Saturday we woke up and jetted over to Kentucky to Mammoth Cave National Park. We had to pre-book a cave tour for this national park, and let us tell you.. This was the first time we actually had to be somewhere at a specific time in about three weeks. Let’s just say we were running a little late! Luckily they told us on the phone we had to be there thirty minutes before we were actually supposed to start the tour, because we were about twenty minutes late! Ooppps!!
When we booked the tour, we asked the ranger what tour shows us what sets Mammoth Caves apart from the other caves we had seen/will see on our trip. They suggested the Historic cave tour. This was a great option! We went into the tour expecting to see stalagmites and stalactites, feel water dripping, and hear the ranger talking about the cave. Expectations on a road trip should really be the first thing thrown out the window when you jump in the car, but throwing them out always leads to a much much better experience. And although we had these expectations of the cave, we were pleasantly surprised when the cave didn’t meet any of our expectations. We didn’t see any stalagmites or stalactites, didn’t get any “cave kisses” from water dripping, and certainly didn’t hear a thing the lead ranger was talking about.
We were in the front of the tour at the beginning, but soon realize with the other 118 people on this cave tour the front was not the spot we wanted to be. We couldn’t ask the ranger questions about the cave and couldn’t really enjoy the cave with all the commotion around us, so we slipped to the back of the pack. This was a great decision, one that we highly suggest doing on any cave tour! We were basically given a tour by the ranger in the back all to ourselves. We got to ask all the questions we wanted to and he answered them all..it simply put a tour that would have been a far from great tour to a marvelous tour!
Now like we said, this cave was unlike any other cave we had been to. The Historic tour is a two-hour tour that takes you through the cave to see where miners used to mine for gunpowder material. The first room we stopped in was gigantic! It was a total of .5 acres.. Can you imagine that?! A huge room under ground that is half an acre big! But it gets better.. There are rooms in the cave that are up to 5 times the size of that room. That would be a cave room bigger than double the amount of acreage most people have in town. Mammoth Cave is the largest cave system in the world with over 400 miles of mapped cave routes!
Once we got out of the cave we asked a couple of workers where we can get some real Kentucky food. The first lady we talked to was clearly not a local, and couldn’t help us much, but the second lady we talked to was off the wall excited to tell us about Lighthouse. This was a local restaurant about thirty minutes down the road that had, “The best Kentucky food.” And oh man.. we can attest to it being the best Kentucky food! Unless all Kentucky food is as good as this was. We both got the all you can eat Kentucky sampler. It had every kind of local food you can think of and it was to die for! We were basically rolling out the door on the way out and we skipped dinner that night.
After lunch at the Lighthouse we got back on the road and headed back to Kaylee’s house for the night.