On December 28th we left our family in Kentucky and headed to Kentucky’s Mammoth Caves National Park.
I neglected to say in my last post, that beyond visiting the National Monuments in Washington, D.C. when I was a girl scout, I have not been to any other National Park. We headed to Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio on our second day. Here is where we bought our Senior Pass cards, and stamps for our new passport to National Parks.
Mammoth Caves National Park
What would a 2 hour tour be like in mostly dry cave conditions? This cave system is the largest in the world, reputedly 400 miles long. As we took a bus to the cave opening the park Ranger gave us some insights into the cave systems. As we climbed down 250 steel stairs (in some close quarters), we began to understand the mammoth! If you dared to lean over the rail, you saw deep, dark pits, seemingly with no bottoms. I did not lean over; in fact it made me nervous to see the young man in front of me lean over! (It’s a mother thing) I’ve never been good with most heights but this was daunting.
After the steps, we leveled off and came into a cave ‘room’. We sat on benches, while listening to the Ranger tell us cave explorers have been measuring the length of the cave and now believe it might possibly be as many as 600 miles!
Our Ranger then lit small light, and turned out the lights in the cave room. After a few moments she put out the last light. I have never before seen pitch black, nothingness! It was incredible.
At the information center I loaded up on postcards to mail to my sister, and also collected an embroidered patch for my hiking shirt. We took a few minutes and walked downhill to one of the cave entrances that’s blocked off.
Signs and interesting things we saw on the way to Texas.
- Grandpa’s Cheese barn.
- Sign on old barn for Look Out MT. You can see 7 states from the top.
- Beef cows everywhere. Thus the sign…
- Beef—it’s what’s for dinner.
- Tina Turner Museum-Memphis, not one sign of Elvis!
- MLK Dr., Arkansas
- Louisiana Purchase, Historic state Park I-40 W
- Brinkley Cotton Plant
- Rice Fields in Arkansas
- Flip Flop Flea Market (AR)
- Loretta Lynn on billboards all over. Could she still be singing?
- Audie Murphy highway
- We crossed the Tennessee River.
- Sign for Natchez Trace State Forest.
- I-40 W –road lined with pine trees.
- Exit 66 Brownsville—Fort Pillow
- On I-30 we saw Geyser Springs 1st Baptist Church and Sherm said it is the size of the Johnson City Mall in New York.
- Saw a zip-line ‘dummy’ hanging in the air next to a billboard for the same.
- Pyramid Bass Pro Shop
- Czech bakery (need to see and taste that!)
- Magnolia Market, Waco, TX
Just so you believe me about the pyramid store I’m including a photo while we drove by at 70 mph.
New perspectives is more to me than this traveling adventure. Since my husband lost his job last year, we’ve been in limbo about what’s next. It’s hard to plan on working five more years, and find out you’re unemployed at age 64.
It’s a hard place to be!
We’ve had many discussions about what to do next but nothing concrete. Should we sell our house? Move to the lake? All sorts of things that roll around in our heads, and there are nights I can’t sleep because I’m tired of the merry-go-round. Some days I wish we had a clue, after all, how long can you wait?
One day we think we have a plan, but for many reasons it won’t work. But for the present…our perspective is day by day.
Stay tuned for Gruene, Texas…and beyond…