Palm Trees in southern Florida

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Mammoth Caves in Kentucky

We were heading north from Georgia, where we'd spent some time & had taken care of a few things. The idea was to see some new country up through Tennessee & Kentucky as we headed north.

I had a couple of spots along the way that I'd heard of in passing. If I was going to be close to Rabbit Hash Kentucky that seemed like a place to stop and check out the general store! Then my wife mentioned that we'd be going right by Mammoth Caves National Park. Now that sounds like a place to stop! National Parks are always worthwhile.

The traditional opening to Mammoth Cave

We found a Corps Of Engineers campground not too far from the NP and headed that way.  Most COE camps have electricity... it was a bit warm & humid so plugging in and running the air conditioner was a good idea. They are always well kept, usually have good bath/shower rooms and with the senior pass we get half off! So we settled into Montardier COE camp in Bee Spring, Kentucky for a couple of nights.  (On a side note, I think Bee Spring is as good as name as Rabbit Hash, maybe better!)

With two-night stays, the first night is leisurely, and the second day  (and as far into the evening as we want) is tourist stuff. The third  day is a travel day, and we need to roll by the check-out time.

Inside the cave


I do realize that my lack of planning & 
homework is my own fault, but I never, ever thought that tour reservations would be required to see the caves! A friend mentioned this on FaceBook, so I checked it out. You can roll the dice and get 'walk up' reservations - IF anything is available.  But they're often sold out days in advance for the most desirable tours. So do consider online reservations before you arrive.

Wide passage cut by a river long ago

The Rotunda 

We were able to get "walk up" tickets for the last "self guided" tour during our first full day.  Then we spent our "extra time" checking out the museum and the surrounding area. We were also able to buy "walk up" tickets for the next day (our travel day) for the earliest "Frozen Niagara Tour
".  It started early and checkout time at the COE park was well into the afternoon. The self-guided tour was great! There were rangers stationed in places to answer questions & point features out. The rangers were knowledgeable and the cave complex is something!

On the drive back to the camp we went over the Green River ferry. This was unexpected! A small ferry for 3 or 4 cars that just goes back & forth across the river as needed.

The Green River Ferry

We were up early, got most everything packed for travel and went to the caves for our tour. It was good!  Then back to the campground, we loaded up the Toyota on the tow dolly, and we were on our way again!
Limestone that built up like flowing ice

On the guided tour, going down

Sadly no rabbit hash after we left the caves... 
I saw Fort Knox on the map!