Monday, June 3, 2013

Mammoth Cave National Park

Richard walking through "Fat Man's Misery" 
Before returning to Louisiana from our vacation in Tennessee, we turned our direction west toward Kentucky and Mammoth Cave National Park.  Laura and her girls joined us and we made a day of it by bringing a picnic lunch to eat in the park when we arrived. Since we had already registered for a tour, we didn't need to take time to figure any of that out and spent the extra time in the museum, picnicking, and hiking around.  

The hillsides are beautiful: this is a perfect time of year to see wildflowers, wild game, and outcrops of rock.  

National Park Service website photo

NPS website photo

NPS website photo
We saw several wild turkeys, squirrels, birds, and other small animals.  Happily we didn't see any snakes, which concerned me while we were near the mouth of the cave.  

Walking through the narrow passage gets
more difficult when the roof comes down!
I enjoyed the cool air that flows out of the cave and cooled us down even before we entered the cave.  Our tour guide was quite funny and kept our attention with both his interesting information and his quips.  Keeping up with the long-legged guy was another story.  I had to keep moving at a fast clip, which was fine while we were going downhill.  Climbing the staircase at Dome Tower was quite difficult and I wondered how some of the elderly folks in our group managed.  I struggled.

I was surprised that I didn't get nervous in the tighter areas.  I can be claustrophobic and am definitely afraid of heights, but I handled both quite well.  I may have been over-occupied with whether I'd be able to walk out of the cave.  

NPS website photo
Enjoy these photos from the National Park Service website.  They are much, much better than those I took!
NPS website photo
NPS website photo
NPS website photo
Edited to add the following pictures from Laura Kliethermes Photography (my sister's photos from our trip)

Laura Kliethermes Photography

Me in the cave

Riley and Haley Kliethermes (my nieces)
Laura has 97 photos in her FaceBook album.  Visit it here and like a few of her photos.  They are fabulous photos of inside the cave and on the outside.  Since she took two tours of the cave, she was able to get many more than I did.  (And they are 100 times better.)

1 comment:

Texas JennyWren said...

I visited Mammoth Cave years ago when I was a few years out of high school. LOVED the area. Looks like you had a wonderful time!!