Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kentucky Trip Part 2: Cave Dwelling

Sunday was probably my favorite vacation day.

The six of us took a little journey to the southern part of Kentucky to visit some caves.

We chose to do the self-guided tour for a few reasons:

1) We wanted to go at our own pace since we weren't sure how my dad's leg would tolerate a lot of walking/hiking/climbing, etc.

2) We didn't appropriately plan in advance, and the guided tours all started really early or really late, so this is the only one that we were qualified to go on.

#1 is not my fault.

#2 may be my fault.

First we walked down a paved driveway. 

It was about 1/2 mile long.

There were beautiful banks around us!

We took a family picture right before heading down into the cave.

100 (well 98...but who's counting?!?!) steps down....

This is from the bottom landing looking up.

I love this shot!

Now, my camera didn't work well inside the cave.

The lighting really doesn't support good photos.

But, I did get a few, and I learned a few things too!

For example, they used to mine in these caves.

They used hollowed out poplar trees as pipes.

D. got a little ahead of us with the boys.

I was walking closer to my dad.

They stopped and waited for us to catch up.

To entertain them, he taught them how to make finger shadows on the cave walls.  :)

After walking down, down, down, into the cave,

Through the cave,

Back UP through the cave,

Back UP the 98 stairs (but who's counting?!?!?)

And starting back UP the steep 1/2 mile hill....

Well, we were all a little tired.

I found a pretty area behind a bench, and asked for a grandparent picture with the boys.

I love this picture!!

We left Mammoth hungry, so over lunch we plotted out next adventure:  The Onyx Cave.

My dad stayed behind in the van and took a snooze.

Boy, am I glad he did!  It was a lateral cave - which means that the caverns were tall and deep, and the pathways were tight.  So, he caught some zzzz's while we hiked, climbed, and took tons of pictures.

This is our cave guide, Missy.

These rock formations were so big!  I should have put my thumb in there or something for reference. 

Tight squeeze!

You have to try not to touch the walls because the onyx is a mineral that forms on the walls. 

Once we touch it, the mineral will stop growing.

C. loved caving!

He only got scared once.

This formation is so beautiful! 

My camera doesn't do it justice.

It's between 3-4 stories tall.

At the bottom of the cave, there was a natural "Kodak Spot" where we all paused so everyone could get a picture in the circle.


(the rocks and the guy...hehe)

On the way back, we stopped at the Lincoln Memorial.

It was educational, and really fun!

Oh...and more exercise!!!  (64 stairs!)

And on the way home, we had a very quiet ride.  :)


mrsmarkdave said...

WOW! YOU look just like your mom.
and you should use one of your family photos for Christmas cards...that is, if you DO Christmas cards. Great photos.
Those caves look so, so neat. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Anonymous said...

What a fun update - those caves are so cool - I will admit it :) #2's explanation made me laugh out loud. You make me happy!