Divers are eager to be among those who have extended the line to its furthest point, and travel from all across the United States as well as foreign countries to be a part of the effort. While cave divers certainly dominate the diving at Roubidoux Springs it is certainly not limited to them. Cavern divers also have one of the largest and most interesting areas to explore in the Midwestern United States, and with the support of Odyssey Scuba & Travel (located less than a quarter of a mile away) it is a fun and easy way to spend a day of diving. While cavern diving is much more restrictive in limits than cave diving (including a linear distance limit of one hundred thirty feet of exploration, and being within sight of ambient light at all times) it also enables a greater number of sport divers to enjoy the experience.

Photo by Jennifer Idol, Ozark Cave Diving Alliance www.ocda.org

Photo by Jennifer Idol, Ozark Cave Diving Alliance http://www.ocda.org

Cavern divers suit up on shore and wade into the 55- 58F temperature water at the mouth of the spring. Use of dry suits is preferred, but certainly a thick wetsuit is an option. Final safety checks are performed, then divers slip into the small opening located just beneath the walkway bridge over the bubbling water. The narrow opening extends back approximately twelve feet before beginning to slant downward to a depth of over forty feet. The cavern zone also widens out to reveal a massive room where divers are able to explore along the cracks and crevices of the walls.

Even underwater in a cave there is life, and with patience and a good eye cave fauna can be found. Roubidoux Springs is currently the site for an on- going fauna count, and several local divers are involved in this scientific endeavor to better understand and protect the delicate creatures existing here. Blind cave fish, crawdads, and other animals are identified and studied, and are happily thriving at Roubidoux Springs. It’s a lot of fun to see one of these tiny residents going about their lives as one explores among the rocks and holes!

At the furthest point back in the cavern zone the actual cave system begins. This smaller tunnel- like opening is prominently marked by a “grim reaper” caricature sign, warning non- cave certified divers that they have reached the limit of their exploration, and that further training and equipment is necessary before continuing. While this simple sign has doubtlessly saved many divers from getting into trouble, most divers are explorers and risk- takers by nature and the well- meaning sign is occasionally viewed with a slight resentment. However, cavern divers usually find more to explore than is possible in a single dive and are quick to continue searching the cavern zone. One object of curiosity usually encountered is the diver habitat. This large box- type structure was placed by cave divers needing a place to “rest” after extended dives in the cave system, and allows those divers a temporarily air pocket where they can rest and communicate during long decompression stops. Cavern divers usually look the habitat over for a few moments before returning to their explorations of the rocks and crevices. In addition to light and linear distance limits cavern divers also follow the “rule of thirds” when it comes to air consumption; one- third of the available air supply going in, one- third for coming out, and the last for emergencies or contingencies. This rule of thirds usually limits a cavern dive in Roubidoux Springs to a time of around twenty minutes, which also makes multiple dives desirable. Air fills and other sundries are available at Odyssey Scuba, so divers have a place to enjoy between dives should they choose to leave the springs area. If you are cave or cavern certified, you won’t want to miss the underwater beauty and adventure of Roubidoux Springs! For more information, or to arrange a cavern dive, contact Odyssey Scuba & Travel on their website at http://www.moscuba.com, or call them at (573) 774-DIVE (3483). A single visit to Waynesville, Pulaski County, and Roubidoux Springs will only prove one thing; a single visit simply isn’t enough!

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This Week Around Pulaski County USA!

Pulaski County USA Logo

Events for the week of March 30, 2015-April 5, 2015

April 4- Pulaski County Farmer’s Market
What: Year- round Farmer’s Market
Where: South Lynn Street, Waynesville
When: 8 am until Noon
Cost: FREE admission
Contact: Bruce Main- 573.842.9079

Pulaski County Farmers Market Logo

April 4- 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum
What: One of only two remaining Route 66 period courthouses in Missouri. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Where: On The Square, Waynesville
When: 10 am until 4 pm
Cost: FREE admission, donations accepted
Contact: Pulaski County Museum & Historical Society (Denise Seevers)-573.855.3644

1903 Route 66 Courthouse in Waynesville, MO. Photograph by PicsByJax.

1903 Route 66 Courthouse in Waynesville, MO. Photograph by PicsByJax.

April 4- Old Stagecoach Stop Museum
What: Pulaski County’s oldest building has served as a private residence, a stagecoach stop, a Civil War hospital, and a hotel on Historic Route 66. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Where: On The Square, Waynesville
When: 10 am until 4 pm
Cost: FREE admission, donations accepted
Contact: Old Stagecoach Stop Foundation (Jan Primas)- 573.435.6766

Old Stagecoach Stop, on the Square, Waynesvile. Image by Terry Primas.

Old Stagecoach Stop, on the Square, Waynesvile. Image by Terry Primas.

April 4- Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House
What: Supervised paranormal investigation of one of Waynesville’s oldest homes.
Where: 405 North Street, Waynesville
When: Dusk. Call for exact start time.
Cost: $20 per person
Contact: Crocker’s Optimistic Paranormal Society (Dawnmarie Cecora)- 573.528.2149

Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House will be available to National Speleological Society Convention 2015 (#NSS2015) attendees.

Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House- An evening that you won’t soon forget!

Looking Ahead:

April 10 & 11- Sportsman’s Gun Show
April 25- Mountain Man Trade Rendezvous
April 25- Kids Of Our Heroes Support Ride
April 25- Battle In The Ozarks III

Home to the 2015 National Speleological Society Convention
#NSS2015
July 13-17, 2015
Waynesville, MO
nss2015.caves.org

2015 National Speleological Convention Logo revised

A Featured Destination in FIREBALL RUN: America’s Frontier
Premiering Summer 2015

FIREBALL RUN: America's Frontier premiers in its entirety Summer 2015.

FIREBALL RUN: America’s Frontier premiers in its entirety Summer 2015.

This Week Around Pulaski County USA!

Pulaski County USA LogoEvents for the week of March 23, 2015-March 29, 2015

March 28- Pulaski County Farmer’s Market
What: Year- round Farmer’s Market
Where: South Lynn Street, Waynesville
When: 8 am until Noon
Cost: FREE admission
Contact: Bruce Main- 573.842.9079

Pulaski County Farmers Market Logo

March 28- Ingress Cross Faction Boot Camp
What: Basic gameplay instruction and tips for new Ingress agents.
Where: 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum, on the Square, Waynesville
When: 10-11 am
Cost: FREE
Contact: Pulaski County Tourism Bureau (Laura Huffman)- 573.336.6355

Pulaski County USA Ingress Cross Faction Boot Camp

March 28- Taste of Pulaski County & Basket Auction
Where: St. Robert Community Center
When: 11 am-4 pm
Cost: Adults: $10, Children 5-12: $5
Contact: Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce- 573.336.5121

March 28 Taste of Pulaski County FB

Looking Ahead:
April 4- Museums on the Square Opening Day
April 4- Paranormal Investigations of Historic Talbot House
April 10 & 11- Sportsman’s Gun Show
April 25- Mountain Man Trade Rendezvous

Home to the 2015 National Speleological Society Convention
#NSS2015
July 13-17, 2015

National Speleological Society's (NSS) 2015 Convention will be held in Waynesville, Missouri July 13-17.

National Speleological Society’s (NSS) 2015 Convention will be held in Waynesville, Missouri July 13-17.

A Featured Destination in FIREBALL RUN: America’s Frontier

FIREBALL RUN: America's Frontier premiers in its entirety Summer 2015.

FIREBALL RUN: America’s Frontier premiers in its entirety Summer 2015.

Premiering Summer 2015

Waynesville, MO
nss2015.caves.org

Route 66 Association of Missouri- “The Hub and Spoke Tour: Hot Rods and Cool Caves”

The Route 66 Association of Missouri will hold its 26th Annual Motor Tour, “The Hub and Spoke Tour: Hot Rods and Cool Caves”, on September 11—13, 2015. This may be the first “hub and spoke” format Motor Tour ever held on Historic Route 66. The “hub” for the weekend of Missouri Historic Route 66-focused travel and fun will be St. Robert. One “spoke” will be a trip to Strafford and back, and the other “spoke” will be a trip to Leasburg. After 25 successful one-way Motor Tours, this new format should be exciting for all Tourists. Everyone will get to appreciate the beauty of the Ozarks that makes traveling Historic Route 66 in Missouri so special.

