Mammoth Adventures

Ever get a taste of something and hunger for more? Happens to me a lot.

One case of this was a caving tour I went on as a child, the Trog Tour at Mammoth Cave National Park. While I've been in plenty of caves since then, I always wanted to come back and try the adult version at Mammoth--the Wild Cave Tour, taking you into places in this wondrous cave system that most of the public never gets to see. Sadly, this tour is very popular and has been sold out every time I've tried to go in the past.

When luck fails, though, perseverance and willpower pay off. Talking to friends and getting commitments months in advance, I finally had sufficient buy-in to make the trip feasible in a weekend.

And it was worth every bit of effort. On top of spending the weekend with awesome people, we did so in the wondrous confines of Mammoth Cave. Big open caverns interleaved with tiny crawlspaces barely big enough to squeeze through. Waterfalls shooting out of cavern walls, dropping down into the bottomless abyss. Delicate gypsum crystals, with feather-like strands, laced with the colors of the rainbow. Masses of cave crickets and spiders living in places the sun never shines, showing you just how resilient life really is. Small bats weaving through the caves faster than swallows fly out in the free air.

If you've never had the joy of visiting Earth's underworld, hopefully this inspires you--even the simple walking tours give you a beautiful glimpse of what lies beneath. And it's not as bad as your preacher would have you believe:).

Also, in case the pictures alone aren't enough, Len also took the effort to make a video--really gives a good sense of the scale of this place: