Yesterday I was able to get a few of our vacation pictures up. I promised Mammoth Cave picts today. After posting, I realized that I only have two pictures of Mammoth Cave. I was not able to take great pictures inside, so we stopped taking the camera. They also have become very strict on what you are allowed to take into the cave now. We could not take the camera case, but the camera was ok. No purses, backpacks, or anything that the rangers could not see into. I have a clear plastic knitting bag and I have a feeling that it would have been ok to take that. I was bummed that I couldn't take my day pack, but I understand the reason behind it. In an effort to make sure that people are not carrying part of the cave home as a souvenir they have really cracked down on the rules. I'm glad because that means it will be there for future generations to enjoy!
While we were there I was so surprised at how many people also were there. When I visited Mammoth as a kid, it was not a popular park to go to. We were able to get on any tour, and they were not full of people. When my husband and I were on our honeymoon (6 years ago), it also was not very busy. This time.... BUSY!!! Most of the tours that we wanted to go on were sold out. We even tried to get onto tours the next day, and they were sold out! On one very selfish hand I was upset because I didn't get to go on the tours I wanted, but on the other not so selfish hand, I'm really glad because people are enjoy this wonderful natural resource that we have!
The one tour that we did get on was four hours long and talked about how people in the past had used the cave. I was so happy! The energy that is in that cave is so amazing. Earth is my element and being in that cave made me feel so connected! My husband just laughed every time I said "I just can't get over how beautiful it is." I think I said that I about 50 times in the first hour. Lucky him! :)
Another tour that we took was a tour history tour of the natural entrance. We were about an hour into the tour when the guide told us that we might have an extend tour due to the fact that a tornado was forming and could touch down while we were on tour. All the lights in the cave are on the surface's grid, so if the surface power is out, the cave power is out. All rangers have several flashlights and very extensive training (I had to ask what it was... they told me the training is this: "remain claim and you are in charge"). Ah, I love government employee training! :)
The tornado did touch down, about 30 miles from us. We however got a thunder storm. It was so amazing! I love watching Mother Nature at work, but I hope that no one was hurt in the tornado or storm. We didn't hear anything other than that it had touched down. The only thing that we didn't enjoy was setting up our tent in the rain!
So, here are my photos that I did take:
This is the natural/historical entrance to the cave. You can walk down without a tour ticket, but you can only go about 100 feet before you come to the locked gate. Yes, they lock you in the cave when you are on the tours! This was taken after I walked into the cave looking out.
This is the waterfall (I really love waterfalls) that is spilling over the natural entrance to the cave. Today is Litha! I am excited to celebrate tonight. It will be my first Sabbat since my dedication. I hope you all have a wonderful Litha!
PS- Sorry that got kind of long! Wow, I had a lot to say about the cave! :)