"The Hub and Spoke Tour: Hot Rods and Cool Caves”, takes place September 11—13, 2015.

“The Hub and Spoke Tour: Hot Rods and Cool Caves”, takes place September 11—13, 2015.

On Friday, September 11th, Motor Tour check in will be from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Hampton Inn Ft. Leonard Wood/St. Robert. The Motel is holding a block of rooms until August 21st. For reservations, Tourists must contact the Motel directly at (573) 336-3355 and mention the Motor Tour. Guides identifying places to visit and sights to see, including activities and things to do in Waynesville/St. Robert, will be provided. Driving instructions will also be provided. Each paid registration will receive a dash plaque and window decal. T-shirts and other memorabilia will be available for purchase. A mini-tour will be held that evening; details will follow.

Hampton Inn in Saint Robert, MO is the host hotel for “The Hub and Spoke Tour: Hot Rods and Cool Caves” .

Hampton Inn in Saint Robert, MO is the host hotel for “The Hub and Spoke Tour: Hot Rods and Cool Caves” .

On Saturday September 12th, check in will resume at 8:00 a.m. After departing at 9:00 a.m., the Motor Tour will follow the westward “spoke” to Bushmaster’s Rockin’ Race Place outside Strafford to view an interesting collection of hot rods, race cars, and racing memorabilia. There will be a $10.00 admission fee to tour the museum. As always, Tourists may create their own itinerary and stop anywhere they like. At the banquet room of the Hampton Inn that evening, a hearty and delicious meal of fried chicken and roast beef with all the trimmings will be served. Details regarding the evening’s activities will be announced later.

On Sunday September 13th, a nondenominational service will be held at 8:00 a.m. at the Hampton Inn. The Motor Tour will depart at 9:00 a.m. and follow the eastward “spoke” to Onondaga Cave State Park outside Leasburg. On the way, the owner of Belmont Vineyards and Winery outside Leasburg will provide a complimentary tour of the operation. However, Tourists may choose to stop anywhere they like. The Motor Tour will end with a box lunch at the picnic pavilion inside Onondaga Cave State Park. Either before or after lunch, Tourists may tour Onondaga Cave, a unique Missouri show cave, at a special group rate of $10.00 offered only on this day.

Visit http://www.missouri66.org to download a registration form, find more details, or check for updates. Or visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/missouri66. For more information or to receive a registration form, contact Robert Schulz at schulz@htc.net or (618) 799-8021, or Tommy Pike at furyon66@earthlink.net or (417) 865-1318. Completed registration forms and payment for registration and meals must be received by August 21, 2015. Meals cannot be reserved after that date. We hope that you will join us on “The Hub and Spoke Tour: Hot Rods and Cool Caves”, the 26th Annual Motor Tour of the Route 66 Association of Missouri!

For a preview of Route 66 in Pulaski County, Missouri please contact Pulaski County Tourism Bureau at 573.336.6355 and ask for their complimentary Historic Auto Tours brochure.

This Week Around Pulaski County USA!

Pulaski County USA LogoEvents for the week of March 16, 2015-March 22, 2015

March 21- Pulaski County Farmer’s Market
What: Year- round Farmer’s Market
Where: Downtown Waynesville
When: 8 am until Noon
Cost: FREE admission
Contact: Bruce Main- 573.842.9079

Pulaski County Farmers Market Logo March 21- Route 66 St. Patty’s Fest
What: Family friendly Saint Patrick’s street festival
Where: Downtown Waynesville
When: 11 am-4 pm
Cost: FREE admission
Contact: Route 66 Fest (Audra Berrier)- 573.774.3001

St. Patty's Fest is March 21st in Downtown Waynesville.

St. Patty’s Fest is March 21st in Downtown Waynesville.

Looking Ahead:

March 28- Taste of Pulaski County & Basket Auction
April 4- Museums on the Square Opening Day
April 4- Paranormal Investigations of Historic Talbot House
April 11- Sportsman’s Gun Show

Home to the 2015 National Speleological Society Convention
#NSS2015
July 13-17, 2015
Waynesville, MO
nss2015.caves.org

National Speleological Society's (NSS) 2015 Convention will be held in Waynesville, Missouri July 13-17.

