National Park Counter: 13
*I broke this one out of an early post. At the time it made sense to have this bundled with the Macy’s/NYC Trip, but I really think with how different they are, and especially with my National Parks goal that this one should be separate. As such, the national park counter is behind the previous entries!*
This is going to be a really short entry as it was just a short morning/afternoon trip while visiting the mom. So, immediately after the Macy’s event, I was off to Indiana for a family wedding. That’s not what I am writing about! Instead, I took my mother to visit Mammoth Cave National Park a few days later! In the middle of Kentucky, and really not too close to anything noteworthy, but also not out in the middle of the sticks lies the largest known cave system in the world! It is usually pretty busy, but we went on a Monday and I guess there is a pretty big lull in attendance between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it was very short on people. One thing though: you absolutely MUST reserve any cave tours in advance, no matter how few people are there. The daily tours stop being offered at like 12 or 1 PM, so don’t mess that one up! So this part of Kentucky is actually quite pretty, it’s not mountainous really, just rolling hills and a lot of farmland. You would definitely not know there would be something as awesome as Mammoth Cave lurking beneath the soil! It is a very, very large cave. There are something like 400 miles of cave, and counting, as they keep discovering more! There is a pretty neat history too, going back to the early 1800s. It used to be privately owned and they sold tickets to go in. As this was before electricity the visitors went in with torches and large candles. And they thought it was appropriate to graffiti up the place! The graffiti is mostly names and dates, but apparently the park service has actually logged who all of these people were and you can find that info somewhere. That was it for this National Park!
Overall impressions: Pros: It’s a large cave. It’s spooky. It’s so different. Cool spot. There actually are other things to do than just the cave. Cons: Despite being a big draw there is no go way of getting here and you would likely not find reason to happen upon it. The next closest national park is probably 5 or 6 hours away. The closest large towns are Lexington and Louisville, KY, not exactly huge tourist draws.
The Adventurer Final Word:
3.5 Stars! If you are into seeing all the weird super unique places, this is for you. If one cave is like the rest and you have been to one before, probably not!