Day 45 – A Three Hour Tour

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of mammoth cave

Mammoth Cave is the longest known cave system in the world with a out 400 miles of cave system explored to date. Mammoth cave is located in Kentucky and is managed by my favourite American institution, the national parks service.

Mammoth Cave has hosted tours since 1941 and has some incredible history, from Native American miners, to mining for gunpowder, to slave tour guides to a tuberculosis clinic. (Not sure how anyone thought that would work). It is one of America’s first real tourist attractions and has lots of different tours for different abilities and interests.

We opted to attend the snowball tour, which is a three hour tour and is of moderate difficulty, although it has 200 fairly easy stairs.

The tour goes to the snowball dining room located in the cave, where you can purchase a box lunch of sandwich, soup, apple, cookie, salad and drink for $8.50. Makes me even more annoyed about the prices in the museums in New York.

We were very lucky and there were only a few people on our tour so we go to talk directly with the rangers. The snowball tour focuses on the growth of gypsum in the caves and also provides an excellent overview of the history of the cave. Our tour guide was fantastic and even let us go “off-trail” and turned all the lights out so we could experience the true darkness of the cave.

Fun Fact: there are many ways to remember the difference between Stalactites which grow downward – while stalagmites grow upward – for some reason I always remember that stalagmites might hang from the ceiling, but they don’t! . I admit this is a weird way to remember it, but it works for me.

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