NCA visits Mark Twain Cave

Mark Twain Cave hosts 52nd NCA Convention.

The National Cave Association visits Mark Twain Cave for the first time since 1979.

"There's about 50 caves represented and there's 115 people here. It's just a unique opportunity to expose them to Mark Twain and to a labyrinth cave which we're just one of very few labyrinth caves in the United States," said Linda Coleberd, owner of Mark Twain Cave.

The purpose behind the annual convention is to exchange ideas about the cave business.

"I was in the Mark Twain Cave probably 30 years ago but I' looking forward to going back. I started going to caves when I was in high school so I spent the first part of exploring caves--wild caves--all around the country and Mexico," said Jim Richards, who owns Bluespring Caverns in Indiana.

Coleberd says the conventions are planned years in advance so the next one won’t be held in Hannibal for another few decades.

"Caves are so unique in their own aspect and it's so interesting to go even into my own cave every time I go into it there's something new that comes out and I come out with a smile most of the time,” said Lance Clawson, who owns a cave in Austin, TX.

No two caves are the same.

"We have 260 passages in our cave and it's just like throwing a rock into a window. It breaks into all these pieces. That's what our cave is like," Coleberd said.

Clawson says the best part is seeing all the different caves, how they operate and learning about their history.

The NCA will be in Hannibal until Sept. 22.

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