Kentucky 2007


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Note: This travelog was written in 2020, so many details have long been forgotten since we took the trip.

Saturday, July 14, 2007: We left Indy before dawn and enjoyed a spooky, foggy sunrise on our way.

We arrived at Lost River Cave in Bowling Green, Kentucky, shortly after 10:00 AM. Our friend, Gina, came with us.
We took a tour around the pretty grounds.
This is one of several places where the underground river emerges above ground.
Spooky water.
We headed toward the start of our boat tour.
At the mouth of the cave is a large seating area for events and such. This is called the Underground Nite Club and has hosted events since the 1930s.
Here's the view from inside the cave looking out.
We climbed into a boat and our guide used a flashlight to point out cool features in the cave, ...
... like this. We had a small child sitting across from us who was terrified, so Debbie loaned her the small flashlight she keeps on her keychain so the little girl could use it whenever it was too dark for her.
Everybody duck!
Our tour ended after 20 minutes, ...
... and we headed out to daylight.
Here's a stone containing historical information about Jesse James hiding out in this very cave.
We discovered that we were visiting Lost River Cave on the same weekend that it was hosting a Civil War re-enactment weekend.
The participants had a camp set up and we saw a group march past us at one point.
A sign on one of the tents read, "5th Regiment, Tennessee Infantry."
The sign for Blue Hole had much to tell us.
Text on the sign: This "Blue Hole" and three others exposed in the valley are the only ground water windows in the 85 square mile Lost River Karst Drainage Basin. For over a century, this "Blue Hole" has been thought to be "bottomless." This assertion, said to be based on railroad engineer's soundings setting the depth at 437 feet, gave credence to the claim in Ripley's Believe It Or Not that Lost River is "The Shortest and Deepest River in the World."
Here is another one of the exposed areas of the river.
Next, we visited the Butterfly Habitat on the complex.
It was a spacious, enclosed area filled with flowers and butterflies.
Ooooh, pretty.
Butterfly cocoons were hanging from a string.
Here's a closer look.
We took lots of pictures of the pretty butterflies ...
... and the flowers they were enjoying.
Gorgeous.
We headed to Toot's for "Good Food & Fun." But mostly lunch.
They had a green iguana, which was written up as a health code violation and removed the following year.

After lunch, our next stop was Diamond Caverns in Park City.

The tour entrance was located indoors, through the gate, ...
... and down the stairs, ...
... and into the cavern.
The tour was an hour long ...
... and featured gorgeous scenery like this, ...
... and this, ...
... and this, ...
... and this, ...
... and this.
Ewwww, a bug! This was our first encounter with a cave cricket.
Here are some cool formations, ...
... and more, ...
... and more. Those stone curtains sure are cool.
We were quite impressed with Diamond Caverns.
After our tour, we spent some time shopping ...
... and admiring this display of birds.
We had to stop to get some pictures of Wigwam Village in Cave City.
Gina and Debbie were here!
This motel is one of several that still exist in the United States.
We had dinner down the road from our hotel at Hickory Villa, self-billed as Southern BBQ at its finest.
After dinner, we had a blast driving go-carts around a track for a bit.

Saturday, July 14, 2007: Here's the view looking off to the left from our room at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Cave City. There's the Go Carts track.
Just down the street to the right is the restaurant where we had dinner the night before.
We were on the road by 8:30 AM for our scheduled tour to Mammoth Cave.
An hour later, we were on the tour bus heading to the start of our tour. Gina's sharp eyes spotted deer on the side of the road.
Gentle reader, be sure to book well in advance online if you are going to visit Mammoth Cave National Park, because tours fill up early.
We were only able to book a short Frozen Niagara tour, which we enjoyed immensely, but we would have liked to have seen more of this incredible cavern system.
We went through a locked door and then through this revolving door to keep critters out.
Down a hallway, ...
... and under a rocky ceiling, ...
... and past interesting crevices, ...
... and under more low ceilings. Debbie is claustrophobic but this wasn't a problem.
We arrived at the star of the show: Frozen Niagara.
The stairs in the lower left of this photo help give a little bit of scale.
Here's a closer look at the formation.
This is the view looking up.
Gina was here!
So was Tom!
On the trip back out, we had ample time to photograph the large cave bugs. Here's a spider. A big one.
We saw lots and lots of cave crickets. These things are huge, creepy, and fascinating.
Gina's arm provides some perspective on the size of these things, each with legspans longer than a finger.
Here's a closer peek into one of the many crevices. The longer you look at this, the more crickets you can see hanging upside down from the ceiling.
After 45 minutes inside, we returned to daylight and the land of normal bugs.

** THE END **


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