Well, I’m back and ready to keep on with the regular blog grind (is it really a grind if I jump up every morning and sing “I get to write a blog post today”?). At the moment I’m feeling just a little run over, having just completed a seven hour road trip with less than an hour of down time.
Please excuse me if I pass out on my keyboard while writing this up.
Rachael and I took a trip up to Kentucky to the Mammoth Cave National Park, because Rachael decided that she wanted to go on a vacation where she would have an advantage by being shorter than me. She hasn’t admitted to this yet, but I figured it out pretty easily after I bumped my head twice while ducking through caves that were nearly 400 feet below the surface.
That’s part of the exceptional fatigue I’m feeling at the moment, because between the driving up to Kentucky and the driving back, we went on two tours of the caves on the same day. Each tour lasted for two hours, and involved some decent hiking underground. It was the most comfortable part of the vacation, because the caves stayed at a crisp 54 degrees Fahrenheit the entire time. Apparently they maintain that temperature year-round, which is pretty awesome. Also, despite looking extensively, we did not find this information anywhere on the Mammoth Cave website. To the National Park Service: explain what the climate is inside the cave on your website!
While the caves were fantastic fun, the park itself was also beautiful. There are some paved trails close by the visitor’s center where Rachael and I went for a few walks, and we frequently saw deer out there. They were clearly accustomed to humans, because of the few groups we saw, they never ran, even after they spotted us. We have pictures; they are beautiful.
Topping all of this natural wonder was an evening stroll we took to a historic cemetery that’s located on a hill overlooking the historic entrance to the caves. Now, fireflies are an extremely common thing in Georgia; I can remember many summer evenings when I’d step outside and watch all the lightning bugs floating around. The area around this cemetery was much the same, but the fireflies were just so abundant. You could look in every direction from the top of that hill and see them floating just above the greenery. We tried to get pictures of it, but fireflies are rather hard to photograph, so if you don’t want to take my word for it, you’ll just have to drive up to Kentucky yourself to take a look.
We stayed in a rustic cottage near the visitor’s center that Rachael and I decided was best thought of as upscale camping. We had running water, a private shower and toilet, and a bed, which are all real luxuries when you’re staying in the woods for a few days. The coolest part for me was the bat that was nesting underneath one of our window shutters. I could hear it squeaking all afternoon when we were resting between cave tours.
All in all, I thought it was a great vacation. If you like to go someplace that’s outdoorsy then you should check Mammoth Caves out. There’s plenty of trails for hiking and biking in the park, and everything that we saw was fantastic. We’re probably going to go again someday, because there’s a lot more cave to see than what we toured this time, and there was so much on the surface that we wanted to explore but just didn’t have the time and energy to on this trip.
If you haven’t read it already, Rachael has her thoughts on our vacation experience posted over at her blog.