Saturday we drove approximately 211 miles from Huntsville to Cave City, near Mammoth Cave, KY.
Mammoth Cave National Park
Tom and I are trying to visit all the National Parks. We thought we’d been to most of them before we discovered there were 62. Before this trip, we had been to 30 and today we picked up #31 —Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. The 91 degrees temperature seemed very hot, but we chose to hike in the park for several hours and ended the day with over 5 miles. Sunday we will be touring the actual cave.
The river in the park is named Green River. I’m not sure where the name came from because obviously it’s not green!
We ended the evening by playing Codenames.
Sunday, June 7
On Sunday we had a 10:00 time for our self-guided tour of Mammoth Cave. We wore our matching National Parks shirts that have a box to color as we visit each park.
There were park rangers along the way to share interesting information with us. Mammoth Cave is the largest cave in the world (hence the word “mammoth,” I suppose). The cave and all its passageways total more than 400 miles. It was inhabited between 4,000 BC and 2,000 BC and then deserted until it was rediscovered in the late 1700s.
The cave was used to mine calcium nitrate, an ingredient of saltpeter, which was used to make gun powder on an industrial scale for the War of 1812. A labor force of 70 slaves was used to build and operate the soil leaching apparatus, as well as to haul the raw soil from deep in the cave to the central processing site.
In 1839 John Crogham bought the cave and used it to run an ill-fated tuberculosis hospital (pictured below) in 1842-1843. He believed the vapors in the cave would cure tuberculosis. He ultimately died of tuberculosis in 1849.
This large room (below) was used by a Methodist minister for his Sunday sermons. Church members walked into the mine with their lanterns, the minister would collect them and place them near his pulpit, and then hand them back after his sermon was finished (to keep people from sneaking out before he was finished)!
Our campsite at the Cave County Campground
We ended the evening with two games of Skip-bo. Ben won the first game and Tom won the second. I guess I was the loser for today at games
- We drove Big Hat 211 miles yesterday for a total of 987 miles
- We have driven 45 miles in the CRV for a total of 118 miles
- We are staying at the Cave County Campground - $45 per night
- We walked 5.10 miles on Saturday while Ben walked 6.03
- Sunday I walked 7.72 miles and Ben only walked 7, but he did ride his bike for 45 minutes