We got up a little before 7:00 thinking we needed to be on our way to Mammoth Cave by 9:00 so that gave us an hour for coffee and an hour to get ready. Boy are we settling into a routine!
We left a bit after 9:00, stopped at the entrance to the park and took pictures in front of the sign. Unfortunately no one else was there so no pictures of us together. In fact I don’t think we have a single picture of the two of us on this trip.
We got to the Visitors Center for Mammoth Cave and walked around the souvenir shop. I saw a cook book that looked interesting and Jerry saw a book on whittling that he liked but we didn’t want to buy anything that we’d have to carry. We had both left our phones in the car so all we had with us was a bottle of water and my shoulder purse with the little camera and cough drops plus we each had a jacket. The temperature in the cave is supposed to be around 60 so they suggested jackets.
The tour we chose was called the Domes and Dripstones Tour. It includes a dramatic series of domes and pits, typical large trunk passageways, and a short journey through numerous dripstone formations. We met at Shelter B a little before 10 and the guide, John gave us a brief description of the tour. He said if one was afraid of close places or heights that we probably shouldn’t go on the tour – well – that was me but I wanted to try it. Along with many other people we got on two buses that took us to the cave entrance. John again emphasized that it could be claustrophobic. I thought I already knew that! He talked about leaving no footprint behind. We were not to touch anything as the slightest touch could leave ramifications for years to come.
We walked to the entrance and began the descent. I immediately began to feel claustrophobic. There were people in front of me and people behind me so there was nowhere to go but ahead. I’m sorry to say but there were several people speaking in a language that I was unfamiliar with and my first thought was of terrorism. The guide often used the word “government” in his conversation and I was a bit uneasy. I whispered a prayer and then decided that my days were already numbered so if I was going to go like this then Lord had already planned it but how sad that our country has reached the place where I should be worried about something happening like that. Thank goodness that I didn’t realize that it was the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. John also emphasized that the activity level was moderate and there were 500 steps including 280 on the descent.
It was difficult to see around us and the path was narrow so I had to watch where I was walking so as not to stumble. A lot of the time there were rails to hold onto but I was reluctant to use them. I eventually did and discovered that for the most part they were wet from the dripping ceiling so hopefully that washed the germs away. The cave was fascinating. It is the longest cave in the country and the stone is limestone. As we neared the end we saw the stalagmites and the stalactites and they were very impressive. It is a tremendous cave, an awesome experience. I’m glad I went but not sure I’d want to do it again with that many people. It is a very popular attraction though so I guess there are always a lot of people on each tour. When we left we had to walk through a bio-hazard area to make sure we were not transferring White Nose bat syndrome harmful only to bats and already killing millions of them. As they eat a lot of mosquitoes that really makes a difference in the ecological system. Walking through the bio-hazard area was like walking on soap suds though not slippery.
After the tour we wandered around the gift shops and I saw a pretty rocking horse that we may go back and buy later. We discussed whether or not we wanted to go on any more tours and the one Jerry was interested in was the Lantern tour where you had to carry a lantern because it is so dark. Unfortunately it was sold out and is only offered Fridays and Saturdays. It was past lunch time so we headed back to the RV for lunch. We then sat outside for a while as the weather was just perfect. In fact I put on a pair of shorts. After a while we both came in and took long naps. Neither of us slept well Friday night. I’m not sure if it was the time change, knowing we had to get up and out in the morning or the train that came through a couple of times that caused it but in spite of the beautiful day we stayed inside and slept!
Afterward we sat outside and read for a while longer. Nothing exciting about the afternoon but I guess we needed a slow day. Unfortunately the weather is expected to deteriorate and begin raining during the night so I guess we missed some good touring time. After dinner we took a walk and ended up visiting with some full-timers who are heading back home to Indiana where they will be camp hosting for the summer. We were joined by another couple from Louisville who are visiting family and we just sat around and chatted. Both couples have been RVing a while and have traveled extensively. I just listened! The full-timers, Sheryl and Ted asked us to join them Monday night at Anna’s Greek Restaurant. I told Sheryl I’d check with Jerry and let her know. It was a very pleasant evening and what I really like about traveling this way. We didn’t get back to the RV until almost 10 and by then it had cooled off considerably.
No plans at this point for tomorrow other than hopefully going to church. Other adventures depend on the weather.