Talking Rocks Caverns
Reeds Spring, Missouri
First -- before you get your hopes up: There are no longer any talking rocks in Talking Rocks Caverns. Not even rocks vocally-assisted with the aid of wireless headsets and a hidden loudspeaker.
The "talking" today is meant metaphorically -- as in the rocks "talking" to you because they're so evocative and striking. This lofty use of what should be straightforward tourist attraction language is a recent invention; the Caverns' discoverer originally named it Fairy Cave. An abridged, cartoon mural of the cave's history can be found in the gift shop along a narrow ceiling overhang...
Talking Rocks Caverns is supposed to feature impressive columns and draperies and flowstone, but we had to skip the tour for there to be any chance we would make it back to Branson in time for a musical magic pet show (we didn't).
A Talking Rocks Caverns manager told us that there used to be a thunderclap and light show as part of the underground tour -- a "booming voice told the Story of the Stone." But it scared the kids (just look at the horror in that cartoon mural).
Now a Van Halen song is played instead. Something worth investigating on another trip....