Mammoth Cave National Park
Got into Mammoth Cave National Park last night for a night of camping and some cave exploring.
I researched a little about the different tours, but I can never decide what to do from a simple brochure. Some seemed too short and others required ankle-support hiking boots (which I do not travel with), some only run on weekends and some only leave once a day (SUPER early).
Basically, the visitor’s center was closed before I got there. The parking lot of the visitor’s center, however, was packed full of deer as the sun set so that was kind of exciting.
The next morning, I asked a ranger about the different tours and she seemed indifferent to life. Honestly, you’re a ranger. You work at a national park. Try to be helpful.
Anyway, I had missed the earliest ones, I didn’t have the shoes, etc. so Domes and Dripstones it was for me. The tour starts with 280 (I think) steps down into a deep, dark cave.
I was behind a mom with her two boys as we waited to enter the cave. As we were about to go in, one boy said, “This is going to be the best day ever!” with so much enthusiasm, I couldn’t help but giggle. The mom heard me and I ended up talking to her briefly. She told me that the two boys were her new foster children and they hadn’t exactly gotten to do very many things in life. So basically that lady was awesome and as we descended, I felt like a lucky human for all the incredible things I have gotten to do in life.
Our ranger (thankfully not the one from the desk) was a very animated man who said he had lived in Kentucky his whole life. I believe him; he was a character. He taught us about limestone and how the caves were formed, AKA Carbonic Acid. It’s what makes our sodas fizzy, and it’s also what created these deep, dark caves. So basically, if you needed another reason to quit drinking soda, there ya go.
The tour was awesome and informative and included just the right amount of corny jokes. I do wish I had gotten to go on a little bit of a longer one… even one of the serious-hiking-boots-required tours, but like I always have to tell myself: It’s impossible to do everything / I can always come back.