June 14, 2010 Day 54 Mammoth Cave and More Lincoln

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CC and I wanted to go on the earliest cave tour Mammoth had so we get there early and buy tickets for the 8:45 am tour of the Frozen Niagara. It lasts 1hour 15 minutes so it’s longer than I wanted but the shortest they are offering today. We end up with Ranger Mike. Actually he turned out to be a pretty good cave tour guide. He let us know lots of info and kept the tour moving along well. It was 53 degrees in the cave so by the time we came out the outside weather was very humid and muggy feeling. Mammoth is in the process of building a new visitor’s center so they have nothing on display right now. There is no movie until the new center opens. Just cave tours and hikes. The bookstore is also very small with not much in it right now. PTCC worked on the Jr Ranger while we waited to go on the tour and then finished it when we got back. We also walked down to the original opening. It was a nice blast of cold air coming out so we stood there for a few moments and enjoyed the natural air conditioning. There is a cave tour that starts from there but it didn’t run today, only on weekends. After leaving the natural opening we walked a short trail down to the cemetery of cave guides and looked around. Since we didn’t want to hike the trails there wasn’t anything else to do so we came back to Jellystone for lunch and then we took off for Hodgenville and Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace.

At the first stop we made we saw Lincoln’s Boyhood home in KY. This was where he lived from age 2-7 years old. They are in the process of updating a tavern that was built on the property after the Lincolns left so there were no inside of buildings to see. They have built a replica cabin on the property to show how small a place his family lived in when he was young. There is a creek called Knob Creek which we walked down to and PTCC cooled her feet off. We could walk all the way across it today. There was a story that Lincoln almost drowned in the creek because he could not swim and had to be rescued by a friend. It was hard for us to believe it since it was so shallow today. We then walked around the farm and property.

After seeing his boyhood home we drove to the Birthplace and watched the movie while PTCC worked on her Jr Ranger here. This will be her last one for our GART. I think she has earned about 25 or so badges on this trip.

They have a small museum here that has the family bible, the boundary oak tree ring, and a replica cabin interior to view. Some of Thomas’ types of tools are also displayed as well. After seeing the inside we walk down to the Memorial Building, which once again is being renovated. It houses the cabin that was believed to be from Lincoln’s property here but has proven to be just another old cabin. But the parks department has kept it as a representative of a pioneer cabin. Then we walked to the spring that the Lincoln’s used when they lived here called Sinking Spring. It is in a hole in the ground much like a cave. It was so hot today that that spring water that was hitting the rocks below was creating steam, since the rocks were in the sun and very hot. That was the extent of us seeing sites today.

CC decided to drive back by 31E and not the Interstate. So we got to see a lot of farms and rural areas on the way back to Cave City. PTCC wants to have Kentucky Fried chicken in KY so we will have that for dinner tonight to make her happy. Maybe we will hit the pool and slide when we get back because it is so hot today.

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