Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Sat, July 30 and Sun, July 31, 2011 – Mammoth Cave, KY
We were on the road before 8 am and headed to Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, where we were meeting our son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Julie, and their two boys, Kevin (age 10) and Justin (age 8). Dan and Julie were celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary by taking a family vacation to meet us and then allowing themselves a few days on their own while we had the boys with us on the boat.
After a four-hour drive, we arrived in Cave City, Kentucky, about the same time as Dan, Julie and the boys. Since it was too early to check into the hotel, we drove to the nearest Walmart where we picked up a few blow-up water toys for the week, grabbed some lunch at Subway and stopped at a couple of other discount stores before returning to the Super 8 Motel for a quick check-in and then on to Mammoth Cave for our 4 pm cave tour.
We opted for the Historic Tour which took us into the main cave entrance and along an interesting path. It was fun to rediscover the same areas that excited the earliest explorers and cave visitors. There wasn’t much in the way of columns, stalactites or stalagmites in this section, so we decided to get up early tomorrow and take the 9 o’clock Frozen Niagara tour which guides you through a more decorative part of the cave and begins at an entrance that was created in 1924.
After exploring the cave, we headed to “town” for a nice dinner at the family steakhouse and then up to our adjacent rooms to relax for the evening. Both rooms were so cold when we opened the doors, that we spent some time outside waiting for them to warm up again.
On Sunday morning, we met at the hotel’s breakfast nook shortly before 8 am and arrived at the park in plenty of time for our tour. It turned out to be a completely different experience from yesterday. We were taken by bus to the “new” cave entrance and then proceeded quickly down into the earth where we were awed by the sights.
A quick lunch at Wendy’s and we bid goodbye to Dan & Julie as they took off for a few days of “couple time.” Kevin and Justin came with us and we headed to Chattanooga. Upon arriving in the city, we stopped for a few grocery items and continued on to the dock where Blue Heron was waiting.
We got the air conditioning running, had an easy supper and put on our swimsuits to walk over to the aquarium fountain for some splashing around. After cooling off, we sat on the bow and visited with Kevin and Justin as we enjoyed the lights of the city.