Thursday, November 15, 2007

Spectacular Spelunking

Sunday night we left Tennessee and drove up to Louisville to visit my brother-in-law Mark. He's there because he's in Actor's Theater's A Christmas Carol so he has Mondays off (theaters are always closed on Mondays). He decided to join us on our trek to Mammoth Caves. We visited Mammoth Caves a few years ago and fingured this might be our last chance to see them before we move back west so even though we had Creed with us and it is their winter season so they don't offer as many tours, we took full advantage and went on two tours. We started out with the 2 hour New Entrance Tour. As you can see, Creed was happy to be there. I can't even begin to explain the entrance to this tour. It was metal staircases about 18" wide that wound all over the place and crossed back over itself. I have no idea how they constructed it. I wish I could have captured a picture that could really explain it, but this was the best that I could do.
This is a picture of the Frozen Niagara formation toward the end of the tour.
And I just included this picture to highlight the fact that my husband is HOT! (except, can you read his shirt here? It says, "To Each his Gnome" and I hate gnomes and I swear he wears this shirt just to taunt me!)
I'm so glad that Mark was there to help us lug Creed around, especially since Creed was asleep for a good portion of this tour.
My least favorite part of the tour? There were a couple of spots that I saw these creatures huddled together and I thought they were spider and it totally freaked me out! (I'd like to point out that this is not an irrational fear like my fear of ducks, I've actually ended up in the hospital more than once from an allergic reaction to a spider bite). It turns out that they are cave crickets. CREEPY!
We had an hour break beofre our next tour so we lunched and Mark modelled.
Then we went on the Historic Tour, which starts at the original entrance of the cave
as pictured here (expect the stairs are obviously not original) We went from some enormous caverns, to this, to . . .
Fat Man's Misery!

It's actually not too scary because it's only tight up to your chest or waist and then there's some open space. And after Fat Man's Misery was Tall Man's Misery
Towards the end of this tour you have to go up these rickety old stairs, which shake a little bit. They are replacing these this winter so we were among the last groups to go up them. Lucky us . . .
While we were there we picked up a National Parks Passport and got it stamped at Mammoth Caves for Creed. I think it will be fun to track all of the National Parks he sees during his life.
After that it was on to Cave City, the nearest town to Mammoth Caves. I'm not really sure how to explain this town. It think most of it was built in the 50's and nothing has changed since then so it's a little rundown and full of all things kitschy, which makes it highly entertaining. Here's a typical shop.
I'm not sure how Mark resisted buying this hat when he looked so good!
And the Wigwams are another good example of the spirit of Cave City (yes, I know they are not wigwams, they are concrete teepees, but they call them Wigwams). Even though they are as far from PC as you can get, I would have been tempted to spend the night if they weren't closed for the season , just so we could say sthat we did.

We had a great time. Thanks Mark for keeping us company and letting us crash with you for a few nights!


osulindleys said...

I absolutely LOVE that first picture of Creed. That face is simply ADORABLE!

Mom said...

SO - do you guys have big plans for Thanksgiving? Elle is bringing two guys home from CMU - Carols (Venezuela) and Eric (Korea) to try a real American Thanksgiving. Wanna join us? Or stop by sometime? We HAVE to take them to COSI (CMU and all) but we're going to be opem to fun ideas. You're among the most fune people we know!
love, Mom Cat

Emily kate said...

Wow!! That looks like so much fun!!

By the way, Candice said you'd have some book recommendations for me. I haven't gotten into any books really since Twilight. I feel blah about everything I read!

Reba said...

I love that first picture of Creed, too--exactly what he was doing today in church!

Larry said...

I loved that picture of Creed. And the picture of me in Tall Man's Misery with a diaper sticking out of my back pocket! I really enjoyed the caves and LOVED spending time with Mark.

Larry said...

Creed also loved Mark - look at how when Mark was in the picture Creed wasn't looking at the camera.