Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

While planning our socially distant vacation, one thing that I, very stupidly, did not take into account was the reservation system that was in place for Mammoth Cave. Not even considering it until we arrived in Bowling Green, I was only able to get tickets for myself and my kids by getting up early and nabbing some of the walk-up tickets that were available.

As a result, we weren’t able to go into the deepest recesses of the cave or the more beautiful parts, but considering that we were able to go at all (and that we have a reason to go back now), I am happy.

Inside the cave that we did get to experience was wondrous. The tour was self-guided to keep people from congregating and, as so few people were being admitted, there were stretches in the cave’s massive corridors that we found ourselves absolutely alone. It was a unique and somewhat creepy experience, to be truthful.

The ceilings of the cave are covered in black soot from the 100 plus years of exploration by torchlight.
Abandoned century-old saltpeter mining equipment.
Tuberculosis huts from when it was believed that the cool damp air would help cure the disease. Spoiler alert: It didn’t.

Written by Jason Gaston

Father, teacher, writer, photographer, artist, actor, male model, and inventor of the semicolon.

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