Monday, June 5, 2017

Mammoth Cave Trip

Last Monday, I went on a road trip to the Mammoth Caves National Park in Kentucky. I hadn’t been there in a long time and my daughter didn’t remember going. She was like 2 at the time, so I thought it would be fun to go again. The Mammoth Cave is the longest in the world at 405 miles. 

They have a lot of different tours you can go on with varying degrees of endurance. Some are only a half hour long and the longest is “The Wild Cave” tour which is 6 hours long and involves crawling through passages. The two tours I went on didn’t involve crawling, but they did involve a lot of stairs, slopes, ducking and going around some narrow passages.

The first tour I did was the Historic Tour (2 hours long) and this is an image of where this route took us. You can click on this map to zoom in on different sections of the Mammoth Cave.

Historic Tour Route

On this tour, you go in through the natural entrance. It’s a big entrance with a lot of cold air pouring out of it as it’s about 55F in the cave. Each tour has a tour guide and about three other assistants that come along. They tell you all about the history of the cave and when it was discovered. Those that discovered it mined the minerals to make gun powder, which at the time was good money. 



Here are a few pictures from the Historic Tour.

Trail Leading to Cave's Natural Entrance


Forest on both sides of the trail


That wood in the background was for moving minerals out for gun powder



There were lots of deep pits to look into. 


It wasn't the easiest place to take pictures. They only light up a section of interest here and there. 

Then after lunch, I went on the Domes and Drip stone tour. This tour (also 2 hours) has more interesting rock formations. Here is that route highlighted in yellow on the same map.

Domes and Drip stone tour map.

As you can see, it looks like a small section, but it's not really. On this tour they take you to a different man-made entrance, which is basically a narrow shaft with metal stairs going down and down down....


Sometimes on these tours, you get to sit down on benches while the tour guide talks. Well, this one the lady in front of us had a cave spider on the end of her jacket. She didn't know it was there. So, one guy knocked off with his cell phone. It fell on the ground toward us. My daughter then put her feet up on the bench in front of her. I don't know where it ever went, but I kept looking.

Here are some pictures. 


They said these formation over time would fill in certain areas of the cave. 


This was a deep pit that you could go down into it via stairs to see long stalactites. 




There was water leaking through this hole in the cave ceiling. 

I came back Tuesday evening, and I when I got out of the car after a long, long drive my legs were all cramped and stiff. My daughter was laughing at me (as usual.) It was worth it though.

If you ever decide to go, this is a handy link to schedule your tour.

The next Artificial Imperfection scene will be posted Wednesday. Have a great week! 

4 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good shots despite the lack of light. Never been through Mammoth Caves and it's been years since I've been in any cave. Not sure I'd want to go squeezing through any small openings though.

Pat Dilloway said...

I couldn't survive the 6 hour tour. I forget how long I was in Carlsbad Caverns but I didn't see all of it either.

Jeanie said...

You have some wonderful cave photos and that's really tough when it's dark. I'm not sure I could handle the tour but I love seeing it through your eyes.

Liz A. said...

Oooh, sounds like a great tour. If I ever get back to Kentucky, I'll have to check it out.