Monday, July 4, 2016

Visiting Mammoth Cave

Arriving at Diamond Caverns Thousand Trails RV Resort:

It was a fairly uneventful drive from Raccoon Valley in Tennessee to the Mammoth Cave area of Kentucky.  Diamond Caverns is one of the many other privately owned caverns in the area.

The Diamond Caverns campground is a very pleasant and well maintained resort. Among the many Thousand Trails parks we've stopped in, this one is one of the best.  The facilities appear to be well maintained and even the sites taken by annual residents were relatively neat.  Although there are a number of 30 amp sites, we lucked out and obtained a 50amp full hook-up site.   The Verizon signal was strong with good bandwidth, while T-Mobile showed "No Service".

Our only objective for this stop was to visit Mammoth cave.  Although it is the longest cavern in North America - over 400 miles in length; the cavern itself was somewhat of a disappointment.   The cave really lacked any of the interesting and picturesque formations present in other caverns such as those in Carlsbad, New Mexico and Wind Cave in South Dakota.

Why does a wiild turkey cross the road?

We took the "Historic" tour which is a two mile walk to a depth of 330ft below the surface.  For those who want the experience of being underground, the tour fills the bill.  There were very narrow and very low  passages where those with clostraphobia might be in a panic.
The ranger conducting the tour was very interesting and entertaining.

I obtained only a few usable pictures within the cave due to very low light level.  By contrast I obtained quite a few photos in 2014 in Carlsbad's stronger lighting.

There was a fair amount of history to learn about.  Mammoth Cave was a source of salt peter (the bat guano based nitrate used to produce gun powder).  Over a million pounds pounds of the cave's soil was processed during the war of 1812.  We left Diamond Caverns RV on July 2nd north-bound for the Horseshoe Lakes Thousand Trails park in central Indiana.