Saturday, July 18, 2009
0600 – Get up. Start downloading pictures. Head downstairs for coffee. Come back and start packing.
0724 – Leave the hotel. Tortured the children by forcing them to carry heavy bags so that we could make it to the car in one trip rather than me doing it all in several trips.
0754 – Sonic for breakfast. Sonic tastes much better than McD’s but it is much slower. While we are waiting, the kids and talk about whether or not we should move to Kentucky. Felisa says yes because there are horses. Bella says yes as long as everyone can have their own bedroom in the new house. Ryan says yes as long as we move to a big house. I asked Ryan if he was going to help me clean the big house but he didn’t have an answer for that.
0844 – Central Time Zone – Now 0744. I forgot about that! I was stressing because we weren’t going to make it to Mammoth in time for the 0900 tour. But now we will make it!
0845 – We made it in time for the tour but the tour was already sold out when we arrived. Oh well. Bought tickets for the 0945 tour then went on a short hike behind the visitor’s center then stopped back at the car for pre-tour snacks and water.
0945 – Time for the New Entrance tour. Sold out at 118 people. Yikes! That’s a lot of people to go walking through a cave with. It took 3 buses to get us all over to the entrance. The first part of the tour was a series of many, many steps down and around through an area the ranger called Pits and Domes. Then we met up in ampitheater and talked about how the river used to flow through this part of the cave until it eventually moved down lower. After this little talk, we all followed along through the horizontal portion of the cave. This part was like walking through a dry riverbed canyon in the southwest except that it was completely underground. Finally we arrived at the Frozen Niagara portion of the tour. This part was more typical of other caves we have been in with the flowstone and the stalactite/stalagmite formations.
Our favorite parts:
R- Pits and Domes
F – Frozen Niagara section – naming all the formations
B – the Thanksgiving turkey formation
S – Frozen Niagara
It was generally a good tour though it would have been more enjoyable with fewer people. In a large group such as that, there is a lot of stop-and-go and bottlenecking while the group squeezes through and walks along the passageway. And of course the people behind us (two different groups – one group before the ampitheater break and another group after) were talking THE ENTIRE TIME. Ugh.
12:00 p.m. – Leaving Mammoth Cave
12:30 p.m. – Traffic jam. Yuck. Turns out to be a 15 minute delay caused by a minor accident.
1:23 p.m. Tennessee
1:45 p.m. Jack in the Box for lunch! Yum!
2:30 p.m. Finished with lunch. Fill up the gas tank before we get back on the road. $2.33/gallon
3:45 p.m. Rest stop
4:48 p.m. Pass a sign for Fort Pillow. Did I read that wrong? Or is there a story there that I don’t know? It certainly doesn’t sound like a very ferocious name for a fort.
5:45 p.m. Arrive at the Ruthlings. I had guessed that I would be arriving at around 5:45. Couldn’t have been more exact if I had tried!
The kids started playing together immediately. D’Arcy and I talked. We ordered pizza for dinner. Fritz came home from work. After dinner the kids all went for a swim. At 10:30 we started trying to get them settled down for bed. By 11 the tv/games were off and everyone went to bed. I found out the next morning that they had been awake until 1 in the morning. Yikes!