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Published: July 30th 2019
Friday July 19 – left at 10:45 am. Drove to Cave City, KY. Traffic was awful. We usually leave super early, so increased traffic may have been due to the time of day. We were completely stopped for several minutes several times. Our reservation for this night was for a tent sight with no electricity and due to the heat we slept at Comfort Inn in Cave City, and had dinner at El Mazatlan.
Sat, July 20 – drove into Mammoth Cave National Park. HOT (96*). Went on two cave tours – Gothic Ave. and Domes and Dripstones. It was so nice to be in the caves where it is a constant 54*.
Gothic Ave – entered through Natural Cave Opening. Cave is amazing and HUGE. There are five levels and 420 miles of cave already known, and they expect there is still double that to be discovered! It is the largest cave system in the world. On the Gothic Ave. tour we learned about the 1800's history of the cave. We saw where mining had been done in the cave for saltpeter which was used to make gunpowder. This was mined in 1812-1816 (war of 1812), then the
cave was used for tourism. We also saw where previous tourists (around 1830s) had used smoke from candles to write their names/initials. Also some rock towers were built by tourists to represent cities and states they were from. This was encouraged by tour guides as it cleared the path! The cave was also used to hold church services and as a TB hospital. Before 1812 it was used by native Americans. It became a National Park in 1941. In the drawl of our ranger tour became “toow-er.”
Don’t have many photos of the Domes & Dripstones tour. We were taken by bus to a sinkhole, and had to take hundreds of stairs and walkways over deep abysses. This tour included several domes, many sinkholes, stalagmites and stalactites and Frozen Niagara.
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