Saturday, July 30, 2011

Almost Heaven, Almost Home

IMG_3854July 29 -- Mammoth Cave National Park is, quite simply, gorgeous. It may actually be my favorite of all the parks we’ve seen; so lush and green and, even more importantly, so full of life. I don’t think I’ve heard as many birds, as many crickets, as many bugs anywhere else.IMG_3899

After a short hike around, we walked to the visitor’s center shortly after it opened, and good thing we did as many of the tours were sold out well in advance, and those that hadn’t been were selling out fast. But, we were able to get tickets for the one we wanted, the two hour “Heritage Tour.”

Well, Mammoth Cave is spectacular, by far my favorite cave to date (although Ellery still prefers the caves we saw in Belize). And the tour was great; the ranger described in wonderful detail how people have been touring the cave, and writing their names on the walls and ceilings, since the early 1800’s. And the fact that it was cool in the cave – compared to the 100 degrees plus temperatures that have followed us throughout this trip – was an added bonus.

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Leaving Mammoth Cave, we started heading for home. But … wait … there’s more! What’s that sign ahead? Lincoln’s birthplace awaits!

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So, a quick diversion there, and back on the road. And what a road! Through Versailles and Lexington, some of the most beautiful horse country I could have imagined, and then through the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, finally stopping for the night in a huge Days Motel on the top of a hill that appears to cater to the hundreds of people who come to this lake region for a weekend (or more) of recreation.District 1-20110729-00176