Mammoth Cave
National Park, KY
July 29 - 30, 2006  

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... Historic Entrance of Mammoth Cave ...
See Trip Plan Below

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It was only 95 miles driving from Nashville. I arrived at the hottest time of the day, 34C at 10:30am, cloudless.

I haven't booked any cave tours for the day time until the 6:45pm Photo Cave Tour. I got to the ticket office and luckily got 2 tours, Travertine and Voilet City Lantern Tour. With no idea of where I was actually heading to, Travertine tour brought 40 of us to the Frozen Niagara Entrance. The first impression was not pretty because they installed a revolving door at the entrance.

The guide later explained that because they are trying to keep the temperature down at the cave constant at 54F, because Frozen Niagara is a popular site. Lots of tourists use this entrance.

Wow, like walking in a underground freezer with dim light, I saw a few structures formed under the limestones. The guide explained the geology of the Mammoth Cave National Park. It is basically water gets through cracks down under into different layers of limestones, and after millions of years, the water eroded the soft limestones and created a passage leading to the Green River.


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Look at how tired I was ...
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A World Heritage Site.
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Travertine Tour - on the bus to Frozen Niagara Entrance.

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This is the man-made Frozen Niagara Entrance.
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Stairway down to the Frozen Niagara.
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They have little different rooms in the cave.

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The picture is not upside down. This is the drip caused by the water from the surface through the soft limestone.
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More of these "Drapes" formation.
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This one is like 10 feet in length.

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Resting in a room listening to the Ranger's explanation.
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These old buses burn clean propane.
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Stairway down to Historic Entrance.

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Historic Entrance, one of the only natural entrance into the Mammoth Cave system.
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Bats do live in Mammoth Cave.
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Ranger was preparing the lantern for our "Violet City Lantern Tour".

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From Historic Entrance to Violet City, it's about 3 miles long.

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40 of us use ten kerosene lanterns.
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We stopped at Rotunda Room.

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Yes, we were carrying the lantern like so ...
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Walking along Broadway.
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After3 miles of underground walking, ... this was how it looked ...

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Why National Park always put up these funny signs ?
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My buddy at the visitor center.


I revisited Frozen Niagara in the evening with a Photo Tour. This tour gave us more time to take pictures rather than rushing through different formations with a hugh crowd.

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This guy ruined my picture.
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This is Frozen Niagara.

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These columns are actually growing.
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Close-up at Frozen Niagara.
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Frozen Niagara is about 80 feet tall.

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Drapery room..
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Cave Map in 1908.
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I suited up for the "Wild Cave Tour".


I took the "Wild Cave Tour" on the 2nd day. 14 of us suited up with Helmets, headlights, knee pads and glvoes. The section that we are touring is from Carmichael Entrance to Frozen Niagara. In between, we walked on wide and paved tunnels, we also crawled through muds and wet tunnels. Some of those tunnel caves that we crawled are only 3 feet wide. The most amazing one that we did was crawling through "Kathleen's Crawl". It is only 18 inches tall at the tighest gap. We were practically on our belly pushing through this gap for about 20 mins. In some sections, we have to roll our body through because it is just too wide to kick ourselves through.


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My buddy was so ready too!!.
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One of our guide, Bruce, was explaining the tunnel system.
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Our first crawl in this tour, here we went .....

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We rested in this room. Funny enough that Bruce asked us if we noticed we have actually passed through this room 3 times. He was just taking us in circle.
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No kidding, we crawled through miles of these.
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Look at how hand-on we were ....

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Yes, we squeezed ourselves out from that hole.
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Man, ...it wasn't that easy.

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We had our lunch break at Snowball room.
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See how dirty I were !
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Snowball cafe was being renovated, come back later!

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This is why they called this Snowball room.

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I'm serious, we were crawling into these cave tunnels, literally like an organized prison escape.
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Here we had our first 30 feet drop climb-down.

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It was tough for some of us who had short legs.
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She made it down safely.

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Pussssh .....
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It wasn't that easy for this guy, because he is about 6'4" tall.

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Resting inside "Kathleen's Crawl", after the tighest gap of 18 inches high.
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"Would we ever get out of here ?" .....

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Yes, I will never forget "Kathleen's Crawl".

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Excuse me, do you know where is the laundry room ?
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After 3 miles of crawling on our knees and belly ...

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Bruce, our guide, was explaining that he just took us in a circle to see if we noticed it ...
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We were going into the Kathleen's Crawl, the most difficult crawl in Mammoth Cave. The tightest gap is only 18 inches high. ...
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Our last stand-up walk in the cave, Betty's Lane ...
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Location: Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

Map:
Mammoth Cave National Park Map
          Cave System
          High Resolution Image Map:   Cave Map 1   Cave Map 2   Cave Map 3

Resource(s): Mammoth Cave National Park
          Mammoth Cave NP Cave Tours




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