Saturday, October 3, 2015

Mammoth Cave (Kentucky)

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When I learned that I'd be heading to Louisville, KY to attend ICUEE, I immediately checked to see its proximity to Mammoth Cave National Park. The park has been a destination I've been hoping to reach for a few years now. I was delighted to learn that it was only about an hour south of Louisville, so I decided to drive to the expo and stay in Kentucky a few days following the event.

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The expo was a fun eye opener to the wide variety of manufacturers in our industry. The Morooka machines had a good showing, despite the rainy weather during the first half of the show.

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I camped in the Hoosier National Forest two nights before Rebecca's arrival. The first spot was especially epic, as I perched my hammock above the Hemlock Cliffs.

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Rebecca was flying in to Louisville on Friday to meet me for the drive to Mammoth Cave, so I snuck in a visit to Mega Cavern in between. The bike park was pretty fun and definitely a unique experience to ride dirt jumps underground.

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The second night of camping was at the Indian-Celine Lakes Recreation Area within the Hoosier National Forest. After hiking for a few minutes, I found a dry creek bed to call home for the night.

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At last, the main attraction was upon us!

With only a couple of tours offered this late in the season, Rebecca and I signed up for the Domes & Dripstones Tour. It was a good introduction to the cave, although the entire tour only covered 0.75 mile. We decided that our next trip there would be a good opportunity to sign up for the longer, more advanced Wild Cave Tour.

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A free backcountry pass allows visitors to camp at one of several camp sites within the park. We chose the First Creek Campsite, just over a mile from the trailhead. It was late when we began the hike to our site, so the short hike was perfect.

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After a week away from home, I was excited to head east to Virginia. On our way back, we swung by the New River Gorge Bridge for a quick glance before finishing the drive.

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