Thursday, June 1, 2017

Spring Trip -- Day 3 -- photos and photos and photos

 Greetings from Kentucky! Please enjoy these photos of our third day of adventures.

(For even more photos, visit our Twitter page. You don't need to be a Twitter user to see it. Just click this link: )

In this one, I said, "Now do a cave pose!" I had no idea what that might mean, but they apparently did. 

Our second cave tour was the "Domes & Dripstones" excursion. They drive you on a bus to an entrance that has a steel door. It feels much more like you're walking into a mysterious utility box than a cave. 

The manmade vestibule inside the bunker door. It gives way to the actual cave pretty quickly, but not before someone noticed all of the albino cave crickets on the walls and ceiling. At a glance, they look like large, white spiders. Unnerving. 

The tour begins with a lot of stairs in very confined spaces. 

As mentioned previously, the caves are clearly visible when you're in them, but they're very difficult to photograph without a flash. (Flash photography is forbidden in the cave because once your eyes adjust to the dark, flashes would be particularly blinding.)

The solution is long exposures, which means that anything that's moving even a little bit comes out blurry. (These kids move a lot, so they're mostly blurry.) 

The tours all have stopping points periodically along the way. People take a rest as rangers point out formations, talk about the history and geology of the place, and answer questions. 

During this stop, the ranger turned off all of the lights, allowing us to experience total cave darkness. He then pulled out a lighter to give us a sense of what it must have been like to explore these caverns before they had been lit so strategically by the Parks Service. (If you are wondering what that would have been like, the answer is NIGHTMARISH.

After finishing his talk while illuminating the room with just the lighter, he said, "If you have any questions, raise your hand." He then IMMEDIATELY doused the light, plunging us back into complete darkness. It got a laugh. Then he said, "that's a little cave joke. Some people say cave jokes are the lowest form of humor." 

This tour featured many dramatic stalactites, stalagmites, curtains, straws, and other cave formations. It's positively otherworldly. Ella remarked that some portions looked like Dr. Seuss had created them. 

Emerging from the cave
After lunch at the Mammoth Cave Hotel's restaurant, we headed to Big Mike's Rock Shop. 

Big Mike's Mystery House, much of which is decorated like the room of a teenager in 1976. (It had a lot of black lights and skull posters.)

Hall of mirrors

The laws of physics are defied!

Between the caves and this slanted portion of the mystery house, it's a minor miracle that no one rolled an ankle on this trip. 

Strange and sudden growth spurts (and regressions): 

Scenes from Churchill Downs:

At the paddock, where you can check out the horses before their races. 


Watching a bunch of horses race past you is exhilarating. 

I'm holding a winning ticket in this photo. Later, I would hold several losing ones.

Watching your Horse Lose, a short play in three photos: 

Gassing up for the drive to the hotel. (Spot Evie.) 

Our home for this evening is a hotel in La Grange, Kentucky. Final day tomorrow! 

1 comment:

  1. What a great 3rd day! Big ty to Jason and Karen :)