Saturday, October 4, 2014
Mammouth Cave National Park
I had called and made reservations for the Frozen Niagara tour at Mammouth Caves National Park for 9:00. Supposedly, it was a half hour drive and we left at an appropriate hour. Getting better at this on-time thing or so we thought. Our GPS took us in a slightly different direction and we ended up being about ten minutes late for the tour and thus we missed it. We re booked the tour for 1:00. We had quite a bit of time to spare, so we decided to do a few surface hikes. Leaves are just starting to turn, but they still aren't as vibrant as up north. Lovely weather though, but a little chilly.
A little dog named Oliver that we met on the trail.
We also toured the museum part of the park and learned about how the caves were formed. There are a lot of interactive displays which always make for a fun time. I am a big fan of pushing buttons and seeing something spectacular happen.
We actually ate a meal out. There is a hotel/restaurant on the park grounds. Sort of diner food, but it worked out for us.
Then it was time for the tour. The Frozen Niagara tour is listed as an “Easy” tour. None of that climbing through tiny little openings or dangling from some sort of pulley system for us, nosirrebob. They loaded us in a bus and took us to one of 27 cave entrances. The Frozen Niagara tour takes you into the part of the cave that has the most decorative and impressive parts of the cave. It is only ¼ of a mile which is hardly worth mentioning in a cave system that has 400 explored miles. The tour itself only took an hour, but since I'm not all that crazy about caves, it was just about the right amount of time. I must say that what we saw was impressive. Some really beautiful formations. Our ranger (Ranger Jennifer) also pointed out some wildlife that resided in the cave – cave crickets. These things were really huge – maybe about two inches long, crawling all over the ceiling. Gross but interesting.
My phone camera isn't all that great and although I did take pictures of the inside of the cave, none of them turned out very well. The following is about the best that came out.
When you finish the tour, the bus takes you back to the visitors' center where once you disembark from the bus, you have to walk through a Woolite/water mixture designed to keep from spreading a deadly bat disease called White Nose Syndrome. It doesn't affect humans, but wreaks havoc among bat colonies.
On the way home, we did a little grocery shopping and then came home to the RV. We just sort of hung out there. I took Miko down to the lake where she spent a great deal of time chasing waves.