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2011 Trip across the US
Trip Index & Page 1
Definitely the lowest daily mileage of the trip. I'm in site 13 at Mammoth Cave National Park campground - $8.50 with the old geezer pass (to be more exact, the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass). Beats last night a $36.00, although here there are no hookups. I don't really miss the hookups as long as I have meal plans that don't need the toaster oven, but there is also no Verizon data or WiFi available, at least at the campground. There is a pretty good AT&T signal so the iPhone is working. I did see a sticker stating WiFi was available at the visitor's center, so I'll try to post this after I process the cave photos after my tour.
The site is quiet, not too far from the bathrooms, and gets some sun for the solar panels. All in all, very nice.
I definitely need to stop wanting "interesting" tours. I had signed up for the 11:00 History Tour of the cave. I arrived at about 10:40 & there was a bus load of junior high school kids (maybe two bus loads - there were a lot of them!) Anyway, I thought about trying to trade in my ticket for the next tour, but a ranger came out and announced that they would break us into two groups, with the school group going first.
We started the tour about 15 minutes later with a great ranger. He had all kinds of stories about the cave, and the area, and told them well. Then the interesting part (and not "good" interesting. At the half way point there is a large amphitheater where everyone sits down for a break before the steep stair climbing to get out of the cave. Someone in the back row had what looked like a heart attack. The ranger called over the phone system for help, and for what seemed like the longest time we waited for help. There was a line of people doing CPR until the first ranger rescue team arrived. After that our guide stayed with the patient while a new ranger came to lead the rest of the group out of the cave. I hope he pulls through.
The cave is a "dry" cave, carved by water, however because the water is now running below the main cave level (most of the time) there are no stalactites or stalagmites in the sections we saw. You can certainly tell why it is called Mammoth - some of the rooms are bigger than many other caves.
Anyhow, here are some photos of the cave. Most are from the first part - the second half was hurried. The photos are in the order of the tour, and like many of my cave photos, the color balance is not all that accurate - they use a large mixture of light sources (including LEDs) which confuse the camera.
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Last Update: May 10, 2012