Coastline at Antalya, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


One of the things we like to do is to visit caves. One of the reason we are taking the route we are is to return to Mammoth Cave National Park.

We had been to Mammoth Cave in April of 2009 on our last return from Mexico. It is a huge cave system (hence the name Mammoth!) and at the time, we took one of the many tours which are available.

This time, we have booked in advance to do the "Wild Cave Tour". This is the most expensive tour they do, at $48 each. But the tour is limited to 14 people and you get to do and see things that are not available to the general public. Our tour starts at 9:30am this coming Saturday. We are excited!

Here is the description of what we have signed up to do...

Meet Mammoth Cave on its own terms as you and a small group of adventurers don helmets, headlamps, boots and kneepads and venture into miles of undeveloped passageways. Climb, crawl and canyonwalk your way through passageways no other tour sees. On the way, your guides will share their knowledge of the history and geology of places like Cleaveland’s Cabinet, Thorpe’s Pit, and Cathedral Domes. You must be prepared for free-climbing cave walls; lengthy crawls through areas as tight as 9 inches high; walking in a crouched position; hand and knee crawls over jagged rocks and dirt; crawling through wet areas; twisting into and out of tight crawlway openings.   •6-6½ hours, 5 miles. Tour limit: 14. Age limit: 16+; proof of age may be requested. Total stairs: . Elevation change: 300’.  •An adult must accompany visitors under age 18. Chest or hip measurement must not exceed 42 inches; if you are larger, you cannot physically pass through the crawlspaces. High-top, over-the-ankle lace-up boots, with lug or deeply treaded soles, are required. No low-cut hiking or athletic shoes allowed. You will not be allowed to participate in the tour if you are not wearing proper footwear—No exceptions.  Gym shorts and t-shirts  are recommended for wear under coveralls.  Please bring extra pair of tennis shoes or sandals for use during boot decontamination at the end of the tour. All equipment and outerwear provided; no personal caving equipment allowed.  Food is available at the Snowball Room. A box lunch can be purchased for $7.50 (cash only). Visitors may bring a lunch and/or water bottle-a small fanny pack will be provided.  Bring no cameras—there will be no opportunity to use them on this activity. Requires at least 2 participants. Reserved tickets not claimed 30 minutes prior to tour departure may be re-sold.  •Meets at the Visitor Center.  Difficulty: Very Strenuous.

And so because we both are in need of new hiking boots, we are headed for the Bass Pro Shop in Clarksville, Indiana, right at the border of Kentucky.

We did end up sleeping at the Walmart in Seymour last night. Way too many trucks though, and we were especially unappreciative of the trucker who pulled up about 6 feet from Sherman (he had LOTS of other places to park) and left his engine running for an hour. I know, we were parked an a Walmart. Oh well.


  1. That's a tour I always wanted to go and do. It sounds really exciting. Our favorite will always be Carlsbad Caverns. Have fun!

  2. Wow, that sounds wonderful! I dont think I could do the small space, I have nightmares about crawing through small spaces. Have you ever been to Kartchners Cavers in SE Arizona? It is not a "wild" expereince, but it is a living cavern and very moving.

  3. That sound so exciting! Can't wait to hear all about it!

  4. Sounds like a great tour, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Too bad you can't take a camera as pictures would have been neat to see. I'm a cave lover too - Paulette, not so much. Have you ever been to the Carlsbad Caves in New Mexico? That's a pretty fantastic place as well and they do allow cameras.

  5. Margie and Roger...We have always wanted to do something like this, so now's our chance. We have never been to Carlsbad caverns but it is on our list.

    Chrissy y Keith...I think I can do small places, Kevin said he thinks that will be the harder part for him. I have more problem with heights, so I hope I can do that part.

    Yes, we have been to Kartchners Caverns, it is one of our favourites.

    Gail...We are really excited about it!

    Rick and Paulette...Some people have taken cameras in, not sure if we will but we would like to have some pictures of the adventure, maybe we will get a disposable camera.

    We have never been to Carlsbad Caverns as I said to Margie and Roger, it is on our list.

    Kevin and Ruth

  6. This is one adventure I'd love to read about but don't want to experience. I'm having heart palpitations just reading this description. Can you guess that I have a little claustrophobia. Lengthy crawls that are 9" in diameter-oh my!

    With that being said, I'm looking forward to reading all about it. Take care and have a great time!

  7. Sounds like a great time! Can't wait to hear about it. The Caverns of Sonora in Texas are my very favorite - and you can take pictures!

  8. Will read about it, but Im also not inclined to do it. Small spaces scare me. But I like the look of caves and will hit Carlsbad Caverns someday.

    Look forward to hearing about it!

  9. Several years ago we did a couple of the tours at Mammoth Caves with our kids. It was a great trip. We went on a tour where we had to wear helmets with lights on them and crawl through narrow places and do some climbing. I know it wasn't as strenuous as what you're doing, but it was still an amazing experience; more than just your standard walk through a cave.

    Enjoy the experience!

  10. John and Carol and WBY...As I said before I think I will be OK with the small places, Kevin is a little apprehensive, I think I will have a little more trouble on the heights. It is a very team building adventure so hopefully we will feed off of everyone else on the tour. Should be fun!

    Diana...We will have to keep the Sonora Caves in mind for another time. We are hoping someone else will bring a camera and then we will have them send us some pictures. We aren't going to risk taking our camera.

    Evelyn...I read about that one, it sounds similar to our tour but maybe not as extensive, still sounded like a lot of fun.

    Kevin and Ruth


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