03/26/12

Vacation: Mammoth Cave in Kentucky

After a brief stop in Nashville, we blasted some country tunes and put the petal to the metal a few hundred miles landing us in Bowling Green, Kentucky, not too far from Mammoth Cave National Park.
Each stretch of the way we waited to tell our sweeties what the fun activity would be until they picked up enough clues to guess.  The clue this time was pretty straightforward.  We drove up to this sign and they were stoked.  For the last year they’ve been talking about wanting to go into a cave.

 

We drove another ten miles down some beautiful countryside, windows down and wind blowing in our face.  Oh my goodness, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect!

 

Busted!  We were pretty lenient on this stretch of countryside about the whole seat belt thing.  Sorry rule followers…I’m right there with you….I’m appalled by these pics.  LOL!  But they did have a fabulous time!  No comments on this pretty please.
About ten miles down the road, we pulled up to the most beautiful building with a huge map of the cave displayed out front.  We jumped out of the car, grabbed our fleeces and headed towards the tours.
After reading the requirements, we chose the entry level hike and ended up with a terrific tour guide.  Because our visit was on such a random day, there were only twelve in our group and we ended up with a much more informative and longer tour, which we absolutely LOVED.  The more information about the caves, the better!
This is us getting the introduction about our tour.  Mammoth Cave is the longest known cave system, measured at more than 390 miles explored.   For years, Mammoth Cave was home to Indians.
After a little chat about what to expect, we hiked down to the cave opening.  Big B was excited to hold the tickets for us and totally ready to get the tour started.
We hiked for about a mile underground and were amazed that we had just barely touched the enormity of the cave.  Our trail had some lights along the path.  We were able to see the amazing processing system set up during the time of the War of 1812.  In search of gunpowder, they found a vast supply of the ingredients needed inside the cave.  They used hollowed logs and set up a very advanced pipe system for filtering.  This was left untouched for us to see today.  Amazing to think that most of the gunpowder used during the war came from the very floor of the cave we were standing in.
The limestone walls and ceiling of the cave were left completely untouched which just amazed us!  This was totally exactly as God had created it!   Mammoth Cave is the longest cave system in the world, over 390 miles and encompassed on almost 53,000 acres of preserved park land makes it one of the Seven Natural wonders in the United States.
After our underground hike, we had some pretty sore little legs.  We stepped on a mat saturated with clorox shoe cleaner to try to stop the spread of White Nose Syndrome in bats.
I grabbed a few pictures, it was just too beautiful not to have a tangible way to remember this day.
With one glance at the trail back to our car, all sore legs were all of a sudden energized again.  Our little sweeties were running this way and that…climbing dirt walls, real high up {that almost got ugly} and coming way too close to contact with Poison Ivy.  Thankfully they know what it looks like and we managed to have crazy fun without getting that awful itch!
Down the road another mile, there was the Green River Ferry that takes cars back and forth across the river.   We drove right up and took the free little ferry across the small stretch of water.  It was a very fun experience.
The other side of the river looked about the same so we drove for a stretch, turned back around and headed over the river the same way we came.  Two ferry rides in about ten minutes time.  Awesome!
Isn’t he a cutie!!!
A few miles down the road on our way back to the main highway, I was
looking through the camera lens and spotted a family of deer standing on
the bank of the river.
They stayed there long enough for all of us to get an amazing look at them frolicking away.  It was one of those moments I think all of us will remember forever.  A deer with her babies.  Spring time is just amazing.
I looked down a second later and the six year old was on his belly slithering his way to the water.  Cracks me up what a big explorer he is.  He did find us a huge bull frog to enjoy, thankfully it was out of reach.
Seat belts back on as we were approaching the main highway again on our way to our next adventure, another total surprise.

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Comments

  1. JOY says:

    Welcome to KY and especially this part of KY as this is where I grew up. I graduated in the town next to MC @ Park City back when they still had a high school. Our class picture was taken on Green River at the site where you took the picture of the ferry. I’ve also taken several of my classes on field trips there and feel like I could qualify to be a tour guide. Lots of my teacher friends worked there during the summer as tour guides. So glad you had time to take in a lot of the sites and sounds. Hope you have time to come back and do more of the tours and hiking trails. The end of September and October is also a beautiful time to visit. Loved your spring pictures. Found you @ Funky Junk Interiors.

  2. Monica says:

    I live in Bowling Green, Kentucky (just north of Nashville) and I am so happy to see others enjoying our beautiful state! If you are ever through here again, be sure to check out Lost River Cave in Bowling Green. It offers an awesome boat tour into the cave that the kiddos will love.

  3. Cranberry Morning says:

    What great family photos!! I especially like the one taken in the side mirror. Great idea. 🙂 Sounds like you all had a great adventure. I know that we have a cave around here that we should go to this summer – Crystal Cave. Not quite so mammoth, I think.

  4. Kelly says:

    Oh my gosh, I’m so jealous! I can’t wait until my boys are old enough to take them to places like this. Looks like you made some awesome memories! -Kelly @ Semi Homemade Mom

  5. Maury Kilgo says:

    Great pictures! You have such a sweet family. Sounds like you had a blast!