Well, I was pretty much right about the cave - it was a lot of gray rock under the earth! Guess that simplifies it a bit, but sums it up. Randy totally enjoyed the tour and I enjoyed watching him have fun. There are some pictures on our Webshots site, if you're interested. I'm posting this while on the road and Blogger doesn't seem to want to upload any pictures, so take a look at Webshots.
We took a two hour Historic Tour which took us around a two mile loop through part of the cave system. We were warned there were over 400 steps involved in the tour as well as places where we would have to stoop to get through the trail. Needless to say I was a little leery, but figured I could handle it.
The history of this particular cave area was pretty interesting. Tours of this cave have been going on since 1816. The area was privately owned for many years before becoming part of the National Park System. Many minerals were mined out of the cave and was overseen by a guy who would become quite rich - DuPont. With the lack of technology available back when the mining was going on, it’s amazing how they were able to it. I forget how spoiled we are now with all of the technology we have.
Obviously, the cave system was brought about by underground rivers flowing and eroding the earth. We went down 310 feet underground and saw very little wet area. The rivers have gone deeper over the years and now are found at or below 360 feet. All of these rivers are flowing to the Green River which is a very long river that runs through Kentucky.
Going down the 310 feet wasn’t so bad. We had to stoop under some very low overhangs, but it was “Fat Man’s Misery” (the National Park’s name for this trail - not mine!) that gave me pause. This is a very, very, very, tight passageway that I cannot imagine anyone much bigger than me getting through! I asked the ranger if they ever keep anyone from going on the tour because of size. He said they are not allowed to tell anyone they can’t go on a tour and that’s why the rangers go over what to expect, to give people a chance to back out. He said humongous people (again, his words, not mine) have gotten through that pass. It’s the ones who have heart attacks that cause concerns. And, that has happened!
Of course, when you go down 310 feet - guess what! You gotta go back up!! UGH! That was NOT fun. At one point we had a 100 step staircase going straight up to climb. It wasn’t the steps that bothered me so much, even though I thought I was going to join that group of heart attack victims at one point. It was that the staircase was in the middle of thin air! Or at least it seemed like it. I have realized that I am afraid of heights in my middle age (not old age!). Let me tell you, the hot flashes kicked in, adrenaline was pumping and I didn’t think I was gonna make it. But, I kept praying and just watched the person’s butt in front of me! Finally, we made it to the top - and we still weren’t out of the cave! But, the rest of the walk wasn’t as bad. We still had to walk, but at least it was on solid ground!! Guess I’m a wimp.
That’s enough for now. We’re on our way to Branson. No caves there, I hope!!!