Today we drove to Mammoth Caves Nat'l Park arriving about 9:30 to find that we were already too late to get morning tickets for most of the tours. It is a popular place, it is Saturday and it is summer. We were able to take the self guided tour then a short hike, ate our lunch in picnic area and took the 12:45 ‘New Entrance Tour’ which was about 2 hours of walking & climbing 280 narrow steps and listening to our guide explain about the geology of the caves formation.
We read that objects & evidence of human activity (torches, woven footwear, tools made from wood) found along twelve miles of cave passages lead archeologists to conclude that Mammoth Cave was 1st explored some 4,000 yrs ago, ending 2,000 yrs ago. Early woodland people collected minerals from the cave. Tradition has it that in the late 1790’s a young pioneer chased a wounded black bear into the cave, rediscovering it for modern man. World travelers began to visit Mammoth Cave following the War of 1812 and were led by guides by torch or lantern into the cave.
I cannot imagine touring these caves without the steps & walkways provided by the Nat’l Park, with only the light of torches & candles.
On the way home, needing a few market items we struggled to find a market in Scottsville which is the closest town to the campground. Our GPS was really wacky, trying to take us into the lake & on dead end farm roads. Finally, we stopped and asked a couple people how to get to the market, who gave us conflicting directions, and we eventually found an IGA Market (like we saw in Canada).