National Speleological Society’s (NSS) 2015 Convention will be held in Waynesville, Missouri July 13-17.

A Featured Destination in FIREBALL RUN: America’s Frontier
Premiering Summer 2015

FIREBALL RUN: America's Frontier premiers in its entirety Summer 2015.

 

Four Things That You Do Not Want To Miss During April In Pulaski County USA!

Pulaski County USA Logo

If you miss any of these, your friends will poke fun at you around the water cooler Monday morning.

1. Opening Day of Waynesville’s Museums
Date: Saturday April 4th
Time: 10:00 am – 4 pm
Where: On The Square, Downtown Waynesville
Cost: FREE
Contact: 1903 Courthouse Museum (Denise Seevers)- 573.855.3644
Old Stagecoach Stop Museum (Jan Primas)- 573.435.6766

Do Not Miss Because: Waynesville kicks off the travel season by throwing open the doors to two of her most beloved treasures- the 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum and the Old Stagecoach Stop Museum. Both have exhibits that will please every member of your family!

The 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum and the Old Stagecoach Stop Museum, on the Square, in downtown Waynesvile, are local and tourism favorites in Pulaski County, MO.

The 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum and the Old Stagecoach Stop Museum, on the Square, in downtown Waynesvile, are local and tourism favorites in Pulaski County, MO.

2. Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House
Date: *Saturday April 4th
Times: Dusk- call for exact start time
Where: 405 North Street, Waynesville
Cost: $20
Contact: Crocker’s Optimistic Paranormal Society (Dawnmarie Cecora)- 573.528.2149

Do Not Miss Because: You have always wanted to be a ghost hunter!
*Make your reservations before April 1st

Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House are offered year round. Reservations fill up quickly!

Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House are offered year round. Reservations fill up quickly!

3. Sportsman Gun Show
Date: Friday April 10th & Saturday April 11th
Time: Friday- 12 pm until 6 pm, Saturday 7:30 am until 5 pm
Where: The Barn, 13015 Highway 28, Dixon
Cost: $3 admission
Contact: Bill Johnson- 573.433.9370

Do Not Miss Because: One word- guns!

The 6th Annual Sportsman's Gun Show will be held near Dixon, MO April 10th and 11th.

The 6th Annual Sportsman’s Gun Show will be held near Dixon, MO April 10th and 11th.

4. Mountain Man Rendezvous
Date: Saturday April 25th
Time: 10 am until 4 pm
Where: Kickapoo Trace Club, 16490 Cracklin Drive, Dixon
Cost: FREE
Contact: Kickapoo Trace Muzzleloaders (Bob Stormer): 636-734-2693

Do Not Miss Because: Mountain Men- America’s original preppers!

Party like it is 1849 at the Mountain Man Rendezvous April 25th!

Party like it is 1849 at the Mountain Man Rendezvous April 25th!

This Week Around Pulaski County USA!

Pulaski County USA LogoEvents for the week of March 9, 2015-March 15, 2015

Welcome To The Following Group:
JROTC Invitational Drill Meet

March 14- Pulaski County Farmer’s Market
What: Year- round Farmer’s Market
Where: South Lynn Street, Waynesville
When: 8 am until Noon
Cost: FREE admission
Contact: Bruce Main- 573.842.9079

Pulaski County Farmers Market Logo Looking Ahead:

March 21- Route 66 St. Patty’s Fest
March 28- Taste of Pulaski County & Basket Auction
April 4- Museums on the Square Opening Day
April 4- Paranormal Investigations of Historic Talbot House

Home to the 2015 National Speleological Society Convention
#NSS2015
July 13-17, 2015
Waynesville, MO
nss2015.caves.org

Hitchhiker's Guide To Missouri CavingA Featured Destination in FIREBALL RUN: America’s Frontier
Premiering Summer 2015

FIREBALL RUN: America's Frontier premiers in its entirety Summer 2015.

FIREBALL RUN: America’s Frontier premiers in its entirety Summer 2015.