Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monday, June 22

Today we woke up in a hotel at Mammoth Cave Kentucky National Park. We basically only slept in the room, so it didn't take long to getdressed and pack the van. We drove through the parking lot to get to the restaurant and cave tours. The biggest observation that we quickly made about Kentucky was that it was HOT! Maybe it's because our spring at home has been so wet and cool, but the heat and humidity here is unbearable! We had breakfast in the hotel restaurant, bought souvenirs at the gift shop and headed toward the place where the bus loads for the cave tour. Here is where I realized that I couldn't find my camera.I searched the van and even called Hillbilly Hotdogs, the last place I remember having used my camera, all to no avail. The girls each had her own camera and Jerry had the video, so I wasn't worried about it not being documented! So we loaded the bus to begin our 4 1/2 hour, 4 mile tour.

The bus ride to the cave entrance was four miles. The temperature outside was near 90, so we were all anxious to get into the 55 degree cave. To enter the cave, you walk down a flight of steep stairs to the begi
nning of the cave. The first part of the cave that we walked thro
ugh had huge rooms. There were no stalagmites or stalatites because the limestone roof of the cave was too waterproof. So walking through the cave is like walking though this huge underground tunnel. After walking one mile, which took about one hour, we arrived at the snowball dining room in the cave. They serve a boxed lunch or snacks, so we got snacks and sat on picnic tables
inside of this cave. 
 Then we continued on our walk and the cave became narrow and the ceiling was really high. As we walked, we would walk into large open rooms again, and then the cave would become really narrow in parts.  It's really hard to explain, but we walked 4 miles in this cave. It's the longest cave in the world, 370 miles of cave. 
During the last 20 minutes of the tour we did see beautiful stalagmites and stalactites because the ceiling of the cave was not as strong, so water had leaked through and they had formed. It wasn't an Wow! experience, but a interesting adventure to see the different features of our country. There are many tours of the cave to choose from, so the tour that we saw showed how big the cave was, but it really wasn't a pretty cave until the last 20 mins. There was a River Styx tour that the girls really wanted to go on so that they could get a t-shirt, but that tour was booked when I made the reservations.
After the tour, we boarded the bus, went back to the van and took off. We snacked on chips, hummus, pretzels, and grapes so that we could drive a little while before we stopped. We drove about 1 1/2 hours and then stopped to eat. Then we drove another 1 1/2 hours, and stopped for the night in Mt. Vernon, IL. The neat thing about this part of our traveling journey is my technological ability. (Brad, don't laugh.)
After we ate, I started looking at the map to see where we might want to spend the night, and I chose Mt. Vernon. Then I used the internet connection on my phone to look up hotels in Mt. Vernon on Priceline. I found a hotel and booked it using my phone. (Wendy, can you believe this!) Then I plugged in the address in the GPS, and we drove right to the hotel. I so impressed myself. Now I'm unstoppable!!! I can go anywhere.
I didn't post anything about the play, Hatfields and McCoys, that we saw Saturday night. TheaterWV is an outside amphitheater in the New River Gorge National park. The play included dancing and singing, but the second part of the play included much drama. In fact, in the end scene of Act I, the Hatfields killed 3 McCoy sons. After the drama of the killing, the lights popped on and an announcement was made that there would be a 15 min. intermission. It was very anti-climatic! The audience actually laughed at the abrubt change. Brooke actually walked out to the concession stand before the last scene in act 1 because we knew what was about to happen. There was a lot of gun shooting which was really loud. We really haven't seen too many dramas, and this told a story of southern history. 

Camera update: Jerry searched the van, and my camera seems to be gone. At least I had only about 10 pictures on it. Then I started using Brooke's camera in the cave, and while we were sitting at lunch, it fell out of my pocket onto the floor and it's not working this morning! So now we need to get Brooke a new camera. I don't think I'm going to replace mine, because I really don't seem to be responsible enough to have my own!

1 comment:

  1. I kept checking for updates and then suddenly there were two! Yay! I think maybe you should stick to navigation (and well DONE on that front) and leave the photography to the children.